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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 13 (Wed, 9/20)


Today was a good day. We had a quiz and then we started talking with our teacher about some of our concerns. I think everyone was feeling like keeping the status quo was not going to work. Throughout the classes and conversation you could sense that many people were dissatisfied with what was going on. Changes needed to be made. So, we regrouped and worked on making some positive changes. Everyone also felt a stronger burden to pray more. We felt like we were just kind of going through the motions and not truly seeking God. So we had positive meetings about how to improve the series and hopefully they will be for the better.

At Rainbow, we decided that we needed to pray more. The evangelist was preaching for an hour and a half every night on the Amazing Facts topics while weaving in his testimony. It was becoming clear that that the A.F. prophecy stuff was simply not meeting the need. So, we decided that he would preach for 30 minutes and then after that have prayer and anointing sessions as well as possibly discuss some issues like drugs and give tips on how to overcome and how families can help.


We were all anticipating what would happen tonight. Attendance was typical, with one new visitor as well as the other steady visitors. The topic was the 2300 days and you could tell that the people were not getting it nor really engaged. He got to explaining the 70 weeks and the whole 27-34 ad stuff. He then completely stopped talking about the 2300 days and talked about how to repent and giving some of his testimony. It was powerful stuff and then he had an appeal for people to come forward for prayer. He had several of us pastors come forward and each of us had something we were going to pray for and the people who had that request would come to us. I was the last one so by the time he got to me there were only 3 people which was actually good. I went through and laid hands on them and prayed for them. Meanwhile, the other pastors were doing their thing as well. Then, I had each of them pray and it was really a powerful experience. We finished at 8:30.

We also advertised what we will do this weekend. Every night this weekend we are going to have prayer/anointing for different issues. Friday for health, Sabbath for addictions, and Sunday for finances. So, we encouraged people to bring friends and we’ll see what happens.


I think these changes are really going to improve our services. People want and need prayer and this is something that we can definitely provide. The important thing will be to provide consistency with time and really make it a spirit-filled experience. This has given me a new batch of energy and excitement that had pretty much run out. I’m still tired but now have some adrenaline to run with.

I came to an important realization about the question prophecy seminars try to answer. The prophecy seminar answers the question: “How will the world END?” This was the definitive question during the pioneers’ time and much of the 20th century. However, I would argue that for many people a new question has emerged that the prophecy seminar doesn’t answer. The question today is: “How can my life truly BEGIN?” I think this is a fundamental reason why people don’t care about what we are providing. I think the question about the world ending is still held by many people but the question about life has emerged as the definitive question of our time. Unless we start answering that, we will continue to wither into irrelevance.

I had a conversation with the Sports Director of the YMCA. We started talking about the struggles of the community and what he was trying to do. He gave me a statistic that blew my mind. The question: What is the life expectancy of men born in Hunter’s Point? Answer: 19. Yes, that is not a typo: 19. That number has been ringing in my head ever since. There are several reasons for this disturbing number. They have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. There is a lot of toxic waste in the area and it is a poor community so resources are scarce. In addition, there is a lot of violence and gang activity. I saw a police report from a few weeks ago and on one Sunday 4 people were murdered in the community. What bothers me is that we have absolutely nothing to provide the teens. We walk and drive by them with nothing to offer. As I was sitting through the service, we had amazing music which I would get caught up in but then feel as though God didn’t care about my worship when I was doing nothing to help those in need.


Anonymous said…
In the information about the neighborhood that you reported from the YMCA sports director you have put your finger on a major issue: How can public evangelism be credible when it comes from a source that, like the Levite and the Priest in the Good Samaritan parable, pass by on the other side instead of doing something practical to deal with the needs you've listed? Ellen White is very specific about this and would condemn our contemporary practice on this item. How can we expect people to accept new doctrines from a faith that does not live up to its own heritage in this?

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