The Duncan Banner

Religion

June 13, 2014

On the Southern Baptist agenda: Get the evangelizers evangelizing

BALTIMORE — From Billy Graham's roadside tent revivals to Jerry Falwell's TV ministries to Rick Warren's 20,000-member megachurch, Southern Baptists dominate the evangelical brand in America.

This is apt for the country's largest Protestant denomination, whose doctrine says nonbelievers are doomed to hell. Sharing one's story of coming to Christ and bringing others along are among the core responsibilities of a Southern Baptist.

But as the group held its annual meeting this week in Baltimore, the top agenda item was this: The evangelicals aren't evangelizing.

Baptisms have been going steadily down in the past decade for the first time since records started to be kept in the 1800s, according to the denomination's LifeWay Research. Other LifeWay research about devout Protestants generally shows other measures down as well, such as how often people look for ways to share the gospel or to create intentional relationships with nonbelievers.

The question of how to function openly as a religious person in an increasingly secular, relativistic culture is not particular to Southern Baptists. Catholic Church leaders have dubbed this the era of the "new evangelization," and the Mormon Church has expanded its online outreach.

But an evangelization crisis feels a bit different to the 16-million-strong Southern Baptist Convention.

"I always resist the word 'crisis,' but in this case, I think when your name is 'Baptist' and you're named after baptisms, yes, this is a crisis," said Ed Stetzer, a pastor and author who is president of LifeWay Research.

Thousands of Southern Baptists at the meeting approved a resolution vowing to revitalize the practice and prayed for forgiveness.

"God, please forgive us for not being obedient and sharing the good news of the Gospel with those in our community," outgoing president Fred Luter said in his address Tuesday.

Text Only
Religion
  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 11, 2014

  • Ignite Church gun gifts.jpg Church lures worshippers with AR-15 giveaway

    Talk about praising the Lord and passing the ammunition. A church decided against using pies or quilts to bring out the faithful. Instead, Ignite Church, already known for its steamy marketing campaigns, put "dudes" in  the pews with an AR-15 giveaway.

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • On the Southern Baptist agenda: Get the evangelizers evangelizing

    From Billy Graham's roadside tent revivals to Jerry Falwell's TV ministries to Rick Warren's 20,000-member megachurch, Southern Baptists dominate the evangelical brand in America.

    June 13, 2014

  • OACD, Oklahoma Conference of Churches pair up for ‘drought prayer’

    Oklahomans are being asked to focus on water conservation and stewardship and continue to keep drought-affected areas in their thoughts. A state-wide day of prayer has been set for 6 p.m. Sept. 18, backed by Oklahoma Conservation Districts, Oklahoma Conference of Churches and Whole Creation Community partnership.

    September 2, 2013

  • 9-1 Michael Shank visits Duncan, Ridleys.jpg Relearning religion opened doors

    Almost everyone has at least one defining experience in their life which makes them take a closer look at all the beliefs they hold.
    For Michael Shank, author of “Muscle and a Shovel,” his came when he attended a Bible study taught by a former co-worker only revealed as Randall.
    Shank will share his story Sunday, Sept. 1, in three services at Eastside Church of Christ.
    Services will be open to the public and are at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    August 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • Church briefs for Aug. 30

    Duncan and Stephens County churches offer a variety of services and activities. Church briefs for Friday, Aug. 30, for the coming week. Church brief deadline is noon Wednesday for publication in the Friday print edition.

    August 31, 2013

  • Area pastors reach out to community after tragic shooting

    Local ministers are encouraging their congregations to use prayer in dealing with emotions of worry and fear that have surfaced following the shooting death of Chris Lane, a college baseball player who was visiting Sarah Harper, his girlfriend here.

    August 28, 2013

  • 7-26 IBC Marketplace3.jpg Children transported to Biblical days at IBC

    Paul was Saul but he’s really Craig Taliaferro. Confusing right?

    July 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Church briefs for July 26

    Area church briefs share upcoming activities, beginning today.

    July 26, 2013

  • 6-28 Church Briefs

    June 28, 2013

Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.