August 1, 2018
By now, you’ve either read or heard about the recent article in the State newspaper titled, “Losing Faith: Why South Carolina is Abandoning Its Churches”. If you haven’t read it, you can click on this link, and it will take you to it. https://www.thestate.com/article215014375.html
This article has gotten so much attention that a pastor friend of mine from another denomination was involved in a big FaceBook discussion about it on Monday. The newspaper article along with my pastor friend’s discussion focused on changing the way we do church in order to attract more people. There probably is some validity in those arguments if crowds is your goal, but crowds can be fickle. They can turn and run to the next “best” thing at the drop of a hat. I noticed that the one ingredient that was missing from the article and most discussions is evangelism.
Over a year ago, the Lord laid it on my heart to strengthen our Adult Sunday School. I’ve been amazed at the results from our efforts. Recently, we turned the reigns of the Adult Sunday School over to a very competent Sunday School Director, Suzie Cashwell. About the same time as Suzie began her transition to Director, the Lord began to show me that we needed to be involved with evangelism. This weekend, as I reflected on the article, and the Lord’s direction, it occurred to me that Sunday School was the evangelism arm of the church for Southern Baptists in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It’s no coincidence that during those years Southern Baptist churches saw unprecedented growth.
This past Sunday, the Lord laid a message on my heart about salvation (The Ingredients for Salvation). It should be on the website by Tuesday morning. https://wisedrivebaptist.org/events-media/sermons/ While I was preaching, it became evident to me that God wants WDBC to do evangelism. He wants us to reach out to the lost people of Sumter, and introduce them to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I told the congregation that I hoped God would save so many people that we’d have to keep water in the baptistry and the cover off. In Acts chapter two, Peter stood up and preached about the salvation of Christ. Verse 41 says that 3,000 people were saved and added to the church that day. Don’t doubt God. He can get the job done!