JEFFERSON CITY – Many Missouri Baptist churches around the state already know Brad Bennett as the founder of Real Encounter Outreach, a ministry that blends motorcycle and bike stunts as well as other action sports with a passion for proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. Earlier this month, the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) announced that Bennett will now serve churches as the MBC’s interim director for Making Disciples.
“Sometimes the Lord has a way of interrupting the way you should go and sets you onto another direction,” MBC Executive Director John Yeats told The Pathway. “For months I have been looking for just the right fit for the Making Disciples director for our MBC team. After months of prayer and fasting, my radar was attentive to something fresh the Lord wanted to do among us. When Brad and I visited, I discovered he had a shared vision of transforming lives and communities with the gospel and helping Missouri Baptists make disciples. Yet his relational methods were different than what we anticipated. Should that surprise us?”
Yeats added, “His schedule was such, he could serve as an interim. By doing so we could test the waters for a few months before taking a plunge.”
In his new role at the MBC, Bennett said he hopes to promote evangelism, providing strategies and resources to help churches “make, mark, mature and multiply disciples” throughout the state. He will also organize age-graded training events and conferences to equip Missouri Baptists for transforming lives and communities with the gospel. Bennett told The Pathway that Real Encounter Outreach could be one of the evangelistic resources available to Missouri Baptist church leaders and their congregations.
Bennett said he hopes to help churches bridge evangelism and discipleship. “You can’t have discipleship without evangelism,” he explained. Likewise, he added, there can’t be evangelism without discipleship—since new Christians develop a life-long passion for sharing the gospel only as they mature as disciples. Bennett desires to help Missouri Baptists make and mature disciples who make other disciples – leading to a multiplication of disciples around the state.
“My heart has not only been for mass evangelism,” he added, “but my heart has always been as well in the area of relational evangelism training and discipleship training.”
This has been Bennett’s passion during a 23-year-ministry of equipping individuals and churches for relational evangelism. Saved at the age of 19 while racing professional motocross, Bennett soon answered a call to full-time ministry. Alongside leading an evangelistic ministry through Real Encounter Outreach, he has served on staff at various churches throughout the state.
Currently a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, Bennett is married to Janet, and they have three children and three grandchildren.