The panel on evangelism was hosted by Doug Fields, and had five pastors:

Mark Batterson–
James Meeks–
Miles McPherson–
Bob Roberts– 
Stovall Weems —


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”


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…