Ten new believers were baptized by Duke, First following the church’s ACROSS Oklahoma gospel seed-sowing effort!
Members of the church visited homes on Saturday, leaving gospel presentations at each home and inviting residents to revival services that began the following day. God poured forth his Spirit, and 10 came forward for baptism, ranging from 10-74 years in age. And Duke doesn’t even have a pastor! Others that First Church members visited were saved and made their faith known in other churches.
The stories of God’s gracious work ACROSS Oklahoma are mounting. With much follow-up still occurring, churches are reporting many salvation decisions and baptisms as a result of the Gospel seed-sowing Oklahoma Baptists did March 31. Approximately 650,000 homes in Oklahoma received a gospel presentation brochure, and information from a local Baptist church, delivered to their doorstep. That is half of all homes in Oklahoma!
In Forgan, a small town of 500 people in the Panhandle, five people prayed to receive Jesus when members of First Church came to their homes to share the Gospel with them. Nine others have made professions of faith in the worship services, making a total of 14 professions of faith for this church that averages 60 people in Sunday School. In addition, three new families visited the church on Easter Sunday, when 120 were present for worship. Pastor Paul Dickson said the entire evangelistic effort was bathed in prayer over a seven-week period, including home prayer meetings. Church members also were trained in how to share the Gospel before they went door-to-door. In addition to reaching the lost, the church’s commitment to share Christ’s love with its community has led some inactive members to become active again.
Eagle Heights Church in Stillwater saw 12 professions of faith in Christ, with eight others rededicating their lives to Jesus. Pastor Jimmy Kinnaird encouraged the church to pray for each home as they left information on the door. Many churches emphasized that the distribution of the Gospel was an opportunity to prayer walk their town as they went door-to-door. Kinnaird also made the observation that as they walked the streets of Stillwater, they discovered new homes, and even apartment complexes, that they didn’t know existed. Kinnaird said, “We could have mailed the information to each home, but by getting our people onto the streets, they prayed for each home as they went, and we discovered things about our community we would not have known through a simple mailing.”
These are just a few examples of the many to stories that need to be shared. Here at the Baptist Building, we have been getting responses from atheists, Jewish people, homosexuals and others, which indicates our churches penetrated parts of their communities that sometimes we do not visit. In this, we see that ACROSS Oklahoma has assisted each of us in becoming more missional. We are taking the Gospel to all types of people, and we are learning more about our communities and the kinds of people we need to reach. We must continue to do this. Missional evangelism is based on understanding our communities and peoples, and then sharing Christ’s love with them in the most effective way.
What can your church do to follow up on the ACROSS Oklahoma outreach? First, follow up on every guest who visits your church with a visit to their homes, a phone call and even a letter. Effective evangelistic churches follow up with every guest. If someone from their Sunday School class visits or calls, this is even better. Moreover, more than 900 people have thus far sent in a reply card requesting a free gospel book. One hundred fifty-one of these have said they have received Christ and want to profess Him in a local Baptist church! The names of these will be distributed through the local Directors of Missions office to all churches which participated in ACROSS Oklahoma.
Second, be ready for guests when they arrive at your church. Evangelistic churches know how to make people feel welcome, and they know how to express true joy in worship. Joy and gratitude expressed by followers of Jesus Christ capture the attention of lost sheep and help prepare them to hear the Gospel.
A full report of all that is happening through the ACROSS Oklahoma outreach effort will not be available for a few more weeks. Until that time, we want to hear from you regarding what God is doing. And together, we want to rejoice with you, even as all of Heaven rejoices when one lost sheep comes home to the Lord Jesus. Praise the Lord!