A group of Texas cheerleaders in a crowded Wendy’s restaurant near the University of Texas at Arlington wound up with more than fast food one Saturday when they met a group of teens in town for a youth evangelism conference.
“We encouraged the [students] to pray for one person to share the gospel with,” said Bobby Worthington, Criswell College associate professor of missions and evangelism who assisted that weekend with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s (SBTC) Student Evangelism Conference North at Arlington’s Fielder Church.
Worthington accompanied youth from First Baptist Church of Bells to Wendy’s where they discovered that students from First Baptist Church of Paris had just shared Christ with the cheerleaders.
Nate Law, student pastor of First Baptist Church Paris, said he spoke to the cheerleader coach to let her know his students were with a youth conference and asked if some of the girls could talk to hers.
A college cheerleader accompanying the group from First Baptist Paris facilitated the encounter, Law said. “That just opened up the door big time.”
Law challenged two high school girls to share their faith with half the 10-member squad while a college student shared with the others. Four of the cheerleaders made a profession of faith that day.
“Our girls stayed in touch with them afterward,” Law said, “texting them and sharing scriptures.”
Cheerleaders weren’t the only ones who made a profession of faith at Wendy’s that day.
Worthington and the First Baptist Bells students met a man, whose car had stalled in the parking lot. After helping jumpstart his car, Worthington invited him into the restaurant and bought him lunch. “He seemed interested,” Worthington said. “We sat around the table. As I shared the gospel with him, the students began to talk, too.”
The Holy Spirit’s presence was clear, Worthington said. The man decided to put his trust Christ as restaurant employees watched.
The 2016 Student Evangelism Conference (SEC) North and South events drew a total of 1,708 students from all over Texas, SBTC student ministry associate Garrett Wagoner told the Southern Baptist TEXAN. The SEC North event was held the Jan. 15-16, and the South event was held Jan. 22-23 at San Antonio’s Castle Hills First Baptist Church.
“We challenge lost students to come to Christ, and we equip saved students to share their faith,” Wagoner said, reporting 130 salvations among SEC attendees, 13 salvations from evangelism efforts, 28 calls to ministry and 58 requests for baptism.
“We are seeing a generation of students embrace the gospel and accept the challenge to take the gospel to Texas and to the ends of the earth,” Wagoner said. “There is a real harvest among teenagers today, and we believe that we can see a true movement of God when teenagers are challenged with the gospel.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Jane Rodgers is a correspondent for the Southern Baptist TEXAN at texanonline.net, newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, where this story first appeared.)