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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 10 (Sun 9/17)

SUNDAY, 9/17

The morning brought us another class session. My parents came down for the afternoon so I got a chance to eat with them and go to Costco to stock up on water and snacks. We also did an anointing of a church member’s father who was going in for hip surgery on Monday. We didn’t have any oil so while others went to get it we had a chance to talk and he’s great guy with a lot of wisdom. He’s promised God that once he gets better he’s going to teach some English classes for the people in his Hispanic church.


Attendance continues to be low, around 40-50. Apparently there were no new visitors and the vast majority in the audience were church members. There still seem to be a group of 5-10 visitors who are coming regularly. The topic of the evening was the Millennium. This ended up being the shortest night yet. We actually ended at 8:15 instead of the usual 9:00pm.


I predicted that rough nights were ahead and I think this is going to continue to be the trend. I can sense that there might begin to be some panic in the ranks based on attendance numbers. I can easily see the blame being placed on the Seminarians and Bible Workers for not doing enough to get people to come out. The interesting thing is that whenever you talk to people about coming they always are very positive and say they’ll come but then rarely do. I guess my question is: What’s more to blame: Us not talking to enough people and getting them to come OR expecting people to be able to come for a two hour meeting five nights a week?  

One thing that is also completely obvious to me at this point is that we are not even trying to reach unchurched people. The visitors that are coming all clearly have a religious background and attend church on a weekly basis. They come with their big Bibles already highlighted-up and have that church  feel to them. The nightly topics also clearly indicate that we are aiming for churched people. On the eighth night we are going to talk about the millennium? What unchurched person would care or even have a clue what we were talking about? Also, what unchurched person would want to sit and listen to someone talk to them for an hour and a half five nights a week? Is changing a Baptist into an Adventist really evangelism?


Anonymous said…
"Is changing a Baptist into an Adventist really evangelism?"

That's debatable; but every evangelist knows that it's a number.
erica said…
yea, whats that about? howcome sda's seem to have this thing about "converting" christians into SDA christians... they already have jesus! i think its more important to reach out to people who have no or minimal knowledge about jesus and his amazing salvation... and no, i dont think meetings 5 nights a week about the millenium would interest that kind of a person.
i think its about time some other strategy be thought up... more practical for our time and society.
Anonymous said…
Like it or not, Adventists do have some things to share with other Christians. Many clergy of other denominations have asked me, "How do you teach tithing? I wish we could get more of our people to tithe." The Adventist doctrine of humanity ("state of the dead") and its wholistic implications have become widely adopted and respected in the wider Christian community. I have had significant feedback from other Christian clergy that the Adventist understanding of the Second Coming is much more reasonable than the widespread, confused Darbyite interpretation. And so on ... The Adventist Church was founded with the goal (among other things) of reducing the corruptions in the Christian tradition and turning believers to a more authentic understanding of original Christian faith. That is not a bad goal, although it can lead to undue pride and unkind treatment of other believers. Honest sharing of new/different idea is not the same thing as egotistical manipulation. Unfortunately not every Adventist has behaved perfectly in this regard over the years, but that does not invalidate the basic concept. Incidentally, I agree with you that reaching those who do not know what to believe is more important than helping sincere Christians get a fuller picture of Christ and His gospel.
Anonymous said…
Even if the Adventist ideology is theoretically "closer" to the early christian tradition, consider that these, eventually, "doctrines" were in a totally different cultural context, impossible to recreate, therefore one would reasonably conclude that those who are engendering and promissings good feelings for "keeping" things that were essentially patriarchal cultural traditons, one might think that they would do good to wonder a bit more at the uncertainty of it all before buying attendance to convert. That was a long sentence, sorry.

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