DULUTH — Today’s news headlines demand a premium on preaching the Gospel and will serve as the backdrop for the 2017 Georgia Baptist Evangelism Conference.
“No church drifts toward evangelism,” said Scott Smith, Georgia Baptist Mission Board state missionary in Church Revitalization and Evangelism in a promotional video. “We tend to drift away into other things. … If careful attention is not given over time the ‘evangelism muscle’ in a church begins to atrophy. Evangelism itself becomes an addendum.”
The conference will be held Jan. 23-24 at Central Baptist Church in Warner Robins. No early registration fee is required and the event is free.
Derwin Gray, founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church in the Charlotte, NC area, will be the featured speaker in a lineup including Georgia pastors Frank Cox, Michael Catt, Bill Purvis and Jeff Crook alongside John Bisagno, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Houston, TX; Beeson Divinity School Robert Smith, Jr., Texas pastor Ed Newton, Jacksonville, FL pastor Herb Reavis, and Las Vegas pastor Vance Pitman. The Akins will provide special music while Gerald Malloy will lead worship.
Why so urgent
“The Urgency of the Gospel” serves as this year’s theme. Smith pointed out the connection with what pastors, lay leaders – pretty much anyone with access to media – see daily. Smith encouraged pastors to bring lay leaders, spouses, and anyone else who would like to increase their role in evangelism.
“No matter where you go in the New Testament you find evangelism is on God’s heart. It’s not an afterthought, it’s a first thought.
“… Every crack in government, every protest rally, every racial conflict ultimately is a cry for the Gospel. The need is great. The time is now.”