SBC President Expresses Hope in VBS and Sunday School Evangelism

( [email protected] ) Sep 10, 2004 09:06 PM EDT

Bobby Welch, president of Southern Baptist Convention, commented that two important, and successful, means to the end of sharing the gospel and increasing baptisms are from Lifeway Christian resources – Vacation Bible School and the Faith/Sunday School Evangelism Strategy.

Bobby Welch is currently on a bus tour that will take him to churches in all 50 states and Canada. The trip started in late August and will end in early October. The tour is a kickoff for "The Everyone Can Kingdom Challenge for Evangelism" campaign which has the goal to "Witness, Win and Baptize ... ONE MILLION!" by Southern Baptist churches in one year.

Welch described, "In the SBC, we have a unity of purpose in evangelism, VBS and FAITH are proven success stories in bringing people to Christ."

In a conversation with LifeWay’s VBS team, Welch said, "I said to them, ‘If, in the next two years, you will give us the two best Vacation Bible Schools, give us a component of evangelism and help us reach children and their parents in a way that will lead to baptisms, then I promise that I will never stand up as SBC president and talk about evangelism without mentioning Vacation Bible School.’ They told me, ‘You’ve got a deal.’"

"I think VBS is the most dynamic and effective way to touch families," he said. "We do not have a better way to reach children, their parents and their families,"

Statistics prove Welch’s point. In the past five years, 472,707 people have come to a saving knowledge of Christ through VBS. Figures indicate that VBS is the No. 1 outreach tool for SBC churches.

In 2000, out of 3 million people were enrolled in Southern Baptist Vacation Bible Schools, over 91,000 decisions for Christ were reported during VBS. The report also shows that more people have come to know Jesus as Savior through VBS than through any other single church event.

While talking about Faith/Sunday School Evangelism, Welch explained that evangelism is for everybody,"You cast that net out, and you will gather people in," he said. "It will work if you don’t care who gets saved and brought into your church. But if you are only interested in bringing in people who look a particular way, drive a particular kind of car and live in a particular kind of house, it may not be for you."

Welch is the founder of the FAITH/Sunday School Evangelism Strategy. Last year, 184 FAITH churches have baptized 2,575 people who found salvation in Jesus Christ.

LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr., commented on Welch’s statments, "I’m excited about Bobby’s message to churches to focus on evangelism and baptism. These are two core values to Southern Baptists and to us here at LifeWay as well. We want to show our solidarity with what he’s doing”