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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 4 (Sabb, 9/9)

SABBATH, 9/9/06


We had a rousing discussion during Sabbath School led by a couple of Seminarians. Then a Spirit-filled church service. There are only 30-40 people but there is a wonderful attitude of worship and joy. Prayer requests were solicited and more than half of the people shared which was good because we got to know a little bit more about what the people are going through.

There are very few men in the church. It is basically run by women which I think is great. What’s really interesting is that there are 3 or 4 new converts who are young adults that have become committed members in the last few months. Overall, a wonderful time and a good potluck (I can’t stand potlucks but the food was really good).


We feel better tonight because we have gotten through a service without any major problems, except for starting late. We realized that there was too much in the program the first night so we kept it simple. Sing a few songs, have a special music, and get to the sermon. The evangelist has a clicker so he is in control of the Power Point presentation. Well, he forgot it in his hotel room. These kinds of things always seem to happen because it’s so easy to forget stuff. Luckily, it was early enough for someone to run back and get it in time. Of course, for me, that was a tense situation but it worked out okay.

The attendance was about the same as opening night. Interestingly, there was a large turnover in the visitors in attendance. There are several visitors who came back but also a large number of new visitors to replace many visitors who did not come back. My Irish friend didn’t make it back. I wasn’t expecting it because he lives far away but we’ll see if he’s back during the work week.

The sermon tonight was on the Great Controversy. In essence, it was a sermon on the Devil and what he does and his origin. The evangelist continues to weave his own personal testimony in the sermon which continues to be the best part for me and for the people. He had another appeal that was general and allowed most people to come forward. I think this is part of the strategy: Get people used to coming up for appeals so when it gets specific, like keeping the Sabbath, they are more comfortable and used to coming forward for the appeal.

After the meeting we had a good workers meeting. We discussed some of the lingering issues to work out and had good feedback and ideas from everyone. One of the issues is that we haven’t stressed enough the need to do the lessons and return the answers. So, once again, the answer is offering incentives. It was good to come together and just kind of re-group and unite together.


Things are really going smoothly and the few issues we have are not major. I’m really happy with how well everything is running. The leaders have done a great job of thinking through everything so there are very few loose ends.

Once again, I have a problem with the sermon subject tonight. I don’t have a problem with talking about the Great Controversy and the Devil but I don’t like the placement. As I thought about the first two nights I realized that from our series thus far, people have learned more about the Devil than about God. WOW. Please ponder this for a while. I just really have a hard time with this and think it is a major problem.

The other issue for me is that the A.F. sermons use proof-texting to the max. I wish there was more in-depth study of a few passages instead of a myriad of texts for each sermon. I understand the idea of letting the Bible interpret itself but there is a fine line between that and extreme proof-texting. Finding the balance is difficult and I don’t think we’ve found it.


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