FRESNO – There is still time to make reservations for pre-rally dinners in conjunction with four On Target Evangelism Conferences scheduled Feb. 18-21 to “motivate, convict and challenge every believer to be active in reaching 33 million Californians.”
Randy McWhorter, California Southern Baptist Convention evangelism director and leader of the healthy church group, said there is a limited number of spaces (100) available for the dinner at each location. The dinner is designed to provide more personal interaction with Reggie McNeal, a keynote speaker for the event and one of America’s foremost Christian leadership experts.
The dinner will include a challenge by McNeal with “Q & A” as time permits. Cost of the pre-rally dinner is $20 per person, and reservations must be made in advance.
McWhorter stressed that even though there is a charge for the dinner, “the rallies are free. My prayer is for pastors to bring as many church leaders as possible to each event.”
The gatherings are slated for Feb. 18 at Pathways Community Church in Santee; Feb. 19 at Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles in Alhambra; Feb. 20 at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis; and Feb. 21 at Southwinds Church in Tracy. All rallies are scheduled from 7:00-9:30 p.m.
The rallies are an effort to get as close to as many California Southern Baptists as possible so “they can be exposed to an evangelistic spirit that will inspire us to do our best” evangelistically throughout 2013, according to McWhorter.
The “One Night-One Reason” events are designed to heighten awareness that there are “33 million lost people in our state who don’t know Jesus Christ as Savior,” McWhorter said. “California has more lost people than any other US state and has as many lost people as the entire population of Canada. It is time for California Southern Baptists to focus on what really matters – 33 million lost people,” he declared.
In redesigning the On Target Evangelism Conference for 2013, McWhorter said the goal was to “include more churches, more pastors and staff, and more lay leaders” who could attend a “one-night rally close by rather than a two-day conference.”
“There is a one-night rally within 100 miles of 96 percent of all CSBC churches,” McWhorter noted. “My thinking was that participants could have no more than a three-hour round-trip drive combined with a two-and-a-half hour rally without spending the night.
“Evangelism is caught more than it is taught,” McWhorter said. “It is crucial for lay persons to be exposed to an evangelistic spirit promoted at these rallies, which also will encourage and inspire continuous evangelistic efforts in our daily lives.”
He added that lifestyle evangelism is taught in scripture and modeled in the life of Jesus and His disciples.
“I believe these one-night rallies will assist church leaders in developing an evangelistic climate in their church,” McWhorter said.
The speakers were specifically enlisted to encourage believers to share in California’s culture, he noted. McNeal, missional leadership specialist for Leadership Network in Dallas, will encourage participants to focus on what really matters in reaching the lost, McWhorter said. David Kinnaman, president and majority owner of Barna Group, will help churches recognize the unique challenges of reaching emerging generations that don’t know Christ.
Leading worship for the rallies and at the dinner will be Rick Muchow, who recently “retired” as worship leader in one of CSBC’s most evangelistic churches – Saddleback Church in Lake Forest – after nearly 25 years.
McWhorter said two evangelistic emphases for 2013 and 2014 also will be introduced during the rallies. The 2013 emphasis is in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “My Hope” encourages churches to organize home groups where the gospel is shared with neighbors, family and friends.
2014 “God’s Plan for Sharing”
Also, the 2014 evangelistic emphasis, “Sharing Across California,” is a partnership with 46,000 Southern Baptist churches through the SBC’s “God’s Plan for Sharing” emphasis, entitled, “Sharing Across North America.” McWhorter said this will be the third of six national evangelistic emphases designed to reach every person with the gospel and encourage every believer to share the gospel.
“Serving Across California” will be the theme, to encourage churches to get outside the church walls and serve their communities through a variety of service projects.
“Good deeds plus good news generate goodwill in the community and provides open door opportunities for churches to show Christ’s love and actively share their faith,” McWhorter said.
He noted a printable bulletin insert is available online for download.
To make reservations, or for more information about the one-night rallies, visit www.ontargetevangelism.com or call 559-229-9533, ext. 245.
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