February 25, 2003
WAYNESVILLE – If early results are indicative, 2003 will be a banner year for youth evangelism throughout the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Scott Brawner, the MBC’s new youth evangelism coordinator, recently completed his first two big engagements since coming on staff at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City. And the results are incredible!
Brawner spent the weekend of February 16-17 conducting a youth revival at Westside Baptist Church at Waynesville. More than 100 students attended the revival, but the highlight of the weekend was the salvation of an instructor at Fort Leonard Wood.
The following weekend at Warrensburg, Brawner helped coordinate a "Real Encounter Week" and 194 first time decisions for Christ had been recorded at last count.
"My goal is to help students develop a passion for God and a radical commitment to kingdom growth," Brawner said. "Throughout this year we’ll be providing opportunities for youth evangelism training and development as well as providing unique opportunities to take the gospel to lost teens across Missouri."
Brawner said it was exciting to work with students at Waynesville who devoted a Saturday afternoon to soul winning.
"For nearly four hours in the freezing drizzle, 30 students, the youth minister (Jeff Rose) and I walked to nearly 600 homes to share our faith and invite people to our revival. It was 30 degrees and we were soaking wet," Brawner explained.
They were thinking about quitting when they saw another street. Brawner said several of the homes had smells of marijuana and other drugs.
"Honestly, I and many of the group just wanted to give up but the Holy Spirit told us to press in," Brawner said.
Brawner said one of the teenagers wanted to quit. "But I felt God was urging me to go to the last house," he said. When Brawner knocked on the door, a young man with a military hair cut answered.
"He was a Marine and was an instructor at Fort Leonard Wood. He had served in several separate combat engagements. He had a head full of knowledge about God. But he didn’t know Christ personally."
The Marine didn’t accept Christ during the visit.
But, much to Brawner’s amazement, in walked the Marine and his girlfriend when the Saturday night service started. The Marine did not respond at invitation time, but did seek out Brawner after the service.
"For nearly an hour we sat outside and talked," Brawner said. "I communicated with this guy that Jesus wanted to forgive him, but he had to be willing to accept it. I told him that God’s grace was like a Christmas present, wrapped up under the tree with his name on it, but no one would force him to open the package.
"For years, he had so much knowledge, but no understanding. He put his face in his hands and began to weep. As this guy was regenerated, he prayed right there and gave his life to Christ. Praise God!"
Brawner’s next stop was Warrensburg where he worked in partnership with Real Ministries to conduct a "Real Encounter Weekend."
The activities start on Friday and conclude the following Wednesday with an evening of high-jumping motorcycles. The plan, Brawner said, is to go into public schools to on an anti-drug platform. Students are invited to the Wednesday night event to hear the second half of the story _ the gospel story.
More than 2,000 youths attended the Wednesday night finale on the Central Missouri State University campus at Warrensburg.
"God is at work in our state and it is my prayer that all of us will join Him in that work," Brawner said.
Brawner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.