Watching Saints quarterback Drew Brees on television last night, I thought about something the leader of Southern Baptists’ evangelism program said some 40 or more years ago.
Kenneth Chafin headed up the evangelism department of what was then called the SBC Home Mission Board. In the early 1970s, they had developed a cutting-edge program of personal soulwinning they called “WIN Schools,” for “Witness Involvement Now,” as I recall. I took the pilot training and led many “schools” in churches across the South.
In developing this program, Chafin was talking about how difficult it is to get the news out to the membership of our churches. “It takes 5 years to say hello to Southern Baptists,” he laughed.
The difficulty, as he saw it, was that he had to tell the various denominational leaders of the program. They in turn passed the word on to their underlings. At some point, the editors of the state Baptist weeklies got involved and picked up the news. Even then, the grassroots of Southern Baptists still did not have a clue of the program. Pastors needed to be told and retold, after which they themselves would get the word to the members. How long it would take for the message to penetrate to the bottom layer of the membership was anyone’s guess. Five years was Dr. Chafin’s guess.
So, last night, Drew Brees was on television speaking at a hastily called news conference. He had a bright idea for a new tradition he wants to begin among the fan base of the New Orleans Saints. Furthermore, he doesn’t have five years to do it. Yesterday was Tuesday and the first game of the season comes Thursday night in the Superdome. Brees wanted to get the word out to all attending the game in 48 hours. Furthermore, he intends this as a permanent tradition.
Big plans. A large assignment. After the clip, an anchor raised the obvious question: “Now, the problem is getting the word to the 70,000 Saints who will be in the Dome Thursday night.”
This morning–Wednesday–I found out how Brees pulled it off.