By Brian Blackwell
Message Staff Writer
BOSSIER CITY -Phil Robertson, better known as the Duck Commander, is coming to the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City and the goal is to see many lost people come to Christ Sept. 6.
Phil and son Alan Robertson, recently introduced on the hit A&E show as “the beardless brother,” will highlight an Outdoor Extravaganza featuring giveaways and exhibits by the nation’s top outdoor vendors.
“Phil and Alan Robertson will entertain, inspire and without apology, share the reason for all they do in life—the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Jerry Pipes, executive pastor at First Baptist Bossier City. “Our prayer is that families will be strengthened and that scores of hurting people will find hope through beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Tickets go on sale at 12:01 am on June 25 but churches can reserve group delete tickets prior to that by calling Jake Wood at 318.747.2501. Any group tickets not paid for by the end of the day on June 24 will be available for general admission tickets.
The price for general admission tickets is $18 and $35 for reserved seats.
“The bottom line is we want to reach people for Jesus, period,” said Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church Bossier City, during a meeting on June 5 with area pastors to announce the event. “So we felt like before tickets go on sale and all that we want to get as many pastors together as possible. We just want to cast the vision and do this together. That’s our burden for this outreach event in September.”
The Outdoor Extravaganza will take place from 5-9 p.m. and is being sponsored by First Bossier and Cypress Baptist Church in Benton. Anyone wanting more information may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the event is over those who accept Christ will have their names forwarded to a pastor and church within the new believers’ home zip code for follow-up. A church that agrees to become a partner will have the information about the new believers e-mailed to them by the Sunday morning following the event and that an in-home visit is requested by the end of the following evening.
Upon making a decision at the event, the new believers will receive a copy of Billy Graham’s “Living in Christ” book, which includes the gospel of John, a reading plan for the gospel of John and four key lessons on how to get started in the Christian life.
Pipes said that if a church visits a new believer within 48 to 72 hours of him or her making a decision for Christ, the success rate of a baptism taking place is 70 percent. But if that same believer is not visited until after that time period, Pipes said the success rate of baptism drops to less than 10 percent.
“Satan is in the follow-up business,” said Pipes, a former regional coordinator with My Hope America with Billy Graham. “He is going to do everything he can do to steal whatever fruit there is. He is going to sowing seeds of doubt in their mind of did this really mean anything.
“Their friends are going to try to talk them out of the decision that they made for Christ,” he said. “They are going to go to Barnes and Noble and look for a book on spirituality and find a book on the new age that tells them the Bible is not true.
“Listen, Satan is in the follow-up business,” he continued. “And guys, we’ve got to be better in the follow-up business than the enemy.”
Pipes said the best follow-up will be from a Christian who attends the event personally talking about that decision afterward with a new believer he or she has brought to the Outdoor Extravaganza.
“People reach people,” Pipes said. “The best follow-up is gonna be that your folks get a burden and a passion for their friends and neighbors who don’t know Christ and take them with them. They watch them receive Christ and when the program is over the follow-up begins literally as they walk out of the room.”
John Fream, pastor of Cypress Baptist, expressed excitement over the possibility of thousands coming to know Christ as a result of the Outdoor Extravaganza.
“Folks, we are one of the most churched communities in the nation,” he said. “Where I live there is plenty of lost people. Where you live there is plenty of lost people.
“What we need is a revival and a great awakening around here,” he continued. “Is this event it? I don’t know, but let’s go for it. And I literally believe we can seat 12,000, 13,000 people there. And my prayer is that 6-8,000 of those people are lost people and that we see thousands of people come to faith in Jesus Christ. That’s the vision.
“That’s the plan,” he continued. “We need your help in how to get involved in that and how you can do that. What we are asking you to do is jump on board and get your people to buy tickets, not just for themselves. But we need to get lost people there. That’s the big thing.
“Then we need your help with follow-up,” he said. “If we are going to see several thousand people come to faith in Christ we have a responsibility to follow up on that and we need your help with that.”
The idea for the Outdoor Extravaganza can be traced to 1990, when Larry Lott was involved with bringing a similar outdoor night to the Bossier Civic Center. Sponsored by First Bossier, the event drew 3,500 people.
Of those, 200 made a profession of faith.
Phil Robertson also was the speaker at that event.
“If we can pack this place with 14,000 people or close to it, look what God can do for this community,” said Lott, one of the event organizers. “To me, this guy is just kind of a modern-day missionary that is available for us.
“And what an opportunity that we have that he sees the opportunity to get out and share the gospel,” said Lott, a member of Cypress Baptist. “We felt fortunate. We felt that God has presented an opportunity for North Louisiana, for the community and the churches.”