What a glorious season we celebrate and call Easter. All of Christendom hangs on what happened in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. If we truly believe that He died, was buried, and rose again to pay the price for our sins, save our souls, and give us eternal life, then we will get up out of our comfortable pews and go more for Jesus, witness more, tell more our testimony, pray more for souls to be saved, and never let up or give up!
We cannot separate those two words — Cross and Evangelism. He died and commanded us to go, to be about the Father's business of bringing others to Him.
Below is a testimony from Brent Ferren, pastor of First Baptist Church, Glen Rose, Texas, of "keeping on keeping on" and keeping "first things first." Always remember that pastors and staff will change and disappointment may come to your church, but the church must go on doing the church's call of winning souls.
Evangelism has moved us and has challenged and defined our church to what the Lord wants us to be!
I was on staff as the bi-vocational youth minister when our church experienced the sudden departure of all full-time pastoral staff. Prior to that time, our church had enjoyed a period of tremendous growth, and we were quickly approaching the need to build further facilities. Suddenly it felt as if we were spiraling downward out of control.
Fortunately, our full-time staff had been leading our evangelism strategy, and we were being trained. In the aftermath of all the grief and confusion, our Sunday School director stepped forward to continue to lead our evangelism outreach. His willingness to do that became a defining moment for our church family.
The Lord used this to remind us there is no "out" clause in the Great Commission — no matter what your church is experiencing. No time outs! Those who are going to eternity without Christ cannot afford for us to turn inward and forget the world around us. Continuing evangelism put our church family back into the community telling people about Jesus. We didn't have time to mope around and complain about what was happening. Out of that experience we returned to the process of sending out members of our church family to foreign countries on short-term mission trips. We were keeping "first things first," and the Lord blessed us.
When our interim pastor arrived four months later, he told me that had he not known about the events which led to his being called as our interim, he never would have guessed we had experienced a time of grief. The healing had been that quick and complete. First Baptist Church of Glen Rose, Texas, is what it is today because God uses those who are willing and available not only to lead the lost to Christ, but when necessary, to reignite in us a passion for evangelism and missions.
The church called me as pastor in 2000, and I cannot imagine not being involved in evangelism or serving in a pastorate where the people are not willing to be trained to go out and share Christ.
Easter is the perfect time of year to be reminded of the wonder of the Gospel and the urgency to share it. Won't you join me in recommitting ourselves to take this Good News around the world, but also to our next-door neighbor?
REMINDER: Please report your church's baptism totals to date at the "Everyone Can Baptism Registration Center" on www.everyonecan.net. It's not impossible to have 100 percent of our SBC churches reporting in their monthly totals dating from October 2005 through today by the second baptism date Brother Bobby set, Easter Sunday … just weeks away. E-mail your baptism testimonies to [email protected] for consideration for placement on www.everyonecan.net for all to celebrate!