By Lonnie Wilkey
As one might expect, evangelism was a popular topic during this week’s Summit held at First Baptist Concord in Knoxville. The theme for the 145th annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention was Win TN By All Means.
Several excellent videos focusing on evangelism were featured throughout the sessions.
During the Tuesday night session on Nov. 19, Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, recognized the top churches in total baptisms and baptisms based on average attendance in 2018.
Our TBMB leader interviewed Chris Stephens, pastor of Faith Promise Church, Knoxville. Faith Promise led the state in total baptisms in 2018 with 892.
The church, which is less than 25 years old, has baptized 7,445 people over that time frame. Stephens has led the church since its inception.
In response to how he helped create a culture of evangelism at Faith Promise, Stephens said he knows what it feels like when the psalmist wrote, “No one cared for my soul” (Psalm 142:4, New KJV).
Winning souls creates an evangelistic culture. Stephens stressed to messengers that it is imperative that “everybody in this room go out and win somebody” (to Jesus).
“If we are going to create a red hot evangelistic culture, we have to put evangelism where it belongs — top priority.”
Davis also asked Stephens what tools he used to teach his flock to evangelize. The two best tools for evangelism, he said, are the Roman Road (a set of passages in Romans that explain God’s salvation plan) and a testimony.
He reminded the messengers that New Testament Christians didn’t have tracts. They didn’t even have a Bible. “They spoke about what Jesus was doing.” He also challenged those present to not leave evangelism only to pastors. “All of us are to do the work of an evangelist,” he challenged.
Good words from a pastor who truly practices what he preaches. If every Baptist in Tennessee would heed his advice, seeing 50,000 people saved, baptized and set on the road to discipleship by 2024 would not seem like a daunting task. B&R