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In NASCAR & FAITH, every team member counts
Friday, Feb 18, 2005
By Polly House


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (BP)--NASCAR drivers and pastors who lead their churches in FAITH often are in the limelight in their respective venues. But neither can do their jobs without successful teamwork.

An off-site tour of the Daytona Speedway was part of the National FAITH Institute, Jan. 24-27 in Daytona Beach. About 200 pastors and church leaders participating in the institute heard how NASCAR and FAITH share similarities when it comes to teamwork: Everyone on the team is important; if you have to make a pit stop, make it quick, then get back on the track; and there may be a lot of personalities involved, but everyone has the same goal.

FAITH is a strategy of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention that combines Sunday School with evangelism. It uses the acrostic F-A-I-T-H (forgiveness, available, impossible, turn and heaven) as a tool for leading people to a point of receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. First Baptist Church pastor Bobby Welch, the current president of the SBC, is the co-creator of the strategy.

“NASCAR fans may only know the name of the driver, but there are also mechanics, engineers and the pit crew,” said James Walker, director of FAITH for LifeWay. “People who aren’t members of your church may only know the name of the pastor, but all of you are a crucial part of the FAITH team. Building your team is like building a pit crew. Every person has a job to do.”

The Daytona 500 race brings thousands of visitors to Daytona Beach each February. Institute participants were reminded that those who watch the race are excited about things that don’t last -- speed, noise and celebrities -- whereas FAITH teams become excited about the one thing that matters for eternity -- bringing people to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

In outreach times during the institute, 31 people were led to saving faith. The 70 teams of participants attempted 540 visits in Daytona Beach, competing 282 and making 115 Gospel presentations. Eleven people were enrolled in First Baptist’s Sunday School and 138 prospects for the church were identified.

LifeWay will conduct the next National FAITH Institute Sept. 19-22 at Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.
--30--
For more information about the FAITH strategy, or to register for the institute, go to www.lifeway.com/faith.

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