Tony Campolo Rethinks Crusade Evangelism

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Thu May 31 01:48:55 EDT 2001

Tony Campolo Rethinks Crusade Evangelism
Preacher's "Urban Cry" crusade to highlight service to poor as well as

St. Davids, PA-Philadelphia-based author, teacher and preacher Dr. Tony
Campolo will launch his first "service-based" evangelistic crusade
early next month in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Best known for his 30 years of cutting-edge ministry to at-risk youth
in America's cities and the developing world, as well as his pastoral
relationship to former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Campolo's "Urban
Cry" crusade will focus on service to the poor as integral to Christian

"Christian evangelism is dangerously out of balance," said Dr. Campolo.
"We are guilty of 'loss-leader' evangelism, underselling some aspects
of discipleship and overselling others. Our goal is to present an
invitation to follow Jesus that will be just as "whole" as we believe
that Jesus' call to his first disciples was 20 centuries ago-and that
means loving our neighbor must become central to our lives."

To facilitate this, organizers in Windsor prefaced the crusade with a
"season of service"-several weekends that mobilized hundreds of
believers in citywide service projects designed to demonstrate
Christian commitment to the love of neighbor. As well, dozens of local,
national and international service agencies-Christian and secular-will
be present at Urban Cry. When Dr. Campolo gives the altar call, the
agencies will be ready to provide those who respond with opportunities
for direct service to the poor.

"Just as it's irresponsible to call someone to follow Jesus and not
give them a Bible to read," comments Dwight Ozard, EAPE/Campolo
Ministries' executive director, "so too is it irresponsible to tell
them that caring for the poor and powerless is integral to Christian
discipleship and then not give them concrete opportunities to do just
that. Urban Cry is about modeling our words with our deeds."

Joining Campolo at the crusade will be Caedmon's Call, the best-selling
pop group known for their outside-the-mainstream approach to art and

"We are pleased to join Dr. Campolo in focusing attention on Jesus'
call to love our neighbor," said Caedmon's Call bandleader Derek Webb.
"Becoming a believer is a radical decision, and Urban Cry will
highlight that truth like few other events like it."


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