1-5-1 STILL EFFECTIVE, SAY SPECIALISTS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

151-Reaching-TNBRENTWOOD — Since the 1-5-1 Harvest Plants strategy was introduced about three years ago, Tennessee Baptists have seen an increase in both church starts and baptisms.

1-5-1 was the brainchild of Bobby Welch, former associate executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention who retired last summer. 1-5-1 Harvest Plants are off-campus efforts (outside the four walls of the church) geared toward people who don’t know Christ as their Savior for the purpose of sharing the gospel, discipling people, and starting churches. [Read more…]

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WILL YOU FIGHT FOR TODAY’S 72?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

The day’s minutes pass and vaporize, unaffected by any change or resistance we hope to exert. And with the passage of every hour, three spiritually lost Tennesseans slip into eternity.

That’s 72 eternally lost neighbors, friends, and family members every day, 26,000-plus every year. I simply can’t accept that without a fight for those souls, and I intend to do something about it.

Yes, the daily headlines can be overwhelming. This law is being passed here. Christians are being kicked out there. Freedom of religion is being throttled over there. So many Christians feel defeated and settle into a defensive posture. However, we need to lift our eyes! The dark being the darkness has no effect on the light being the light. [Read more…]

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KORAN LEADS MAN TO CHRIST (WELL, NOT EXACTLY)

Editor’s note: Due to safety concerns about the Muslim who accepted Christ and his family, the name of the author has been withheld.

Koran, mosque, lectern, shadowsAn Arabic-speaking Christian friend brought a new believer to meet me. The man, who I’ll call Alvey, was a former Muslim who wanted to be baptized. My friend thought it would be a good idea to make sure Alvey understood what it meant to become a follower of Jesus.

I listened to Alvey’s story and my interest was piqued when he talked about the shortcomings of the Koran. “I was raised a Muslim and came to the U.S. a long time ago. Because I drove a truck for a living, I listened to tapes of Islamic teaching. The more I listened, the more I questioned. There were so many holes in the teaching.” [Read more…]

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ARE PASTORS NEGLECTING A GREAT MISSION?

By Bradford Smith
Missions Pastor, The Way, Clarksville

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Until recently, I’d never heard a sermon on adoption. A great multitude languishes right in our very midst, devoid of hope, desperate in affliction, and ignorant of the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Who will be the one to deliver the words of life to the orphan, even by proxy? This is a great gospel issue.

Here is the logic. Pastors desire to reach the lost with the gospel. Many (most) of the lost are unchurched and statistically unlikely to repent as an adult. Yet, every year, we “graduate” thousands of unchurched children into adulthood via the foster system, swelling the ranks of those least likely to repent. [Read more…]

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APATHY, BUSYNESS HURT EVANGELISM

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

The Fellowship of Tennessee Baptist Evangelists met last week at First Baptist Church in Joelton.

Sad to say, very few people attended though the meeting was publicized.

That is no reflection on the organization. It is made up of some of God’s choice servants – men and women who have dedicated themselves to the biblical call to be an evangelist.

The attendance can be attributed primarily to the twin sins of apathy and busyness. [Read more…]

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I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

I love a good story and I love good storytellers and that may be one of the reasons I love the Bible. Talk about good stories. Begin at Genesis and read all the way through and you have real people living lives of suspense, drama, espionage, intrigue, romance, comedy, and more. However, the greatest story in the Bible is the overarching story of God’s activity in history culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son to save His enemies, to save us. What a story.

My friend and state missionary, Paul Clark Jr., and I share a favorite hymn: “I Love to Tell the Story.” I really love telling God’s story and I especially love sharing it with my grandkids. That’s exactly what the Bible tells us to do. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” [Read more…]

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UNION TO HOST WEST TENNESSEE EVANGELISM RALLY FEB. 21

Union University News Office

Union University CampusJACKSON — Ernest Easley recently looked through a file folder from 1984 where he came across an old leadership magazine published by Texas Baptists.

“On every page there was something about evangelism, outreach, training, and rallies,” said Easley, professor of evangelism at Union University. “I don’t read much emphasis anymore on evangelism. I don’t see our state conventions and our national convention fanning the flame of evangelism like they once did.”

That’s one reason why Easley, in partnership with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, helped to organize the West Tennessee Evangelism Rally that will be held Feb. 21 on the Union campus. The event is for pastors, staff members, church members, students and anyone else interested in evangelism. [Read more…]

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FIVE REFLECTIONS IN 2015 ABOUT OUR CONVENTION

By Ronnie Floyd
President, Southern Baptist Convention

Ronnie Floyd

Ronnie Floyd

In my final article in 2015 to our Southern Baptist family, I want to share five reflections.

(1) We are a cross-generational convention. One of our unique strengths is that we are a cross-generational convention of churches. I was so encouraged to see more younger pastors and leaders at our annual meeting last June in Columbus, Ohio. I am convinced the more we focus on reaching our nation and world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we will continue to be a cross-generational convention. The more cross-generational our churches are, the stronger our churches will be internally and externally. [Read more…]

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NEWCOMB STILL LEADING SOULS TO CHRIST

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Chris Turner, director of communications for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, visited with his former pastor Ray Newcomb at the Summit. Newcomb baptized Turner more than 30 years ago while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Chris Turner, director of communications for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, visited with his former pastor Ray Newcomb at the Summit. Newcomb baptized Turner more than 30 years ago while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington. — Photo by Corinne Williams

MILLINGTON — The recently concluded Summit at First Baptist Church, Millington, was a homecoming for Ray Newcomb who served as pastor of the Memphis area congregation from 1976 until his retirement in 2009.

He preached the annual convention sermon and a humorous episode during his message has gone viral. During a key point in the sermon, Newcomb grabbed the pulpit and it came apart. His response: “Lordy, I didn’t know I was going to tear up the pulpit.”

Since the video was posted on the Tennessee Baptist Convention Facebook page on Nov. 24 it has been shared more than 200 times and reached more than 32,000 people. [Read more…]

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