What were the goals of the bus tour?

From the inception of this tour of 20,000 miles to all 50 states and Canada, making 70 stops, the overall goal has been three-fold: (1) to thread together a mosaic of all the different looks of Southern Baptist churches—their peculiarities, individualities, and diversities; (2) to hear from pastors, people, and denominational leaders all across the U.S. and Canada concerning their views of Southern Baptists' needs and opportunities; (3) to prepare and urge all Southern Baptists to enthusiastically embrace the challenge during a 12-month period, beginning in June 2005, called the Everyone Can Kingdom Challenge for Evangelism, which is to result in witnessing to, winning, and baptizing 1 million people.

You have said the denomination is stagnating in evangelism. Why?

Pastors and leaders across the SBC indicate that the convention needs a clearer focus and a greater challenge in evangelism. Too many good people are doing good things but are failing to focus on the main thing, which is seeking and saving the lost.

How do you hope to turn things around?

Southern Baptists agree about biblical inerrancy. It's my prayer that this tour and its objectives will create a unity of purpose for evangelism. I've been telling as many Southern Baptists as I can to "do all you can with what you have where you are now!"

Is the evangelism problem about method or commitment?

You have to say it's a lack of commitment because a person who is strongly committed will find a method. There are a number of methods by which evangelism can be accomplished. But none is effective without strong commitment on behalf of leaders, pastors, and people. That is the reason our challenge is designed to call for a deeper commitment to evangelism.

Related Elsewhere:

More information about the "Kingdom Challenge" bus tour, including photos and stories, is available from the Southern Baptist Convention's website.

The Florida Baptist Witness has a series of articles about Bobby Welch all available on this page.

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