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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 23 (Tues, 10/3)

TUESDAY, 10/3

TWENTIETH MESSAGE


This is the last week and is really important because decisions for baptism are needing to be cemented. Unfortunately, the attendance is again low and in the 30-40 range. One popular theory for the low attendance is the devil trying to keep people away for this key week where they will finalize their decision for baptism. This might be true but I also wonder if part of the reason is because people are worn out. It’s been a marathon and I wonder if people have gotten their fill and don’t need any more. I know that I could do without this last week. I think we’ve covered as much as we can and it’s time to give everyone a break.

The idea of spiritual warfare has been very present throughout the series. Low attendance is blamed on the devil. Many workers have had family members with health issues that has also been blamed on the devil. I’m beginning to think that we think the Devil is more powerful than God.

The low attendance has also been blamed on this “wicked” city of San Francisco. Of all the major cities, I think SF is actually one of the nicest and safest cities populated with really good people. You aren’t going to endear yourself to anyone if you call their city wicked but instead bring resistance. I know I take pride in my hometown despite the problems that exist there. Instead of blaming the devil and the wicked city, maybe we need to examine ourselves and faulty methods that are bringing poor results.

The topic tonight was on Stewardship which was a good topic because it’s not as controversial and challenging as man of the others. At the end, he had people pray for a certain amount of money and said he believed that God was going to provide that amount for them by Friday and we wanted to hear their testimonies. Actually, a woman did testify tonight about a bill she brought when we prayed over the bills a week ago. She had a $6,000 tax bill against her but she just got a notice a few days ago and all it said she owed was $400. So, we’ll see what happens with finances. I thought it was a good message but it would have been nice to do a budgeting seminar and as part of that discuss tithing.

The evangelist also shared some testimonies of how God has blessed him financially. I have been thinking about the role of testimonies in church as a result of this series. Testimonies have a powerful effect on people and are more effective at reaching people than a doctrinal sermon. This has definitely been the case with our series. However, I sometimes worry that many testimonies end up glorifying a previous life of sin. They can easily end up being more about the one testifying than giving glory to God. There is a fine line to walk and I don’t have the answers but I do worry about it.

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