The Baptist Youth Missionary committee organised a weekend retreat for young adults aged 16-25, with a special emphasis on personal evangelism, in the Faith Mission Centre, Portadown, from 28-30 September 2018.
At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives his followers an astonishing command: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’. This command wasn’t just for 1st century followers of Jesus but, by extension, for us as his 21st century followers.
If anyone confesses Christ as Lord, they have a role in making his gospel known to the nations. For many of us, this gospel proclamation begins in the everyday encounters we regularly have, whether at work, school or in the neighbourhoods in which we live.
Quite often we simply feel too intimidated or hesitant to speak for Christ. The retreat was held in light of this common struggle we experience, and it proved to be an encouraging time of Bible teaching, fellowship and commissioning as each attendee was encouraged to be an everyday disciple-maker.
A variety of speakers came to share from God’s Word. David Frazer (Newtownbreda Baptist Church), David Cassells (Hamilton Road Baptist Church) and John Graham (Hill Street Presbyterian Church) each shared on a range of topics relating to personal evangelism, including our role in evangelism, our strategy in reaching people with the gospel, the cost of personal evangelism and the message for a post-truth generation.
One recurring teaching point which emerged from each of the sessions was the reminder that salvation is of the Lord. God is the only One who can bring someone from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. As a result, our task as Christians is simply to be faithful servants in telling others about the finished work of Christ.
The opportunity to hear God’s Word and engage in valuable small group discussions proved to be an effective means of encouraging each of us in attendance to take more seriously our role as gospel-proclaimers.
In addition, as we share this message with the world, we ought to take heart knowing that God is the One who saves, sustains and supports us along the way.
Youth Director, Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland