Before I became executive director-treasurer of this Convention I served as executive leader for the mission growth evangelism group, what we refer to now as our evangelization group. Evangelism has always been a very important part of my life. I am thankful for every opportunity God gives me to share how the gospel changed my life.
The Bible tells us in Romans that people cannot believe in Jesus if they have not heard of Jesus. God has entrusted to us His gospel message and commands us to tell others.
One way your Convention staff is seeking to help churches make evangelism a priority is through the Intentionally Evangelistic Church Strategy, or IECS. This is a strategy that Don McCutcheon, our executive leader for evangelization, developed to help teach churches to be intentional in fulfilling the Great Commission.
In 1997, while still serving as director of evangelism strategy for the Florida Baptist Convention, Don first introduced IECS. Since then, more than 200 churches have implemented the strategy, and 40 percent of those churches doubled in baptisms in two years or less.
IECS is based on four principles: Every Christian is called by God to be involved in the Great Commission; evangelism begins with the local church; churches are different and must find their own way to evangelize their community; and God wants to bless Christians in reaching nonbelievers.
The five-part strategy includes evangelistic leadership, evangelistic prayer, assimilation, event evangelism and personal evangelism.
Churches are encouraged to develop an individualized process for effective evangelism that incorporates these five elements.
If your church has not participated in IECS, please pray about doing so. You can find more information at ncbaptist.org/iecs.
With Easter Sunday almost upon us, I also want to encourage you to join us in our Easter evangelism emphasis.
As part of this year’s Find It Here: Expanding the Kingdom missions focus, we are also inviting North Carolina Baptists to participate in an intentional Easter evangelism emphasis.
For the past two years, hundreds of churches across the state have participated and we have seen the gospel transform lives.
More details about this emphasis are available at 2010.finditherenc.org.
As we pray about being more intentionally evangelistic, what better time than during this Easter season?
There’s still time for you to go across the street and invite a neighbor to come to church with you on Easter. Pastors, there’s still time for you to prepare an evangelistic sermon for Easter Sunday.
If we are going to reach this state and this world for Jesus we must begin with prayer. In our own strength and abilities we can do nothing. Scripture commands that we go and tell, but only God can save and only God can draw people unto Himself. Please pray that Jesus Christ would open the hearts of lost people so that they will come to know Him as Savior and Lord.
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God …. Ye must be born again.” – John 3:3, 7
Evangelical training helps churches reach communities