Thomas Hammond, president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, has issued a challenge, thrown down the gauntlet, and called for all Georgia Baptists to be on deck for The Big Invite. He wants you and your church to join 3,600 Georgia Baptist churches in one united effort to invite one million Georgians to be in church on Easter Sunday, April 16th.
Go to The Big Invite website and register your church to be a part of this extraordinary experience. Follow the guide and get the resources available to map out your plan to make this Easter a milestone in your church’s history.
LifeWay Research has discovered that 83 percent of Americans would attend church if invited. This Easter we could have more people in Georgia Baptist churches than ever and more souls saved than ever on one Sunday. You must begin to plan your strategy for The Big Invite now.
Christian Index Editor J. Gerald Harris is interviewing our four vice presidents to find out how they are preparing to make this Easter the most significant day in Georgia Baptist history. The following interview is with Joey Taylor, pastor of Springhead Baptist Church in Adel and second vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. For the first story with First Vice President Jim Perdue, click here.
The Christian Index: Thomas Hammond has issued a big challenge for Georgia Baptists – to visit one million homes in order to invite people to church on Easter Sunday. What do you think of that ambitious goal?
Joey Taylor: I feel that this is a very challenging, yet attainable, goal. We have been entrusted with resources to accomplish our outreach efforts like no generation has ever known. I am of the conviction that because we have such great resources we too have a great responsibility and Dr. Hammond has been faithful to call us as Georgia Baptists to action.
The Index: What would you say to pastors about joining the effort to reach one million homes with the Big Invite?
Joey Taylor: I would strongly encourage every pastor to join the initiative and lead their people by example to invite people not only to church, but to Christ. I don’t know of a faithful pastor anywhere who doesn’t want his church to grow both numerically and spiritually. The Big Invite is a good opportunity for us as pastors to do both. With the online resources put together by Dr. Hammond and his team and made available to us through the gifts given to the Cooperative Program at no additional cost, I can’t think of any logical reason not to take full advantage of this opportunity.
The Index: How many homes do you think Springhead Baptist can reach out to in this effort?
Joey Taylor: Springhead is unique in that we are known by a lot of people as the “big church in the middle of nowhere.” Compared to the average rural church situated six miles outside of a small town, we are blessed with a big beautiful sanctuary.
Though we are in rural South Georgia there are still over 900 homes and around 2,200 people within a five-mile radius. I am planning on leading our people to reach out in several different ways – using door-to-door visitation, post cards, social media, radio, and newspaper. I could see us reaching several hundred homes through neighborhood canvassing. The Adel Advertiser is a publication mailed weekly to 9,000 homes in Cook County so we will take advantage of a front-page ad with an invitation to Easter services. So through door-to-door visitation, post cards, social media, radio, and newspaper we will have the opportunity to encourage thousands to be in church Easter Sunday morning.
The Index: Do you have any idea how you will mobilize your people to visit these homes?
Joey Taylor: I will begin by preaching on the Great Commission and in that sermon I will share the statistics from our Community Assessment Profile prepared through Research Services of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. I believe by sharing God’s command and being reminded of the great need in our community that it will compel us to roll up our sleeves and go to work.
Once I have reminded our people of the urgency through preaching I will then lead our people to pray for God to burden our hearts for the lost and God’s blessing on our outreach efforts to reach the lost and unchurched in our community.
Next I will enlist a group of volunteers to help plan. We will work together to organize a course of action on preparing teams to visit specific places across our community over the course of several Saturday mornings.
Finally will be the time for congregational participation. This will be the time for us to take what we have prepared for through preaching, praying, and planning and put it into shoe leather.
The Index: How many did you have in worship last Easter? Will you set an attendance goal for this Easter?
Joey Taylor: We had just over 200 in attendance at Springhead last year and I plan on setting a goal of 350 for this year.