While it will still be a few weeks before the impact of ACROSS Oklahoma is fully known, Alan Quigley believes in his heart that thousands of Oklahoma Baptists praying and working together for two consecutive weekends will have an impact on the Kingdom of God.
Quigley, evangelism specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, said several things worked together to help ACROSS Oklahoma impact the state. Those included Pray ACROSS Oklahoma, ACROSS Oklahoma itself, an early Easter and dedicated involvement of laity in the churches.
Only one week came between ACROSS Oklahoma and Easter this year. Last year, the interim was two weeks. Quigley said he thinks the shorter timeframe, however, helped keep awareness at a higher level.
“We were kind of forced into a shorter timeframe because of an early Easter and our desire to do a prayerwalk,” he said. “But we’re certain that having the prayer walk on March 8 was the right thing to do, and then doing the distribution a week later, because it’s was going to make the event fresh on people’s minds. The important aspect was that we covered the whole community in prayer; we prepared the soil before we stuck the seed in it.”
Quigley said he thinks the second year of an event is always better because there’s a higher level of recognition.
“People noticed the commercials more this year than they did last time, which is interesting to me,” he said. “I have had a lot more people tell me they have seen the commercials this time than they did last year.”
He attributed much of the success of ACROSS Oklahoma to the hard work of the laypeople in the churches.
“I’m convinced, if it’s something worthy, laypeople upline it and the whole church then gets on board to make it successful,” Quigley said. “The thing about ACROSS Oklahoma that I think is most exciting is that it really has been a laity led strategy.
“The laity have been the driving force in many of our events, and they have taken the lead in this one. They know the pastor and staff are always overloaded and they stepped up and said ‘I’ll take the lead.’
Quigley has e-mailed directors of missions across the state to get a list of the churches that picked up ACROSS Oklahoma materials from them.
“That will tell us how many churches actually participated in ACROSS Oklahoma, and after that I’ll send out a questionnaire like we did last year to pastors. A couple of weeks after Easter we’ll start getting reports.”
Informative tips for churches to use for follow-up after ACROSS Oklahoma are contained in an ACROSS Oklahoma 2008 leader’s guide available at www.bgco.org. Click on the resources tab, then the following links in succession: Evangelism, ACROSS Oklahoma, ACROSS 2008, ACROSS 2008 Leader’s Guide.pdf.