I want you to be blessed, as I am, with three stories that have come across my desk. This new year is a time to show our Lord how much we believe His Word ... enough that we will tell others what He has done for us and how they can have eternal life.
"Last summer our twelfth-grade girls' FAITH team led Hanna to Christ. She was a foreign exchange student from Vietnam. This fall she studied and attended church and Bible study, and then got involved in Student FAITH. She went with us on our youth mission trip and personally led three to Christ. All the time she was witnessing to her family and friends back home in Vietnam — three have come to know Christ. She now believes the Lord is calling her to be a missionary to her own country and has enrolled in Liberty University. Is youth evangelism important? I'm confident the Lord thinks so!"
Todd Carr, youth pastor, First Baptist Church, Callahan, Florida
"Bro. Bobby, on your bus trip you said there must be 29 million out there waiting for someone to leave the confines of the church and come and share with them. Last week we found one of those because we were faithful to go. We found her while making a "new move-in" visit. She was recently divorced and had been wondering if there was a God. She has lived in Tallahassee all her life but had never been to church and had never heard how to become a Christian! She said she had been praying if there was a God that He would show Himself to her because she needed help! Then we showed up at her door! We assured her there was a God and that He cared for her. It is true — if we will go ... we will find them waiting."
Curtis Clark, pastor, Thomasville Road Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida
"Pat was a young man who, when I met him, was enslaved to alcohol and drugs and was neglecting his wife and children. With other personal sins to his credit, he had sunk as low as he could go.
One night my wife and I took him and his wife out to dinner. I shared the gospel with Pat using the FAITH presentation. He bowed his head and asked Christ to be his Lord and Savior. Shortly thereafter he began attending church. Then he enthusiastically joined FAITH Evangelism and has completed four semesters. On Easter of 2004 he told the church his story. He told them that one dinner, where he prayed, was the best dinner of his life! He encouraged the church to never give up on people and winning the lost."
Wyman Richardson, pastor, First Baptist Church, Dawson, Georgia
Hanna and Pat are success stories and there are thousands, if not millions, of others out there waiting for you to come out of the church and to tell them about Jesus. Pastor Clark tells us it is true — they are out there! And they are waiting.
There are thousands of churches that can be stronger Great Commission churches right where they are, with what they have — if only they will do it NOW. What better New Year's resolution than to decide to do it now? God bless each of you as you seek the lost and lead them to Jesus.
Bobby H. Welch is president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.