- This event has passed.
ROAD TO RENEWAL: Day 2: Evangelism
Road to Renewal, Day 2: Evangelism
Baptists are supposed to be evangelical Christians. We see it as part of our Christian mandate to share our faith with others in the hope that they will embrace Jesus as their Savior and Lord. But except for a few Churches and a few traditional outreach attempts, we fall woefully short on our evangelism mandate.
Evangelism directed toward African Americans is a complex and challenging proposition in the 21st Century Church, for several reasons:
- For the first time in our history, the traditional African American Church is tasked with reaching out to five generations—from Baby Boomers to Generation Z—each with its own unique way of receiving information, perceptions of organizational structure, and expectations from its Church organizations.
- Though relatively small by comparison, there is a consistent group of about 15% of African American Church attendees that are attracted to multi-ethnic Churches or Churches that are led by white Pastors. For these people, the traditional Church often is seen as, “too limited” in its Gospel presentation and Church programming.
- Though it is at a much slower rate by comparison to other ethnic groups, there is a clear pattern of secularization within the African American community. More black people feel that there is no need for the Church or organized religion in their lives. They prefer to call themselves, “spiritual,” and do not identify with being, “religious.”
- There is practically no interest in denominational distinctions within our Churches. In response, many traditional African American Churches are opting to drop their denominational affiliation from their name or their Gospel presentation.
- The explosion of television and social media ministries have caused many younger African American seekers to question the need to come to a traditional House of Worship, when they can worship privately from their home, their office of anywhere of their choosing.
Mindful of these challenges, there are some truths that we cannot overlook:
- There is less likelihood of winning a soul for Christ after the person has reached the age of 15. In other words, we need to reach people with the Gospel as early and as often as possible.
- When Jesus came out of the wilderness and initiated His ministry, He came doing three things—Preaching, Teaching and Healing. This is the foundation of our evangelism thrust.
- The message of the Gospel is still the only hope that we have for kingdom citizenship in this life and for eternal life with God, in heaven.
- There is still only one Name, under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved, and that is the name of Jesus.
Thus, on our Road to Renewal, it is vital that we keep before us the importance of Evangelism, and that we regularly review and modify our efforts to meet the changing needs of those we seek to serve.