Episode 087

Importance of Evangelists, Religious Freedom, & Prayer’s Power

May 3, 2022

The Southern Baptist Evangelists Fellowship is actively look for the next generation of evangelists through personal contact, mentorship, one-on-one relationships and encouragement. The Taliban’s return to control of Afghanistan headlined the examples of religious freedom deteriorating in multiple countries last year, USCIRF said in its annual report issued April 25. And Robert Hefner from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina recently traveled to Ukraine to see how his church and other churches could help people facing devastating conditions due to Russian attacks.

Transcript

The Southern Baptist Evangelists Fellowship is actively look for the next generation of evangelists through personal contact, mentorship, one-on-one relationships and encouragement. There are currently 62 evangelists affiliated with the Texas-based group.

Preston Nix, professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching at New Orleans Seminary, said that while pastors are shepherds of one flock, evangelists “have a passion for souls but also a passion to train others how to ‘draw the net’ or lead people to faith in Christ.

“In many ways it’s harder to be an evangelist than a pastor,” said Sammy Tippit from San Antonio who is now in his 51st year in vocational evangelism. “It requires solid faith, trust that God will provide everything from finances to speaking engagements to effectiveness in ministry, and to a spiritually, mentally and physically healthy family.”

The Taliban’s return to control of Afghanistan headlined the examples of religious freedom deteriorating in multiple countries last year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in its annual report issued April 25.

For the first time in more than two decades, USCIRF – a bipartisan panel established by federal law in 1998 – recommended Afghanistan’s inclusion on a list of the world’s most egregious violators of the right to believe and practice faith. The commission last urged the U.S. State Department to designate Afghanistan as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) in 2001, shortly before the Taliban was removed from power.

Religious freedom conditions in Afghanistan “went into an immediate and disastrous downward spiral following the full U.S. withdrawal in August 2021 and the immediate takeover by the Taliban,” USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza said during an online news conference. “[T]he Taliban’s return to power has had an immediate, chilling impact on religious freedom and on the broader human rights environment.”

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Robert Hefner from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina recently traveled to Ukraine to see how his church and other churches could help people facing devastating conditions due to Russian attacks.

As they worked their way around the border, Hefner said the prayers he heard and participated in made a great impact on him.

When we listened to a Hungarian principal share of her wearying work from COVID, obstinate local officials and needy families, we prayed.

When we gathered to leave for the airport and return home, we prayed.

And as we prayed, God heard and answered. His presence was palpable. His timing was perfect. His Spirit was unifying. His wisdom was guiding.

You can read his piece entitled “Why God sent me halfway around the world to pray” at BaptistPress.com. See if God uses it to help you pray for those facing trauma and turmoil.

Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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