By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
KENTWOOD, La. (LBM) – Evangelist Steve Paysen was on the Northshore for another assignment when he felt prompted to contact Spring Creek Baptist Church about a last-minute speaking engagement for March 23.
Fewer than 24 hours later, the Holy Spirit used the Wednesday evening message to bring three teenage boys to make decisions for Christ.
“Friends invited their friends to this service,” Paysen told the Baptist Message. “When young people see the fruit of their labor it really helps them catch the vision of evangelism and discipleship. And they become even more excited about sharing Jesus with others.”
He encouraged churches to consider holding more evangelistic events on Wednesday nights because of the fruit that is yielded.
“You always get a more diverse crowd,” Paysen said. “It’s a one-hour commitment, where you get in and get out. We saw that play out with the three teenagers who made a decision for Christ at Spring Creek Baptist.”
Paysen, an evangelist with the P230 Foundation, said he has seen students more open to the Gospel during a mid-week gathering during his 17 years of experience both as a student minister in three churches (two that ranked among the top 100 in youth baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention) and as a harvest evangelist.
Pastor Matthew Gazaway said church leaders have followed up with the three young men for further discipleship. Two have family who attend Spring Creek Baptist and the other teenager has family who are members of another nearby church.
“The decisions made on that Wednesday night are exactly what we want to see continue here,” Gazaway said. “We are here as believers to present the Gospel to others and then hopefully see them accept Christ.”
Gazaway has been pastor of the church (which averages 150 for Sunday worship) for just seven months. But he already has baptized three new converts since coming to Spring Creek Baptist in September 2021. Now he will make sure the most recent new believers are discipled for that next step.
Looking to the future, Gazaway is excited about the church’s continued passion for discipleship and the Women’s Missionary Union ministry that shares Christ’s love with those in need in Tangipahoa Parish. In the fall, the church will develop a strategy to minister to faculty and students at four schools that are located within a three-mile radius of the church.
“This is a church that loves the Lord, and we focus on showing our community that,” Gazaway said. “I’m excited about how the Lord is working at Spring Creek.”