What’s Ahead Next Year?
Recently I listened to a message delivered by one of our SBC officials concerning the number of church members it takes for the church to have a single baptism in a year. According to that message for every forty eight members, a church can expect to see one baptism. That may sound shocking to you. It certainly shocked me. Even though we talked this summer about the push for a Great Commission Resurgence in our hearts, our churches, and our Convention, this number is still shocking. Further it makes the call of Morris Chapman even more poignant. He called for each Southern Baptist to begin thinking and praying for just one more soul to be won to the Kingdom.
Now folks I wanted to share this only because it is very easy for us to forget the reality of such figures when our church has seen the Lord bless us so greatly in the past few months. In fact it reminds me of taking a trip in the days before we had GPS devices. If you did not pay attention no one was there to tell you it was time to turn. With that in mind the North American Mission Board of the SBC has been working on a plan for churches to be intentional about God’s Plan for Sharing. This effort basically pushes for each member and each church to devote considerable attention to praying, connecting, sharing, inviting, and seeing lost people saved and baptized by Easter 2010. As such in our church I want to see us join this PUSH. Let me explain by using an acrostic.
- Pick and Pray: As the new year begins I want to encourage every person who is a member of our congregation to pick out one person they know who is lost or whose walk is not right and pray for them for at least thirty days.
- Utilize Every Gospel Opportunity: Not only with the person you are praying for, but with all whom you come in contact during the month of February simply seek say something about your faith in Jesus Christ with words and acts of love towards others. Try to intentionally connect with the one for whom you prayed.
- Share the Good News and a Simple Invitation: The prayer and intentional connection you make with those in your circle of contacts comes to fruition here. During March aim, share a simple gospel message that Jesus came at Easter to pay the penalty for sin allowing God to forgive us. To receive this forgiveness all we must do is repent or turn from our sin and trust Christ with all of our life. Then ask the person to be at church on Palm Sunday (3/28/10).
- Hand the Results Over to God and Hope for Easter Baptisms: After you have shared your witness the conviction and convincing must come from Spirit as he works on the heart. Even so the hope that we have as believers is that the Spirit will do his work and conversion will happen. As such we will be planning for an Easter Baptism service in that hope!