I attended an "E-coaching" retreat on Monday and Tuesday hosted by the Colorado Baptist General Convention and the North American Mission Board. E-coaching is a simple idea of creating personal evangelism support groups. The ideas is for four or five pastors to voluntarily hold each other accountable for personal evangelism goals. The support groups will meet every couple of months and check-in through email on a weekly basis. Our retreat was held at the beautiful Glen Eyrie Retreat Center in Colorado Springs.
The highlight of the retreat was Dr. John Avant, a NAMB Vice President and former pastor of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood, Texas, where a powerful move of God occurred some years ago. Dr. Avant spoke with great conviction and was a refreshing and optimistic representative of NAMB leadership. He spoke in two different sessions, sharing first on "Leading Your Church to Evangelistic Greatness". Dr. Avant's presentation leaned considerably upon Thom Rainer's new book, Breakout Churches, which is required reading for participation in E-coaching.
Dr. Avant shared ten keys to Evangelistic Greatness:
- The pastor is the key. He shared that studies show that only 41% of pastors are open to change while 89% of churches are unhealthy.
- Most "good" churches only minister to those already there (see page 23 of BC).
- It is important to see and know what great evangelistic churches are not (Two important must reads: Ed Stetzer--Breaking the Missional Code, and Ed Stetzer--Comeback Churches)
- What is your level of leadership now and what can it be (See BC)?
- Have you and your church faced the ABC moment (see BC)?
- You must develop allies with in your church who will take this journey with you.
- Discover your VIP factor (see BC, p114).
- Effective Evangelism is the key change agent in your church, which is why our journey together is so important (BC, p177).
- Do you want to make a difference in your life (p189, BC)?
- Commit to lead a breakout church to evangelistic greatness.