“That will never work here because we are a different culture.”
“But have we ever tried some of the things they are doing that are working?”
“Well, maybe not, but I’m sure in a secular, affluent, materialistic, post-modern society that the things they do in Mexico and Peru and other places will never work.”
I was convinced once again, through my conversation with another self-fulfilling prophet of failure, that the greatest barrier to reaching American society with the Seventh-day Adventist message and movement is not in the minds of pre-Adventists but in the minds of some Adventists!
Since I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many parts of the world where the Adventist movement is growing rapidly, I have collected ideas and experimented with them back home in the US. Where they are used with flexibility they work here, too!
As this post is published I’m in Peru with 85 Americans, preaching in 52 sites throughout the city of Trujillo. Besides helping with soul winning I hope we are training soul winners for back home that have the faith to believe that God will use them to make a difference on both continents.
I will share (below) some of my sketchy notes about key lessons learned from several parts of the world. I encourage you to experiment with some of these ideas, or others you have picked up from Continue reading
I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the Book of Revelation. But when I took on a special project to study Revelation 12 and see if there was evidence of Historicism, I discovered some amazing things that have given me Continue reading
“Our job is not to make secular people spiritual but to go after the secular people God is making spiritual. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:13-15 that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. God gets there first, then we are sent to connect the dots, to help them find what they’re already looking for. Desire of Ages page 349 tells us Jesus’ disciples ministered with Him, looking for interested hearers. They were not trying to interest the hearers but to find those God had already made interested. God wakes up the heart and then sends in the messenger (see Acts 2, 8, and 10) and God knew what message is needed to appeal to hearts at end of time, the Three Angels Message of Revelation 14:6-12.”
– Shawn Boonstra, International Evangelist and Director/Speaker for It Is Written Television Program. Winning people to Jesus and the Adventist movement has been Shawn’s passion ever since he surrendered his heart to Jesus almost two decades ago. He is currently in Rome, Italy, preaching to people that God has already made interested and hungry for His message. He Knows What He’s Talking About (H.K.W.H.T.A.)
Almost universally, Sports have grown into a god that has no interest in remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11). But God still has those who love Him enough to be faithful to Him, even if they might have to give up carrying the Olympic torch on Sabbath. And never underestimate the powerful witness parents have on their children when they are faithful in honoring the Lord on His Sabbath. This video clip tells the story of Rita Bryant. Faith honors God and God honors faith!
“Is this an April Fools’ Joke?”
The man on the other end of the phone had identified himself as working at the General Conference before asking “Would you be open to considering a call to oversee our Adventist work in Cambodia?”
“No, this isn’t a joke.”
“I’m so sorry. If you knew some of my friends you’d understand why I’m a little skeptical on the first day of April.” After asking the man a few more questions I promised to pray about it and talk with my family before we talked again the next week.
Since my wife has often told me that she does not have the spiritual gift of “missionary” I suspected that she would immediately say “no.”
When we talked together you can imagine my surprise when she listened carefully, asked a few questions of her own, and then responded, “Well, if you really believe that this is what God wants you to do then I would be willing to…”
Jim Cress, who recently fell asleep in Jesus as General Conference Ministerial Director, shares some valuable principles for how he approached church growth as a pastor in this video clip.
”As a pastor I want as many people in the boat with me as possibe. That way they can help bail out water rather than watch from the shore and say ‘there goes the pastor; look at him paddle; oh, no the boat is leaking; watch the boat sink; poor pastor’”!
-Dave Osborne, who has served as pastor of many major Seventh-day Adventist Churches as well as North American Division Ministerial Director. He realizes that rather than simply pursuing his own course the pastor needs to work alongside the members to keep the work of God going forward. He Knows What He’s Talking About (H.K.W.H.T.A.).
The 7.0 Haiti earthquake has dominated new stories since January 12, 2010. Tragic events like this can paralyze people around the globe with fear. But as Seventh-day Adventists Jesus told us how to respond 2,000 years ago. Every sign He gave us (see Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) is a reminder that He really is coming soon, an opportunity to help those in need, and a call to be less self-absorbed and more bold in our witness for Him.
Here are some helpful and/or inspiring links about the Haiti earthquake–
Rumors were beginning to swirl around our church. Was it true that one of the couples was having trouble with their marriage and even thinking about divorce? The battle in my mind began. Should I say something to them or was it none of my business? What if I said something but it was taken the wrong way? But if I didn’t say something and they later divorced I would feel guilty for not doing anything. They probably needed counseling and since I’m not a trained counselor I was off the hook. But was there anything I could do as a friend and fellow believer to help them with the underlying spiritual issues that were causing the problems?
I decided to pray for each member of the family by name that God would bring peace and good out of the difficulties. Next I asked God for wisdom and courage to act quickly before I came up with more excuses for inaction.
Finally I made the (uncomfortable) phone calls. Continue reading
Gary Blanchard (email@example.com), Associate Pastor, Wenatchee, WA Seventh-day Adventist District (Upper Columbia Conference) shares tremendous insights in this article–
GOD HATES GAYS AND OTHER FAMILY GUY MTHS
Sometime ago a friend of mine sent me a clip from the comic T.V. series “Family Guy” where Peter the man of the house gets injected with the “gay gene.” To the amazement of his family and friends, his mannerisms, clothing styles and of course sexual orientation changed almost instantly. Eventually though his family can’t take it anymore and want their “straight” dad back. So his son and dog drug him and take him to “Straight Camp.” While there Peter learns from his Christian coach that “Jesus hates many people but none more than homosexuals.”
What is most disturbing about this quote, even though it comes from a comedy show, is that many actually believe it. But in Leviticus 18:22 the Bible says Continue reading
“53 countries have more than 10,000 people for every Adventist. 20 countries have more than 100,000 people per Adventist. 10 countries report more than 1,000,000 people per Adventist.
Let me illustrate it another way. Let’s pretend we can climb the tallest building in South America and have all the people living in the South American Division file by one per second, single file, 24 hours a day. How often would we see a Seventh-day Adventist walk past? Every 1.9 minutes.
But if we climbed the Mount of Olives in Israel (or the mountains of Central Asia) we would have to wait 148 minutes (2.5 hours) between every Adventist. And if you came with me to Egypt and we sat on a pyramid and had the people of Egypt Continue reading
“Can you believe in Jesus and in astrology? The answer is a resounding yes, according to a study that shows Americans’ beliefs to be more complex than might be expected…
For example, 25 percent of about 4,000 U.S. adults surveyed believe in reincarnation, the rebirth of the soul in another body. Among Christians, the number drops only slightly, to 22 percent.” Survey finds complexity in U.S. religious beliefs, Washington Post, Thursday, December 10, 2009.
For over a hundred years Seventh-day Adventists have been preaching (from Revelation 13 & 16) Continue reading
- Bible Prophecy Truth website- Amazing resources at your fingertips from from Amazing Facts.
- Ellen White Answers- Provides good research to answer attacks on Ellen White and her writings. Maintained by Professor Jud Lake from Southern Adventist University.
- Dwight Nelson Sermon Series on The Temple- (Aug-Dec 09). Includes hot topics such as Creation/Evolution, Homosexuality, Nostradamus, etc.
- The Bible and Evolution article- Outstanding, simplified evidence and reasoning believers can share with skeptics.
- Creation Sabbath Resources- Great stuff, even after the fact!
- The Liberty Blog- Great up-to-date analysis of Continue reading
Four Recent Archeology News Articles (from DIGSIGHT Newsletter Fall 2009 p8)
THE VANISHED ARMY: SOLVING AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYSTERY (Time Magazine)
In 525 BC, the Persian Emperor Cambyses dispatched 50,000 of his soldiers to lay waste to an oasis temple in the Sahara because its oracle had spoken ill of his plans for world domination. The punitive expedition proved to be one of antiquity’s most dramatic episodes of imperial overreach. . . Click here to read more
ISRAEL DISPLAYS COINS EXCAVATED FROM JEWISH TEMPLE SITE (USA Today)
Israel displayed for the fi rst time Wednesday a collection of rare coins charred and burned from the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple nearly 2,000 years ago. About 70 coins were found in an excavation at the foot of a key Jerusalem holy site. . .Click here to read more
2012: SIX END-OF-THE-WORLD MYTHS DEBUNKED (National Geographic)
Th e end of the world is near—December 21, 2012, to be exact—according to theories based on a purported ancient Mayan prediction and fanned by the marketing machine behind the soon-to-bereleased 2012 movie. But could humankind really meet its end in 2012 . . .Click here to read more
DIGITIZED INSCRIPTIONS REVEAL ANCIENT MESSAGES (San Francisco Chronicle)
Four thousand years ago, a government bureaucrat in Mesopotamia jotted down a tally of slave laborers on a clay tablet. Th e bureaucrat left behind the count in wedge-shaped symbols that proved hard to fully decipher with the naked eye. Until now. Researchers at the University of Southern California’s West Semitic Research Project have helped uncover its hidden narrative. . . Click here to read more
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The greatest shortage in God’s work is not money, time, materials or equipment. It is workers. Working workers. Two thousand years ago Jesus said “The harvest is great but the workers are few.” (Luke 10:2). That is still true today.
Jesus told us to ask the Lord of the harvest to throw out workers into His harvest. Then, through His interaction with the 12 (Luke 9) and later the 70 (Luke 10) He modeled how to develop these workers. He gave them training, provided all the equipping they needed, activated them and sent them out into the harvest, and then for three years He provided on-going mentoring to help them become Christlike in their thinking, actions and ministry.
How would your congregations be better off if you had a clear plan to train, equip, activate and mentor your members in soul winning? In time would you see exponential, rather than numerical, growth? Would God send you more and more people because you were ready to help grow them? Would your members be better off at the end of next year spiritually than they are right now?
NPUC Conference and Union leaders have decided to make lay soul winning training, equipping, activating and mentoring a priority for several reasons– Continue reading