Retrospective: D. James Kennedy

The Coral Ridge Strategy: D. James Kennedy explains how lay evangelism can lead to exponential growth


Finally the truth struck me like a bolt of lightning. I myself had attended classes for three years and had not learned how to witness. Not until someone who knew how took me out into people's homes did I gain the confidence to do it myself. And so I began the program that has continued at Coral Ridge for the past six years. I took out one person until he had confidence to witness, and then another, and another. And so it has grown. After the people are trained, they can train others.

In envisioning an evangelism program, a pastor typically begins by preaching on the subject and then inviting everyone who is willing to take part to come on some specified night to begin. This is the way we tried at first to motivate and recruit people. It was not very successful. The basic motivation will no doubt begin from the pulpit with sermons on the responsibility, privilege, and necessity of witnessing for Christ. However, our experience showed us that the actual recruiting should be done on a person-to-person basis.

Comment: This has been a year of passages for great men of God: 1st Jerry Falwell and this week D. James Kennedy. Kathee and I took the Evangelism Explosion training years ago and later taught this at Haddon Heights Baptist.

"Excellence in All Things and All Things to God's Glory" -- The Legacy of Dr. D. James Kennedy


The death of Dr. D. James Kennedy is yet another reminder of what the hymn writer Isaac Watts saw when he wrote that "time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away." Dr. Kennedy died this morning at his home in Ft. Lauderdale. He had been out of the public eye since suffering a significant cardiac arrest last December 28.


He was a visionary with few peers. The motto inscribed on a flanking wall of the church's massive sanctuary certainly made an impression on me as a young man: "Excellence in All Things and All Things to God's Glory."

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