Crossover volunteers prepare for St. LouisLast summer, Steven and Robin Glover went home again—kind of. The Chicago couple and their children traveled to Columbus, Ohio, for the Southern Baptist Convention and Crossover, the annual evangelistic outreach held prior to the SBC.
Steven Glover, born and raised in Columbus, is an IBSA zone consultant in Chicagoland. His wife, Robin, is a writer and homeschool teacher to their four daughters. The Glovers lived in Ohio before moving to Chicago in January 2015, where Steven began a church planting internship at Uptown Baptist Church.
Each year before the SBC’s annual meeting, Uptown sends a team to work with a church in the convention host city. In Columbus, Uptown’s volunteers led a practicum on prayer, evangelism and discipleship at United Faith International Church. They gathered for training, then went out into the community to put into practice what they’d learned.
“Two groups comprised of 8-10 people targeted a neighborhood near the church for prayer walking as well as evangelism,” Steven said. “Upon arrival, the evangelism team had an immediate opportunity to share the gospel with young men hanging out in a local park who happened to be Muslims from Ethiopia.”
Glover and a man from the partnering church launched into an apologetics discussion with one of the young men who was interested in talking about his faith. They talked about Jesus, discussing the places where Islamic and Christian scriptures differed. “[We] took the opportunity to explain the purpose of Christ coming and the importance of his death, burial, and resurrection,” Glover said.
Nearby, his wife, Robin, and others on the team prayed for the conversation, even asking God for a break from the heat. “We were very hot and the sun was beaming down, so we prayed for a breeze,” she remembered. “Soon thereafter, there was a nice breeze and some light rain. The sun then returned to its work of warming.
“God was with us in Columbus. I was blessed to have joined him while he worked.”
Their Columbus experience gave the Glovers some advice for volunteers who will serve through Crossover in St. Louis.
“It is important that mission teams participating in Crossover 2016 be familiar with the demographic make-up of St. Louis,” Steven advised. “Through prior research, our mission team discovered that Columbus is known to have a large Islamic population, therefore, I brought with me a Quran (in English) to use in a witnessing conversation in order to establish the true identity and ministry of Jesus Christ.”
He referenced 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (KJV).