The relationship between evangelism – actively spreading the Gospel – and discipleship – training and equipping others to share the Good News of Christ – affects a Christian’s ability to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20.
Evangelism seeks to bring unbelievers to Christ; discipleship strengthens the new believer’s walk. Evangelism plants the seed that discipleship waters, cultivates, and helps grow.
An emerging faculty member at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will explore this association in great depth during the Institute of Christian Leadership’s Evangelism Lecture at Mississippi College.
Carl Bradford, interim associate dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, assistant professor of evangelism and missions, and Malcolm R. and Melba L. McDow Chair of Evangelism, will present “The Gospel and Why You Need Not Live It Out.” He will give the lecture on Monday, Feb. 19, in Provine Chapel and address MC students the following morning during Chapel in Swor Auditorium in Nelson Hall.
Sponsored by the Department of Christian Studies, the Evangelism Lecture series brings outstanding speakers who share fresh ideas and interesting topics with faculty, staff, and students at the Baptist-affiliated University, according to Evan Lenow, associate professor and chair of the Department of Christian Studies and director of church and minister relations at MC.
“The Evangelism Lecturer is an expert in evangelism and missions who talks to our students and helps them grasp a better understanding of what evangelism is, whether that’s trends in evangelism or the practice of evangelism,” said Lenow, who also serves as director of the Clinton extension of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “Carl Bradford is a young, up-and-coming scholar in the field of evangelism who has a heart for personal evangelism that’s demonstrated in his regular practice of sharing the Gospel.
“I am excited at the prospects of having someone like Carl engage with our students and share his passion for personal evangelism here at MC.”
The presentation will mark Bradford’s first visit to the Clinton campus.
“Mississippi College is an excellent place for individuals who want to achieve their career goals while staying true to their faith,” he said. “The college’s focus is equipping students for world impact and exalting Christ for world evangelization.
“It brings me great joy to address a student body and institution as dedicated as this one, fully committed to their faith and purpose. Knowing that I have the opportunity to encourage and uplift the students of this school in the area of evangelism is truly a privilege.”
Lenow said attendees of the Evangelism Lecture will receive an impactful message from God’s word that could serve as an agent of change in their lives.
“They should anticipate hearing a passionate plea to make evangelism part of their daily practice and the need for effective evangelism in our churches, our communities, and beyond,” he said.
After receiving his B.S. in business administration from Xavier University of Louisiana, Bradford obtained his M.Div. and his Ph.D. in evangelism from SWBTS. He has contributed chapters to the “History of Evangelism in North America” and has authored “Sufficiency of Scripture in Evangelism” in “The Sufficiency of Scripture,” “And You Shall Be My Witnesses: 31 Devotionals to Encourage a Spirit of Everyday Evangelism,” and “Evangelism Takes Heart: A Nine-Week Journey to Cultivating a Heart for Evangelism.” He has also written journal articles for the “Southwestern Journal of Theology.”
Bradford also serves as an evangelism consultant for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and minister of evangelism at First Baptist Mansfield in Texas. He frequently partners with local churches to assist in evangelism training. He and his wife, Andrea, have two children: Carl Jr. and Abigail.
The SWBTS leader said he is looking forward to delivering his inspirational message.
“Undoubtedly, the students of today are the most capable and suitable generation to lead the charge in making a significant impact on the world, simply because it is their generation.” he said. “I want to motivate students to continue impacting their family, friends, and community with their faith.”