Thursday, December 25, 2008

Printer-friendly Version E-mail Story

Crossover Louisville will present witnessing chances for students before SBC annual meeting in June 2009
December 1, 2008
By David Roach

In June, students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will have the opportunity to participate in an event that resulted in more than 600 people professing faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior last year.

As a part of the Crossover evangelism campaign preceding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, students will be able to take the Gospel to the streets June 14-20, 2009 with Intentional Community Evangelism (ICE) teams coordinated through the North American Mission Board. The teams will canvass strategic neighbor-hoods and streets from morning until night, beginning evangelistic conversations.

A similar effort before the 2008 SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis yielded 659 professions of faith in Christ.

"We're hoping next year to have a very large number of teams going out," Charlie Davis, pastor of Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church in Louisville and coordinator of the local ICE ef-fort, said.

There are two ways Louisville Southern Baptists can become involved in the effort, Davis explained. Some churches are needed to volunteer to be officially affiliated with the ICE campaign. These churches will send members to training sessions on evangelism, prayer walking and follow-up prior to the effort and handle follow-up for people committing their lives to Jesus in June, Davis said.

But any other believer in the city can participate by accompanying a trained ICE team leader during the campaign, he said. Interested witnesses can join the effort for as little as a day or as much as the entire week.

Joining the effort gives seminary students a good opportunity to see the power of the Gospel to change lives instantly, Davis said, adding that Christians often wrongly believe that people will never commit their lives to Christ unless a friend shares the message of Jesus with them for months.

"It's all about God. If there's already been planting (of the Gospel), already been some watering going on in people's lives, God's already at work ... many times they accept Christ on the spot," he said.

Working with the ICE teams will also help students get over the fear of rejection when sharing the Gospel, Davis said. When a person witnesses all day, he will have many experiences of rejection, he said, but each rejection will decrease the fear.

"If you're too concerned about yourself and what people think about you, how you're perceived, you're not going to be effective at sharing the Gospel with people," he said.

Davis added that people who refuse to listen to ICE teams are actually not rejecting the witnesses personally. "When you go out and you do that all day, and you're rejected over and over, the reality is that they're not rejecting you," he said. "They're not ready. They're rejecting Christ. They're rejecting the Gospel." Participating in Crossover through ICE teams also will provide a great opportunity for fellowship and fun with other believers, he said.

Even churches that are not officially affiliated with the ICE campaign may become involved in the fellowship by providing meals for the teams who go
out witnessing.

"It's a great way to spend a week building new relationships with other believers and praying with people," Davis said. "We have a lot of fun."

The greatest joy for all who participate, however, will be experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit operating through the Word of God, he said.

"It about how God's at work in people's lives," he said, "and the Holy Spirit if God's been at work in their lives and you share the Gospel, the Holy Spirit works."

2008, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - All Rights Reserved
Home | Contact Us | Reprint Permission