MESA, Ariz. – The Crossover Arizona Evangelistic efforts produced more than 1,100 professions of faith and 8,500 prospects for local churches, Baptist Press reported June 26. Crossover, part of the missions outreach by the Southern Baptist Convention, involved weekends both before and after the SBC annual conference on June 17. A total of 56 events were held in the weekends before and after the meeting.
"Most of our churches that took part in Crossover were doing something they'd never attempted before, so it was a great experience to have them take the next step," said Jerry Martin, coordinator for the effort and director of missions for Valley Rim Baptist Association in Mesa.
"It was a super blessing to have the convention here, and to have all the volunteers out here helping us. Everywhere I went the volunteers just jumped in and took over responsibilities as they were needed."
Much of CA’s success can be attributed to the local churches that conducted block parties, door-to-door evangelism and other events. Martin’s church, Celebration Fellowship in Mesa, in partnership with First Baptist Church of Welton, held both a block party and door-to-door surveying effort June 21.
According to Martin, one Christian grandmother who in caring for her ailing granddaughter was previously unable to get involved in many outside activities, formed a relationship with his church by the survey efforts.
"The lady didn't know there was anybody out there who cared, so she's got a new lease on life through this relationship and the freedom that's going to be offered," he said.
Altogether, about 1,200 volunteers from across the country joined the 2,000 local volunteers for Crossover Arizona. While CA closed its last evangelistic efforts June 21, churches continue to report a growing list of prospects and decision cards.
"The churches that reach people for Christ will be and already are providing follow-up materials and seeking to assimilate them into the life of the church," said Dick Church, manager of personal evangelism for the North American Mission Board, which sponsors the effort nationally.
Next year, Crossover efforts will be held in Indiana. Don Smith, coordinator for Crossover said events will be held in Indianapolis the weekend before the city hosts the SBC annual meeting, as well as in other parts of the state the weekend after.
"We're doing pretty much the same types of activities that we've used traditionally," he said. "One additional emphasis is that churches will be encouraged to host weekend revivals, or have a major harvest Sunday on the Sunday before the convention."