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Intentional Evangelism a learning process for Hueytown churchcomment (0)

November 24, 2005

By Kathleen Penton

This year, the members of North Highlands Baptist Church, Hueytown, in Bessemer Baptist Association, have been sharing the gospel intentionally. 
Their interpretation of Intentional Evangelism gets laypeople outside the church walls to create relationships with people so they can take those relationships and develop ministries to show and tell what Jesus has done for them.
Pastor Doug O’Brien shared with the messengers of the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting in Huntsville what finding one’s passion and using it to share the gospel can do for the church and the kingdom of God.
North Highlands Baptist was introduced to Intentional Evangelism in March, and according to O’Brien, “it’s just been something tremendous.”
But it wasn’t always easy. After a false start trying to rearrange the program of its annual antique car show in May to include evangelism, the church took a new direction.
It added new ministries such as handouts to generate one-on-one conversations with rodeo contestants and a worship service prior to Sunday’s race in Talladega this past fall. 
O’Brien said turn out at the service was smaller than they anticipated but vowed the volunteers would be back at Talladega next year and every year. “When they’re coming there, they’re being ministered to,” he said.
And they are responding. O’Brien said the church has received numerous letters and contacts with testimonies of those who gave their life to Christ, joined a local church and began to grow and do things in the Lord.
He said good news is not good news if it is not received, shared too late or heard incorrectly.
One way to spread the good news is to do a home visit, O’Brien said.
For North Highlands, the key to getting in the front door has come in the form of photographs. The church used its Trunk or Treat fall festival to take photographs of children with signed permission from their parents and gather home addresses. 
Later church members hand-delivered the photos to homes, and while they were there, they sat down and shared the gospel. 
A dog show, held a few weeks ago, offered another opportunity to use photography as a ministry. 
“I saw people I’ve never seen in the city of Hueytown,” O’Brien said of the turnout.
Since attending the show, two families have been attending North Highlands regularly, he said.
“It’s going to be good for them,” O’Brien said. “It’s going to be good for [the church]. It’s going to be good for the kingdom of God.”   
He said that Baptists in the state of Alabama are fortunate to have the opportunity through Intentional Evangelism to do what God has called them to do and intended for them to do.

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