Pastor John Lovas of Canal Boulevard Baptist Deaf Church in New Orleans, using sign language, spoke during the Saturday morning session.
Addressing the theme of "The Harvest," Lovas
admonished the conference attenders to not be lukewarm Christians who think churches are established to meet their needs.
The "on fire" Christians, he
said, believe the purpose of the church is to serve God-going out into the community and drawing people to him.
Not unlike other churches, deaf churches can become social clubs, Lovas
"They were like deaf clubs," Lovas
said of deaf churches in the New Orleans area when Canal Boulevard Baptist Deaf Church
was established in 1996.
"It takes time to go from social club to fellowship."
admitted that the growth in deaf churches can be slow due to communication challenges.
Hearing people, he
said, can witness to and disciple 12 people a year (if so inclined) while a deaf individual may only reach two.
Citing James 2:14-20, Lovas
said Christians are commanded to share their faith in how they live, in the deeds they do.
Although to the deaf the world is silent, Lovas
said, "There is nothing to be gained from a silent faith."