January 28, 2003
The Missouri Baptist Convention is making plans to launch an evangelistic thrust at the Missouri State Fair at Sedalia next August.
David Clippard, MBC executive director, told pastors attending the Pacesetter’s Banquet at the 2003 Evangelism Conference that Missouri Baptists will be doing what Oklahoma Baptists have been doing in recent years – setting up a tent at the state fair and presenting the Gospel to fair attendees who walk through the tent.
Clippard said Directors of Missions throughout the state are behind the idea and will be working to get individual churches to work at the tent.
"Every time I worked at the tents in Oklahoma, I would lead at least six people to Christ," Clippard said. "There was no high pressure used. People would just come over, sit down and talk to us. We’d talk until our mouths got dry."
Clippard said they found in Oklahoma that many people visited the tent who were Baptists and were looking for a good church. Those people, Clippard said, were directed to a Baptist church in their home town. Information about those who prayed to receive Christ was also shared with a church in the new believer’s home town.
Oklahoma Baptists started by using music to attract fair visitors to their tent, but discovered that music interfered with their conversations. Clippard said they switched to clowns tying balloons, which proved to attract many people to the tent.
In addition to the thrust at the State Fair, Clippard asked mission directors and pastors attending the Pacesetter’s Banquet to put forth an extra evangelistic effort this year.
The DOMs agreed to help each church in their association to baptize at least one person during 2003.
Pastors committed to Clippard that they would return home and set new evangelistic standards for their congregations and also work to get another pastor excited about evangelism.
Jerry Fields, state evangelism director, said his office will maintain close contact with the pastors throughout the year and provide assistance toward helping them meet their commitment.