Skip to main content

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 27 (Sabb, 10/7)


The church this morning is packed with people and there is excitement over the baptisms that are going to take place. The sermon was about the unpardonable sin. Since this was called a “Sabbath Celebration” and we were baptizing people, it kind of seemed like an inappropriate topic. I thought something more celebratory would be in order but this provided one last chance to call people out of “Babylon.” The evangelist was in full form calling for commandment keeping and coming out of Babylon and we didn’t even finish the church service part until 2pm (We started at 11). After this we did the baptisms and had about 20.

One of the interesting things about the baptism was that most of the people were not baptized because of the meeting itself. Maybe 8 of the 20 had initial contact with Adventists through the preaching series and were regular attendees of the meetings. The rest were people who had prior contact with Bible workers or church members and didn’t come faithfully to the meeting. What it showed me is that Bible work is the most important aspect of a series. In fact, if we placed more emphasis on Bible work and meeting with people in their homes, we wouldn’t necessarily need the preaching series. I think the problem is that within our paradigm, we only do Bible work before a series but if Bible work is ongoing in your church, baptisms will be happening on a regular basis.

I missed the evening meeting but they had a graduation based on people turning in their A.F. lessons and didn’t have a sermon but just wrapped things up.


Anonymous said…
I am not sure that there is strong evidence to say that if we had good personal evangelism going on we would not need a preaching event. I have picked up a few situations over the years where a church or ministry is baptizing a significant number of converts using just a Bible Worker approach, but the overall data appears to favor a situation where both are present. I think the numbers you saw are about typical (8 from the meetings; 12 from personal evangelism), but you have to ask, If there had not been the evangelism campaign, would all 12 have been baptized? There is still a cultural memory for many Americans of "the sawdust trail" or Revivalism. Even if they don't attend, or attend only once or twice, people seem to need such an event to anchor/confirm their actually getting baptized. Perhaps this is generational and fading as a cultural factor. It is hard to tell. How many of the 12 were motivated by that factor and how many came along with the snowball effect of moving toward a baptism day? You probably don't have enough data to answer that question. It is very hard to tease out. But, almost no one has had consistent, significant numbers of baptisms without some kind of preaching event. There is precisely where the hard work of innovation needs to be done in Adventist evangelism.
trevan said…
In our situation, I think we would have had those baptisms even without the series. There were about 5 people baptized BEFORE the series which were the result of Bible work.

You are right though, the traditional paradigm is so engrained in us it's hard to move past. I don't know of many churches that would be gung ho about bringing in a Bible Worker unless a series was involved.

Popular posts from this blog

The Advent Struggle -- Part 2

There's been a lot of excellent discussion on the previous post. I've stayed out of it for the most part to let everyone else let their thoughts be known. I thought I would write another post explaining my thoughts in a little more detail. There has been some discussion over this issue of style versus theology (At least at the very beginning). I think I might have used that terminology and I want to clarify that I reject the false dichotomy of style VERSUS theology because our style and methodologies REVEAL our theology. The methods we use to present a message tends to reveal as much about the message as the message itself. In no way do I believe that all young adults want praise music, full band, nice lyric graphics projected, etc. However, I think that the 90% (no real data just a guesstimate) of Adventist churches who think of that worship style as being from the devil reveals one of the major issues at the heart of the crisis -- The Adventist response to culture. The tradit

The Advent Struggle

I've been trying to write this for literally a month but haven't been able to. Not sure why but it just hasn't flowed. So, here's the attempt: On a regular basis, I hear from or about friends who have stopped going to church. There are numerous reasons why they are leaving but one common thread seems to be a feeling that church has become meaningless. They've felt this for a long time but kept going because they hoped it would get better or just because they'd feel guilty if they didn't. But, they aren't going to play the game anymore. The young adult exodus out of the church isn't news to really anyone but there's something important that I think will make this crisis be more severe. When you examine recent Adventist history, there have been several crises of faith including EGW and Inspiration, Desmond Ford, and Creation/Science (to a small degree). What are the characteristics of all of them? 1. They are based on a doctrinal position and are v

A Jehovah's Witness Connection

This morning I was enjoying last night's episode of "The Daily Show" (THANK YOU TIVO!) when the doorbell rang. I couldn't figure out who it was through the peephole but I decided to answer the door anyways. A man had a little pamphlet which he gave me and asked me to read it and left. No pressure, just leaving it with me. So, who was it? My initial reaction was that it must be a Jehovah's Witness but I've found most of them are much more confrontational and never just leave something in your hand without arguing over something. I began to think it might have been an Adventist. Well, what did the pamphlet look like and what did it talk about? The front declared, "The End of False Religion is Near!" Inside it described false religions as those that meddle in war and politics, spread false doctrine, and tolerate immoral sex. On the next page, what did I see but decpictions of scary beasts and the scarlet woman of Revealtion. The text describes how false