Leadership · MISSIONS · Evangelism

Easy Arithmetic

During the early years of my elementary education, I was rather good at numbers or arithmetic. When the so called “new math” came along, I didn’t do as well.

I want to propose some easy arithmetic for us to remember as Alabama Baptists. The Evangelism/Discipleship Team at the State Board of Missions is leading in an effort called Sharing Across Alabama.

A part of this effort is what we are calling the 3151 plan. Full disclosure prompts me to admit that we borrowed this idea from our brothers and sisters in Oklahoma. They saw fruit from the emphasis, and we pray we will as well.


The 3 represents a call to pray for three people who are lost. They are among the masses of people who have not come to know Christ and need to be saved. Doing this will keep lost people in our hearts, in our minds and in our prayers. Consider who would be on your list.


The 1 represents the need to learn at least one Gospel presentation. This is not meant to be a canned response but something that can become a part of who you are as a follower of Christ. Being able to articulate your testimony is a basic way of presenting the Gospel. There are other presentations for sure, and our Office of Evangelism will be glad to share what is in the toolbox for you. Contact us for more information.


The 5 represents the opportunity to invite five friends to church. Some people have never received a one-on-one personal invitation to come to church. This may sound old-fashioned, but relational touches like personal invitations to church are needed now more than ever.

We live in an increasingly disconnected society in terms of personal relationships. Inviting people to church is a warmhearted way of reaching others.


The last 1 offers a reminder of our need to share the Gospel with at least one person. Growing out of the prayer for lost people in your life, the learning of at least one presentation of the Gospel message and the invitation of five friends to church brings us to the point of sharing the Good News with one person.

This is challenging for sure, and to some it is intimidating, but it is our call as Christians. We cannot ignore our need to be personal witnesses.

In his last words to Timothy, Paul, the apostle, challenged him to do the work of an evangelist. He did not say answer the call to full-time evangelism but rather, in the everyday routine of life, do the work of sharing the Good News. That urgent challenge to Timothy is ours today.

Many years ago, Southern Baptists had an evangelistic effort called “Each One Reach One.” I remember calling upon my people to do just that, and we were blessed by the God-given fruits of this focus.


Remember, this is easy arithmetic. Pray for 3 lost people. Learn 1 Gospel presentation. Invite 5 friends to church. Share the Gospel with 1 person. Each one can reach one!

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