Originally published in Western Recorder – http://www.westernrecorder.org/
Owensboro—A total of 219 students ages 12 to 24 made professions of faith on Dec. 7-8 at the Owensboro Convention Center and McLean County High School. The event was an outreach event called MAZE that featured magician Jim Munroe.
The weekend’s events, part of the Twelve/24 student evangelism strategy of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, was led by Buck Creek Baptist Church in Calhoun, which partnered with First Baptist Church of Owensboro as well as many other Daviess-McLean County churches. The student outreach was sponsored by Kentucky Affinity Evangelism, the Eliza Broadus Offering, and the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association.
Munroe, author, speaker, and self-proclaimed “skeptic,” performed his magic show for the crowd of over 1,400 students. While capturing the crowd’s attention with his magic show, Munroe used the platform to present the gospel.
“I was blown away at the presentation of the gospel,” McClure said. “It was incredibly clear and easy to understand.”
McClure described it as “probably one of the neatest testimonies that I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been in ministry for 20 years.”
“It’s unbelievable what God allowed him to go through in order to understand the gospel. It’s just wild,” McClure added, referencing Munroe’s battle with Leukemia that brought him to faith in Christ.
Churches throughout both counties advertised the event through radio, word of mouth, and visiting nearby college campuses.
“We do youth rallies twice a year, but we never do evangelical rallies or community outreach types of events,” Justin McClure, associate pastor for students at Buck Creek Baptist, said. He explained that a group of local youth ministers gathered together and formulated the idea behind this event.
“We thought, ‘Why don’t we put our weight behind something like this because this generation is largely unreached. (An estimated) 95 percent of this generation is not in church on a given Sunday. We really need to reach into this generation.’ So we started collaborating together,” he said.
“One of the cool ways that God really worked was in bringing churches together to reach our community,” Will Smith, youth pastor at Owensboro First, said. “It was a kingdom-minded effort, not just a First Baptist, Owensboro, effort, a Buck Creek Baptist effort, or anything like that. It was really a kingdom effort with churches in our area to try to reach the 12-24 age group.”
Smith continued, “It was a cool thing to be a part of that, to work together, and to serve together, but it was also cool to see students excited about getting their lost friends to come and to see a magic show for sure but more importantly to get them to a place where they could hear the gospel presented and they could respond.”
Buck Creek Baptist as well as the other partnering churches bathed the event in prayer and fasting. “Prayer was a big part of it. Our people praying, our people calling out,” he shared.
McClure continued, “The anxiety that I experienced personally was just kind of washed away when I saw the response of the community. God kind of demonstrated His faithfulness through that. I was just blown away, at the response.
“The response of students was ridiculous. It was awesome,” he said. They were so excited about it.” (WR)