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OPINION

5,000 World Series packets given to fans

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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DETROIT (BP) -- Volunteers from Michigan Baptist churches distributed some 5,000 packets with evangelistic materials prior to a World Series game at the Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park Oct. 27.
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"We just thought it was a great opportunity to get the Gospel in people's hands," said Larry Allen, pastor of Warren Woods Baptist Church in Warren. "Every time there are large numbers of people gathered, there's an opportunity for us to sow some seed."

The Oct. 27 game was the third game in the World Series between the Tigers and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants ended up sweeping the series with a win Oct. 28.

Michigan Baptists compiled the outreach packets that included materials from the North American Mission Board's "Find It Here" campaign as well as trading cards of current and former Detroit Tigers with their testimonies on the back. About 20 volunteers participated in the packet assembly and distribution.

"Mobilizing churches in evangelism is one of our top priorities," said Bobby Gilstrap, lead state missionary and executive director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. "When we saw this great opportunity open up to share Christ with thousands of fans, we just had to be a part."

Gilstrap said the reports of those involved have been encouraging, as the volunteers had several opportunities to engage in spiritual conversations with the fans.

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"Only God will know the eternal impact of the contacts made last Saturday night," Gilstrap said.

Allen said he didn't have many chances to engage people in serious conversations because most were in a hurry to get into the stadium. But he still trusts that the effort was worthwhile.

"As we were assembling the things, we were praying that God would get them in the right hands," Allen said. "We have prayed that those people who did receive them would take a moment to read the materials. We believe that God's Word doesn't return void."

Tim Ellsworth is editor of BPSports (www.bpsports.net), the sports site of Baptist Press. He also is director of media relations for Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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