After recently retiring, Don McCutcheon, former executive leader of evangelization at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), shows no signs of slowing down.
McCutcheon traveled to Seoul, Korea, in June to train pastors and lay leaders how to improve their evangelism efforts through a plan he developed called Intentionally Evangelistic Church Strategy (IECS). McCutcheon continues to teach IECS on a contract basis for the BSC.
The Korean pastor, Kwang Joo, who invited McCutcheon is the father of Sammy Joo, a BSC consultant with international campus ministry.
Both McCutcheon and Sammy Joo led training in Seoul June 24-26 among a group of pastors and church leaders who represented about 30 churches. The event was hosted by New Hope Baptist Church in Seoul, where Joo’s father serves as pastor.
About two years ago Joo’s father heard about McCutcheon’s work with IECS and the BSC, and he invited him to train pastors in Korea.
By the end of the training conference, there were 16 professions of faith.
“Of all of the times I’ve taught this in 20 years, this was the most rewarding – a great encouragement for me,” said McCutcheon.
“Many churches dot the landscape, … large buildings and their steeples light up the sky at night.”
But pastors and lay leaders also expressed that the church has become more inward, added McCutcheon, who spoke with many Korean pastors about their concerns for their nation.
“[It] happens quite often after a great awakening and you start turning inward; you have a fortress mentality toward the unsaved,” McCutcheon said.
“Western culture has inundated Korea quite strongly. There seems to be a disconnect from the younger generation to the older generation because they haven’t been evangelized.”
One Korean woman told McCutcheon and Joo she had prayed for 1,000 days for her church to be used by God.
“These are people who spend untold hours in prayer,” he said. “Prayer meetings that are two and three hours are normal. … But they had forgotten to pray for lost people by name. That’s one of the things they came [away] very excited about.
“She had gone to many evangelism conferences with so many questions [but] no one was willing to answer [them],” he said.
“She said this conference answered [her] questions.”
And while discipleship is also important, McCutcheon said evangelism often gets lost in most congregations, including those in the United States.
“We’re not doing a great job, unfortunately, in the Southern Baptist Convention right now of either,” he said. “We are baptizing at the lowest numbers in the history. … It is heartbreaking. We’re not reaching them.”
McCutcheon voiced excitement for the BSC’s Evangelism and Discipleship group, which will be under the new structure set to take full effect Jan. 1, 2014.
“You cannot divorce evangelism and discipleship,” he added. “I think what [the BSC] has done to bring the evangelism and discipleship group [together] is hopefully going to set that standard before the hearts of the people of North Carolina.”
McCutcheon said he plans to return to Korea again to lead more training, possibly within the next two years.
For more information about scheduling IECS training contact Kathy Bennett at (800) 395-5102 at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.