By Baptist Message staff
LAFAYETTE, La. (LBM) – Pastor John Fream said Cypress Baptist Church has several “non-negotiable” practices they use in their mission to reach Benton and beyond for Jesus Christ.
Fream, during the ReGroup Sunday school training conference at First Baptist Church, Lafayette, Aug. 6, said his members at Cypress Baptist preach and live out the Word of God, are soul winners, follow the Great Commandment and use Sunday school, worship and big events to draw others to Christ.
Fream was the keynote speaker for ReGroup that focused on strengthening discipleship efforts. The conference included breakout sessions for pastors/staff/key leaders; preschool/children, youth and adult leaders.
ReGroup focuses on four areas – sharing the Gospel, developing biblical community, helping believers mature spiritually, and equipping believers to live missionally, with special emphasis on maximizing Gospel impact.
Since he became pastor 14 years ago, Fream has seen Cypress Baptist grow from 450 in Sunday worship to 2,600 and baptize new converts each Sunday (including 173 since January). Fream said he reminds his members they are on mission to share the Gospel wherever they go.
“Life’s too short,” he said. “The world is too lost. We believe passionately that everyone can be saved.
“The Gospel is powerful,” he continued. “Use it. It changes lives.”
Fream shared he accepted Christ in 1991 during an Easter Sunday service after accepting his wife’s invitation to attend worship. He said a personal invitation is powerful and can go hand-in-hand to draw others to events where the Gospel is presented.
“We are going to use our events to get people to come to worship and Sunday school,” Fream said. “If we can get them coming to church, they can hear the Gospel. We will do whatever we can to get them there, as long as it doesn’t compromise.”
An estimated 320 people from 32 churches (representing 18 associations) attended the event. Another 43 participants from four churches attended the Hispanic ReGroup at FBC Lafayette.
For those unable to attend this year’s ReGroup, Digital ReGroup will be offered Sept. 9. Video from the main and breakout sessions will be available on that date for online viewing, along with other resources. Launch information will be coming soon.
“Sunday School and small group leaders need to be reminded they are a critical part of the work that God does through the local church,” Louisiana Baptists Sunday School Strategist Sean Keith told the Baptist Message. “They need to be equipped, challenged, and inspired. The ReGroup Conference does all three things very well.”