ANNAPOLIS – Throughout the month of April, members of the First Baptist Church here have Pastor Dan Pitcher’s permission to put aside their “Sunday Best” and dress in whatever they’d wear during a rehab counseling session.
The church body, Pitchers said, is undergoing spiritual “rehab” this month—that is, a revival and evangelistic emphasis using a resource provided by the Missouri Baptist Convention during the Great Commission Conference (GCC) in Springfield earlier this year. Pitchers has developed a series of sermons based on the “3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide.” Using three simple circles to represent “God’s design,” human “brokenness,” and the “gospel,” this evangelistic tool teaches Christians how to communicate the good news of Jesus to anyone they meet.
And Pitchers has titled his sermon series “Rehab 2017” because everyone is broken and needs to be rehabilitated and revitalized through the message of Christ’s death and resurrection. He hopes this sermon series not only brings revival to FBC Annapolis, but he also anticipates that church members will be eager to use the ‘3 Circles’ as they share Jesus with others in their community.
“We’re going to expect God to do a mighty thing,” Pitchers said.
“This concept of the ‘3 Circles’ is not so structured that you have to remember every little detail. You can take it and mold it into conversations with a trucker, a waitress, your children, with just about anybody—because nobody can say, ‘I’m not broken,’” he said.
Although he is using the “3 Circles” guide this spring, Pitchers said he has long had a passion for evangelism—a passion that was reinforced during his time at Tower Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis and while traveling with the Lester’s, a Gospel music group based out of St. Louis.
“Evangelism is key” to church growth and gospel impact within a community, he said. And the members of FBC Annapolis share their pastor’s passion; they “want to reach people for Jesus Christ.”
They’ve done so through a variety of ministries: In a town of 325, the church averages roughly 170 children at Vacation Bible School each summer, with some children traveling nearly 2 hours to come and learn about Jesus. Also, the church reaches out to the community through their WMU and Men’s Brotherhood programs. The Men’s Brotherhood does a car show in the community each year, providing opportunities for church members to share the gospel. They also minister at a local ranch for troubled youth, and they chop wood to help people in the community heat their homes.
Pitchers commented how important it is for men in the church to lead their homes spiritually by reaching others for Christ.
“It’s important that men not only are part of a church, but that they’re actively involved in church,” he said. “The children, the moms, the grandkids—they need to see that dad is involved … When we see these men as examples in the community of reaching men for Christ, it becomes that much bolder a state of the Christ who is inside of them.”
So while members of FBC Annapolis may not be wearing their “Sunday Best” to church this April, men and women alike are striving to give their best to bring gospel transformation to their town.
“We’re a hardworking people that love the Lord and want to serve Him,” Pitchers said, “and we just want to get better at it every day.”