The Gospel: a phone call away

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The Evangelism Response Center (ERC) ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) gives Southwesterners a whole new reason to say, “Excuse me, I have to take this call.”
 
ERC volunteers receive routed phone calls sent to their home or cell phones from those wanting more information about Christianity, providing the volunteers a chance to share the Gospel with the men and women on the other line.
 
“There’s no ministry that I’ve ever seen where lost people come to us like this, specifically for sharing,” says Southwestern Master of Divinity student Beau Brewer. “And it does take a lot of the fear out of it, out of sharing your faith, because the people that are calling you specifically already know that they are going to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the other end.”
 
Brewer, who also works in the applied ministry office in the Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, works as an ERC regional facilitator with NAMB. His job is to mobilize Southwestern students to work with the ERC, in addition to volunteering as an ERC Telephone Encourager.
 
Brewer says his ability to engage callers in spiritual conversations has benefitted his ability to share his faith face-to-face, and he looks forward to talking with the men and women who contact him via the ERC.
 
Brewer met Fred when the man called an evangelistic hotline featured in a TV commercial. Fred’s call was anonymously routed through the ERC’s database to Brewer’s cell phone, and Brewer was able to explain Christianity to him and present the Gospel.
 
Fred was the first man Brewer ever led to Christ as a Telephone Encourager. When Fred made a profession of faith, Brewer—who lives in Fort Worth, Texas—was able to pass on his information to a local church in California, Fred’s home state.
 
This is an important next step of the ERC ministry, explains Brewer. Churches like the one in California act as covenant churches, pledging to follow up with callers who make professions of faith within 72 hours.
 
Brewer says involvement with ERC is especially significant because the ministry is experiencing a lack of volunteers, leaving callers occasionally without anyone to talk to them, a concern he shared during a brief announcement in a Southwestern chapel service earlier this month.
 
Volunteers from Southwestern attend an orientation meeting, usually held by Brewer on Thursday nights from 6 – 8 p.m., where they learn the system, register with NAMB, and receive their assignments.
 
The ministry also has volunteer positions available for work via the Internet through e-mail and online chat options.
 
For more information, contact bbrewer@swbts.edu or visit the ERC website at www.erconline.net.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas