Sunday, March 19, 2006

Effingham fastest-growing county in south Georgia

A new census report lists Effingham County, Georgia as the 28th fastest-growing county in the United States, 7th in Georgia, and first in south Georgia (the faster-growing counties in Georgia are all in the Atlanta and Athens area).
Effingham County, of which Rincon is the largest town, grew 5.4% in one year, from July 1, 2005 and July 1, 2005. This represents 2,409 new residents in one year.
My wife, who is registrar at Effingham County High School, can vouch for the rapid growth. In four years, she has seen the high school's enrollment go from about 1200 to nearly 1500.
In this environment, our church MUST put a heavy emphasis on evangelism. To fail to emphasize evangelism where so many new people are moving would be a sin! That is why we do dramas like "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames," and have regular outreach programs called F.A.I.T.H. and G.R.O.W. We have been criticized for our aggressive evangelism at times, but to quote D. L. Moody, "I like the way I do evangelism more than the way you don't do evangelism."


Jesse said...

Hi Bob. I wish you well at the NAMB meeting (I will be praying).
Just a few things to consider re: evangelism -
1. "To fail to emphasize evangelism where so many new people are moving would be a sin!" Shouldn't we be emphasizing an evangelistic lifestyle (one in which Christians are taught how to share the gospel in a deliberate, intentional way in all relationships) instead of evangelistic events or programs that actually feel like sales pitches and become an excuse for Christians to avoid a truly evangelistic lifestyle?
2. Moody - "I like the way I do evangelism more than the way you don't do evangelism." Is that an excuse for doing evangelism the wrong way? I can't believe that this is the best argument one can come up with to resist changing inefficient and clumsy methods of evangelism that present unnecessary and unbiblical obstacles to the consideration of the gospel.

I hope I didn't come accross too strong. I just can't think of a less pointed way to put it.

Brother Bob said...

I agree with you. By "emphasize evangelism" I do not mean simply sales pitch events. I mean a total evangelistic approach, which is what we do at FBC Rincon. We encourage every ministry to reach out to others. We also do regular weekly visitation, and we do special events. It is a wholistic approach at our church.
Regarding Moody's quote, understand the context of the quote. I would never advocate unethical evangelistic approaches, nor did Moody. Moody was criticized for having aggressive evangelistic crusades, and he said, "I like the way I do evangelism better than the way you don't do evangelism." Moody was not doing unethical things, there were just those who did not like his particular methods. My point is the same. We do "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames," and some criticize our aggressive approach, but those who criticize don't do anything at all to reach the lost.