The panel on evangelism was hosted by Doug Fields, and had five pastors:
James Meeks– http://www.sbcoc.org/
Miles McPherson– http://www.milesmcpherson.com
Bob Roberts– http://www.northwoodchurch.org/v2/index.htm
Stovall Weems — http://stovallweems.com/
Each person shared their ministry context and a few success stories…Some common themes:
Empowering the individuals of the church
Reaching out to the pain medication centers…bars, strip clubs, battered women shelters, etc.
Not the gospel of salvation, but the gospel of the kingdom
2 of the 5 came from “radical, uncontrolled” lives… Not surprising that this background would lead to the compassion
Definitely: top down leadership … Each pastor was passionate for evangelism
Q: Why is evangelism tough?
People fear it…
When we give people an opportunity to OPT out, they will
Comfortable staff is a hurdle… They lost the vision for evangelism…
weird and cool: “I have plenty of friends, I need you to be on staff to be my friend. Don’t sit in your cubical and be comfortable”
COOL FAILURE STORY:
One pastor took 300 men out to witness prostitutes at midnight… The same night the police were performing a sting operation… Since then, it’s become a women’s ministry.
Mark Batterson said: we spent too much money on marketing…(Stovall Weems agreed he did too)
Q: Where are you having relationships with non-believers?
Mark Batterson– I write books (just one way), coach son’s basket ball team, meet with fringe people…
James Meeks– I am an Illinois state senator
Miles McPherson–NFL Alumni /current players
Bob Roberts–works with Muslims
Stovall Weems — at the gym…kids events
IN THE TRENCHES RESPONSE (meaning, there’s not a whole lot of reflection here:)
These guys were pretty hardcore, seemed driven….nice, not militant or anything, but definitely more aggressive or assertive .
What typically bothers me about panels, is that people tend to gloss over an answer to the specific question to then get to their pre-planned thoughts… Although about half way through, it seemed to become more of a conversation than a few mini sermons.
A few times, there were a few comments of a kind that I really hate: a good sound byte, but not much wisdom, not very helpful…