By Staff, Baptist Message
ALEXANDRIA (LBM)–Momentum is building for what likely will be the largest joint evangelistic effort in the state among Louisiana Baptist churches, according to Keith Manuel, Louisiana Baptists evangelism associate.
Manuel said 536 churches already have signed up, as of July 6, to participate in the Harvest, Louisiana Baptists’ campaign to “pray for every home and share Christ with every person” in the state. If the goal of at least 700 churches is reached, it would be the most churches who have participated together at one time in a combined evangelism effort across the state.
“Every church can participate to the degree they are capable,” Manuel told the Baptist Message. “All of us should be praying for the lost, preparing to share our faith with our friends, participating and encouraging others through Bible study and bringing others into a family of faith.
It’s our ongoing work,” he said.
According to previous news reports, last year was spent sharing the vision with pastors and developing plans with them. This year, more churches are signing up, and statewide evangelism training is happening even while different evangelistic events are taking place. Meanwhile, 2018 is dedicated for a strong push for concentrated prayer and more soul-winning activities. The cooperative effort includes a diversity of approaches such as multi-church crusades, door-to-door outreach, one-on-one evangelism, single-church revivals and other activities which leverage compassion ministries to share about the love of Christ.
A few Harvest pilot efforts already have been completed this year, including:
— Student Night, Jan. 24, during the Louisiana Baptists Evangelism Conference, Temple Baptist Church, Ruston (dozens came forward for prayer: 34 persons made spiritual decisions – 10 repented for salvation, 13 repented to restore their fellowship with Christ, nine made other commitments, two declared a call to vocational ministry);
— Hope, Love and Freedom spiritual renewal for believers, April 3-5, at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond (200 attended the first night, building to more than 700 the final night);
— Real Hope crusade, April 30-May 3, at Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Winnfield Middle School (700 attended each night of the four-day revival; 25 repented in making first-time public professions of faith in Jesus, 35 repented and recommitted their lives to Christ, two surrendered to career ministry); and,
— Red River Association crusade, May 21-27, at the Red River Parish fairgrounds and churches in Coushatta and Ringgold (19 accepted Christ and many believers became passionate about evangelism).
Manuel encourages all churches interested in participating in the Harvest to visit the website, louisianabaptists.org/harvest, to access resources and learn more about how they can participate.
“We have provided tools for any context,” Manuel said. “Whether you are a rural church, an urban church, a small church or a large church, Harvest is for you.
“The tools are to encourage and equip your congregation to fulfill the Great Commission,” he continued. “The unique portion of Harvest is the cooperation in our associations to saturate our communities with the Gospel, something we can’t do individually but we can accomplish collectively.”