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Midwestern Seminary hosts 9Marks Conference on Evangelism

Posted February 9, 2023 by Brett Fredenberg

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Midwestern Seminary partnered with 9Marks to host “a conference on evangelism” on February 7-8 in Kansas City, Mo., with sessions aimed at providing a biblical understanding and convictional urgency in the task of evangelism.

Keynote speakers Jason Allen, Mark Dever, Mack Stiles, Brian McKanna, Geoff Chang, Zach Shlegel, and Brad Wheeler brought messages surrounding the doctrine of evangelism and the practice of gospel proclamation in the life of local churches.

Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, led the conference’s first session by asking the question, “What is our mission?” After preaching from Romans 10, he answered, “To lead others to call on Jesus and be saved.”

He went on to say, “Belief in God’s sovereignty actually fuels our evangelism and desire to bring God’s glory to the ends of the earth. You have been called to global missions. Either to go yourself or for your church to send missionaries.”

Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Seminary, delivered the conference’s second message, seeking to establish and recover the exclusivity of the gospel for the task of evangelism from John 14.

He began by defining exclusivity, saying, “Jesus is clear, and Scripture is clear—there is no other way, no other name, and no other path to heaven.”

To promote exclusivity in the church, Allen said pastors must preach Christ-centered sermons, track evangelistic efforts, speak of evangelistic encounters, and more.

The conference’s third message was brought by Brad Wheeler, senior pastor of University Baptist Church, who spoke on the need for pastors to equip churches in evangelism. Specifically, he stated, pastors are meant to teach, model, and display biblical evangelism.

“When it comes to ministry in the Church, pastors equip, deacons facilitate, members do,” Wheeler said. “If we get this, evangelism will come naturally. Pastors need to instruct their people on how to read and teach the Bible to others.”

The fourth message was delivered by Brian McKanna, who serves as regional leader for Central Asia with Reaching and Teaching International Ministries. During the sermon, he emphasized the biblical call to evangelism from 1 Peter.

McKanna stated, “As followers of Christ in a hostile world, we are called to articulate, authenticate, and adorn the gospel.”

Wrapping up the first day of the conference, Zach Shlegel, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Upper Marlboro, shared a message focused on how a community of believers can guard against discouragement in ministry.

“When you sense you failed in evangelism, remember it is God who justifies,” he said. “When you think nothing is happening when you evangelize, remember it is God who is sovereign over salvation.”

He continued, “When you feel overwhelmed with your responsibility to evangelize, remember you don’t do it alone. When you are afraid of being rejected when you evangelize, remember God vindicates us.”

Assistant Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Midwestern Seminary and Curator of the Spurgeon Library Geoff Chang opened the second day of the conference exploring how to create a culture of evangelism in the local church.

He spoke on Charles Spurgeon’s conviction and practice of evangelism, and stated, “What the people in your congregation need is a heart set on fire for the gospel. This is something only God can do through His Word.”

Chang encouraged pastors in many of the practical ways to create an evangelistic culture in the church, including an emphasis on prayer services and hospitality efforts. He said, “After the church service on Sunday, spend 15 minutes speaking to only people you don’t recognize. Then, speak to your friends. You’ll notice the impact.”

In the final session of the conference, Mack Stiles, director of Messenger Ministries, Inc., addressed 10 points for how to create a culture of evangelism. During the message, he emphasized the need to speak the gospel, live the gospel, guard the gospel, and more.

Before closing the conference, Stiles encouraged pastors and ministry leaders to be bold and clear in their gospel presentations. As he said, “The point of all this talk on evangelism is that you would genuinely love Jesus Christ. The goal is that you can’t help but share the gospel because your love for Jesus is overflowing from your life.”

If you would like to learn more about Midwestern Seminary or the 9Marks conferences hosted on campus, please visit mbts.edu.


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