Regional XPs and the future

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We now have more details online about the regional Engage XP events. Basically, where there are morning and/or afternoon events, these sessions will be geared to church growth issues and are designed for pastors, church staff and laypeople. Where there is an evening event, that portion will be an evangelistic rally for church members to bring their lost friends. Looks like a great approach.

“We just want people to be inspired, encouraged, uplifted and trained” in evangelism, says Jon Randles.

For those who live near these events — El Paso, Belton, Kingwood, San Antonio and Midland — start making plans to attend and to bring others with you. For those who live too far away, please be in prayer for these — that God will stir our people.

In response to an earlier post, a number of people have made good points about the cost of travel and the need for regional events in even more areas. Jon knows this year’s five XP events do not get into every area, and that pains him. He mentioned the Panhandle, East Texas and South Texas as not having one close. But he made a promise — if Engage XPs can be held next year, then those areas will be able to host one.

I could see a day when we had regional events rotating on maybe a two or three-year cycle, which would mean that every two or three years an area would have an evangelism event closer by. I also like the idea of simulcasting the main event in other locations.

Pray for Jon as we move forward in evangelism. He has a lot of people in his ear, and he has a passion to do as much as possible to spread the good news. Pray that he will have wisdom in moving forward.

One final note: In the earlier blog I love the way people have been supportive while offering constructive suggestions. This is such a healthy and powerful way to proceed in God’s work.

19 Responses to “Regional XPs and the future”

  1. David Says:

    “. . . Pray for Jon as we move forward . . .” is right.

    Jon promised supporters of his evangelism ministry that, despite taking on the new role as BGCT evangelism director, that ministry wouldn’t miss a beat–and it appears that it hasn’t during these several months now. His next break/open dates appear to be a few days in May when he has no speaking engagements scheduled, and then again for some days during the summer months. Jon probably works 60-80 hours per week conducting event evangelism activities AND leading the evangelism section of the BGCT.

    The approach may be fairly different than with previous men serving in the same convention position, but the gains are/can be considerable–almost every day. Prayer is a great idea (for Jon AND his BGCT team) which will bear fruit around Texas!

  2. Tim Dahl Says:

    The idea of a simulcast is a great idea. You may also be able to have a few break out sessions at the satellite locations as well. Actually, if collaborated with the Associations, there could be a satellite in every region of the State! The Associations could be responsible for the break out sessions. I think this is positive, since they may have a better understanding of what people need in their area.

    Just my 2 cents. I’m going to see if I can get down to Belton.

    Tim

  3. Jeff Parsons Says:

    “Where there is an evening event, that portion will be an evangelistic rally for church members to bring their lost friends. Looks like a great approach.”

    Has anyone considered the lack of success event evangelism has had over the last few years? Isn’t the training needed more along the line of teaching God’s people how to personally evangelize and then disciple that person? As long as we rely on what we used to do, we’ll get what we’re used to getting.

    Training people to be more missional and incarnational will produce the long term results we’re seeking. Too bad we don’t have a staff position for that…….then again we did at one time……

  4. Tim Dahl Says:

    As a “Younger Evangelical,” I tend to think that “event evangelism” is just about as useful as a knife in a gun fight. However, realizing that the “Traditionalists and Pragmatists” still find a great sense comfort from the events, I doubt that they will stop. Just don’t expect salvations to happen, more so than a possible rejuvenation of the believers in attendance. I agree that we need to go more towards a holistic embodiment of evangelism, more so than the event orientation of the 70s and 80s.

    On another note, wouldn’t it be neat if Jon Randles wrote a blog post telling about who he is? I’ve honestly never heard of the guy. Perhaps he could tell us what he thinks evangelism will look like in the BGCT to win the post-mods, as well as the growing Latino population. I think it would be a great way for him to get some “buy in” from us on the fringe.

    Tim Dahl

  5. David Says:

    1. Jon Randles info: http://www.jonrandles.org

    2. Six styles of evangelism found practiced by people in the New Testament: confrontational, intellectual, interpersonal, invitational, serving, testimonial (cf. Becoming a Contagious Christian, by Bill Hybels and others).

    Event evangelism is one way–no lost people of any age-range will be saved during such events unless they actually are present, and none will be present unless one or more of these 6 styles is practiced by believers in order to draw them there.

  6. David Says:

    Christianity Today Poll (664 responses as of 7:50 a.m. on 01/22/08)

    Do you have a hard time telling people about how to become a Christian?

    Yes, if I feel the person is uninterested or hostile: 35%

    Yes, since I’m confused myself: 2%

    Yes, I’m uncomfortable talking about religion in general: 5%

    Yes (other): 15%

    No, I’m used to it: 8%

    No, I enjoy talking about Jesus with anyone: 29%

    No, because other people usually initiate the conversation with me: 6%

    I’m not a Christian myself: 0%

    SUMMARY: “Do you have a hard time telling people about how to become a Christian?”

    YES: 57%
    NO: 43%

    Me: Not everyone has a confrontational style of evangelism–if the styles are evenly distributed across the church, then 5/6 of ALL Christians have an evangelism style other than confrontational; these believers should learn to tell about Jesus in keeping with their style of evangelism.

    From http://www.christianitytoday.com/ this morning.

  7. Tim Dahl Says:

    I went to http://www.jonrandles.org, and it just seems to be a promo-site for his personal ministry.

    Again, it would be neat for him to write something about how we are going to reach the current generations.

    Tim

  8. David Says:

    . . . Or, a bio site. Call him, how about it?

  9. Tim Dahl Says:

    Hey David,

    I saw the bio, didn’t find it helpful. My initial idea was for him to post something so that the wider audience could get to know him. You know, part of that transparency stuff some of us have been talking about. Anyway, it seemed like a good idea at the time. After hearing his sermon, I can only think that he’s right in line with the Traditionalists/Pragmatists.

    Tim

  10. John Says:

    Hi Tim, Randles lays out the four principles of evangelism that he believes in in the sermon you listened to. While some have pegged him as a believer in event evangelism only, he views intentional living and building relationships also key to evangelism.

    I know you asked about writing something as a means of introduction. I thought the sermon may very well serve as the introduction you wanted. It’s Randles unfiltered. Is there something else you’d like from an intro? If so, I’ll see what I can do.

  11. David Says:

    Tim:

    My suggestion that Jon be phoned for direct inquiries simply is because the poor fellow probably works 60 hours per week doing event evangelism–or is traveling to the next location.

    We can sit on our luggage waiting for our ship to come in, or swim out to sea to board the one of our choice. 806-789-5159 or 214-828-5191.

  12. Tim Dahl Says:

    John,
    Personally, I need nothing else. I’m listening to the sermons, one per day so that I can really hear them. I got quite a bit from his sermon on who he is.

    David (or whoever you are),
    Thanks for not understanding. Keep on keeping on.

    Be well,

    Tim Dahl

  13. David Says:

    Tim:

    If I read your postings correctly, you’ve become convinced somehow that communication within the BGCT is a difficult thing to do, and possibly that people in the Baptist Building have something to hide (aren’t “transparent” and in really bad ways)–and possibly even that everyone else should dialog as you and I are at this site, and can/should make the time to do so.

    Forgive me if that assessment is wrong, and please stop reading now; if it is correct, then ease up, brother. Even if the BGCT staff created this site and invited you or others to read it, that doesn’t mean that Jon Randles (or anyone else employed by the convention) has the time to post comments here (our church has a website I almost never visit!) or that other staff members have any responsibility to get your message to him for you somehow so that Jon can reply.

    Pick up a phone, brother–call anyone in the Baptist Building you want to speak with and ask every question you can think of, or stop in for a chat in person. And don’t make this thread a personal matter between us–that isn’t my intention.

    David–really!

  14. Tim Dahl Says:

    David,

    Thanks for replying. You’re somewhat correct, but somewhat wrong on what you think I am saying.

    No, I don’t believe that communication within the Baptist Building is difficult. I’ve mentioned multiple times over on other blogs that calling is a good thing, and us calling works better than the building calling us. It is my main reason for not liking the Phone Bank. I’ve even posted something similar on my blog.

    I simply said that it would be neat if J. Randalls (Dr.?) posted something on this blogsite. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m taking time to listen to the archived sermons from Engage, including his. It has helped me to better know about him, in my estimation. I would recommend everyone listening to better hear who he is and where he is coming from on modern day evangelism.

    Yes, I do believe that there is a lack of transparency from those in the building that we support with our CP dollars. I’ve mainly come to this conclusion after getting to know multiple people that have, and still do work within the Baptist Building. I’ve also been on the inside of some TBC meetings that lead me to the same conclusion. I’ve also been to many “little coffees” with past BGCT Presidents/Exec Board members that lead me to the same conclusion. I believe that there needs to be some major systemic changes within our convention if we are to survive as a convention.

    And, just for the record; so there is no misunderstanding the kind of guy I am. I am a pro- Moderate (as in anti-SBCFundamentalist/S[p]BCT), BGCT, TBC, CBF, Women in Ministry kind of guy. I am considered a liberal in the SBC; but my true liberal friends laugh at it, telling me that I’m so far right that it hurts.

    I am Tim Dahl, and I pastor in the Fort Worth area. Feel free to look me up, and I’ll buy you a coffee some time.

    Tim Dahl

    P.s. I also find that I trust the words of people willing to put their whole name on their comments.

  15. David Says:

    Tim:

    Thanks for your reply and comments above.

    Nothing personal at all, really, but it doesn’t matter to me who you are or what you believe theologically (it does, but it doesn’t); it matters much to me that you listen to reason and function as a team player–especially if you serve anywhere as a senior pastor (I could have family or friends there) or have any influence with present/future presidents/executive board members of a convention that I also support (and whether or not you trust me is no concern of mine at all; when I get ready to disclose my last name, it probably won’t be to you–Ferrell and John know who I am, and have encouraged me to post comments here though I’ll do so now without typing my last name; feel free to skip over reading any comments I post here in the future).

    I stand by what I posted earlier: make a phone call–or send an email or stop in for a chat face-to-face–and keep doing so if there’s anything about the functioning of the state convention you question or don’t like. That’s the sort of action which was our only option in days gone by–and apparently help create the “good convention days” before the “non-transparent days” which you can remember–and is exactly the type of action that you hope members of the church you serve will take if they ever feel there are “transparency” issues with you, rather than publicly questioning your actions or character as other believers have (cf. Bellevue-Memphis, TN). Doing so simply is acting as the body which Christ has made us.

  16. Tim Dahl Says:

    “David,”

    One last comment, then feel free to take the last shot.

    You wrote:

    “That’s the sort of action which was our only option in days gone by–and apparently help create the ‘good convention days…'”

    I’m not so sure that the “good convention days” were as good as people make them out to be. Granted, most people seem to talk about something that existed 40-50 years ago, before the fundamentalist takeover. It is amazing how we revision our past, forgetting the bad and emphasizing the good. This leads to a less than realistic view of the past.

    I’m also not so sure that the convention of the 1950s will be effective in the 21st century. I could be wrong, but there seems to have been some cultural shifts since that time.

    Since you don’t care, I’m sure this will have little impact on what you think and say. Good luck on whatever it is you do, in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

    Tim Dahl

  17. David Says:

    Tim:

    Whatever.

    As coffee together is sounding more and more necessary but less and less likely, permit me to emphasize/re-emphasize: I’m for you, brother, when you’re a team-player on OUR convention team (for lack of better words to describe it). I’m hoping only the best for the BGCT–and know that with the well-reasoned assistance of senior pastors such as yourself, the convention staff will continue to do a great job at what it is your congregation and mine needs for them to do in order for us to accomplish our gospel missions.

    Is the BGCT a perfect organization employing perfect employees? Only as much so as FBC-Lake Worth, TX. The same well-recommended conflict-resolving actions which FBC-LW takes on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual/whenever basis are the same ones–I believe we both would say–that should be used as needed in the state convetion. Then, together, we ought to step further into the future with the gospel. The same as you’re doing in Lake Worth, brother.

    I’m done. Next topic.

  18. Tim Dahl Says:

    Oh David, I just can’t help myself…

    I’m serious when I invite you to come over/down/up from wherever you are. I’ll buy you coffee, or even a meal. However, I won’t be able to travel anywhere for the time being. In between our baby being born, and the death of my father; our financial supplies are very limited. I just can’t take any trips.

    I also have to admit that you made me smile. You cared enough to figure out that I’m in Lake Worth, more than just pastoring in the Fort Worth area. Granted, I didn’t get all warm and fuzzy on the inside, but I did smile that you cared enough to know who I am.

    I would like to speak with you face to face if the opportunity ever presents itself. I can’t help but believe there is a misunderstanding of what I said/meant that precipitated the “why don’t you call” posts. Nothing is better than a face to face to clear stuff up like that.

    Good luck in your life circumstance,

    Tim Dahl

  19. David Says:

    Tim:

    Glad you know I love you.

    My condolences regarding your father’s death. Congratulations, though, regarding the birth of your child. My prayers concerning your finances (been there, done that; doing it now).

    Thanks for the well-meant good wishes.

    David

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