“Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Joshua 14:12, NIV). With these words, Caleb asked Joshua the opportunity to possess a new territory, even though, it was a difficult one. In the same way, a group of believers from the Spanish Churches of Kennewick and Pasco decided to possess a new territory. That Territory is the city of Richland with its neighbor cities, in the State of Washington.
This year, the new company planned to have three evangelistic campaigns. Two of these three evangelistic campaigns were held in a conference room in the Red Lion Hotel in the city of Richland. As a result of these evangelistic cycles, we had baptized 3 people. After the first cycle of evangelistic effort, we started having some difficulties with the place of meeting. The conference room in the Red Lion Hotel was not always available, so, the new company began their journey from place to place.
During the last campaign, the company put emphasis on prayer. So, every day the company prayed to find a comfortable place to worship, to serve to children, teenagers, and adults, was an everyday motive of prayer.
Interestingly enough, after the Continue reading
The North Pacific Union is hosting the SEEDS Northwest in Auburn, WA, May 9-12, 2012. Bill McClendon, the new Vice President for Evangelism of the Washington Conference is organizing this thrilling event. This is going to be a special opportunity for church planters to hone their skills, learn and network with likeminded church planters. Please look at the brochure attached and promote this event with your pastors. For more information please contact Bill directly at 253-681-6008 or email Bill.McClendon@wc.npuc.org.
Sunday evening Shane and Amy’s small group laid hands on Shane and pleaded with God to give him a different job. He worked as a sales representative for Pepsi, but delivering those cases of pop was killing his already-bad shoulders. He was their top salesperson, winning yearly awards for sales, etc. But Shane just couldn’t continue—and yet he didn’t know what else to do.
He had a family to support and couldn’t afford to be off work. For Shane, the love and support of his small group that evening were a gift.
The next day when Shane arrived at work at 5:00 a.m., his boss called him into the office and fired him. Although a bit confused as to why the company would fire a longtime, model employee, he walked out with a smile on his face, thinking, I wonder what God is up to? Getting Shane to that place of comfort in the midst of the storm was quite a journey.
It all started in the spring of 1998. I received a call from the Rocky Mountain Conference to do something I was very passionate about for nearly six years: to plant a church in northern Colorado with an evangelistic approach. It was an opportunity to see if what I said either worked or didn’t work.
I had been on the development team of two other church plants, and as a kid was baptized in a church plant. But I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Church planting turned out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done READ MORE
by Milton Adams, Florida Conference
Is the Adventist denomination ready for house churches?
The idea came one day when I read, “Please give my greetings to the church that meets in their home” (Romans 16:5). Though I had read this verse numerous times it had never clicked – probably because of a tendency to make Scripture fit into my existing church paradigm. This time it hit home. The result: my wife and I started a church in our home. We call it Simple Church. This house church will never grow up and become a “real” church. It will continue to meet in our home and we hope that it will grow into house church network across North America. About our house church:
- We have been meeting for nine months. Our conference administration is supportive and we have seen God’s blessings.
- Average weekly attendance per location; 27, about 15 adults and 12 children
- 33% of the adults are unchurched, and 65% of these return.
- 2 additional Simple Churches have grown from ours, for a total attendance of 60.
- 6 people are training to start church in their own homes, and we have many lay people and seminary students interested in the training.
- 6 people have been baptized and others are preparing to be.
- We’ve received approximately $43,000 in tithe and offerings. Since there are no church mortgages, building funds, building maintenance, Bible workers, etc., our offerings help people in real, practical ways.
- Concerns about our Simple Church concept are typically these:
- What happens to tithe? It goes to the local conference.
- How are Simple Churches connected to the Adventist world church? The same as other churches: we support conference sponsored events, use Adventist publications, and support Adventist education.
- How does Simple Church maintain doctrinal purity? In Simple Church we build in accountability. Leaders make commitments to raise up a house church each year, lead a weekly one-on-one Bible study, attend leader’s meetings, quarterly gatherings, and conduct yearly harvest events.
- Why do we need more churches when we cannot fill up and support the ones we have? The answer might be found in the question.
There it is. Let’s talk. I’d like to start a discussion with you about the pros and cons of developing an Adventist house church network. Do you think house churches will work in Adventism? Join me at the Night Owl Café weblog and express your opinion.
For more information, visit http://www.SimpleChurchInfo.com, e-mail Milton, or call him at (937 602-6727).
“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
The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the Body of Christ, the renewal of existing churches, and the overall impact of that Body on the culture of any city.
Nothing else—neither crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, mega-churches, consulting, nor church renewal processes— will have the consistent impact that dynamic, extensive church planting has. This is an eyebrow raising statement, I know. But to those who have done any study of the subject, it is not even controversial.
Tim Keller, The Cutting Edge Magazine (Vol. 9:2)
The West Plains Seventh-day Adventist Church has over 30 thousand people living within a 5 mile radius that we are charged with taking the Adventist message to. At the time of our church organization this fall, we had over 30 people sign our charter membership list.
Sabbath, Dec. 5, Thirty-one members accepted the challenge to give Bible studies in the coming year (2010). We will complete the training for this group on December 19, with Steve Rogers “Fishing Tips” on giving Bible studies.
The West Plain Church has also agreed to the Upper Columbia Conference Share the Life proposal which includes a call to personal and corporate revival and reformation and hiring a Bible Worker Coordinator who will help equip, resource and support these members in their Bible work.
“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
Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) will soon be presented to the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on behalf of the Keizer Spanish SDA Company as part of the 30-30-30 Church Planting Assistance Plan. This is the second NPUC church to qualify. (The first was the White Center Spanish SDA Church.) God has been working in a remarkable way among the Spanish-speakers of the Keizer community near Salem, Oregon. Here are some highlights—
Keiser- Meeting as a lay-led initiative in a house that they soon outgrew, they moved to a church and were organized in the June 2009, almost 100 people attend on Sabbath. From the beginning the leadership was strong and committed. Continue reading
On Sabbath October 17, 2009 I had the privilege of meeting with one of our newer church plants in the Washington Conference, the Southcenter Adventist Company.
Here are a few of my observations from that wonderful experience–
- Multi-cultural Group- “Since heaven will be multicultural we decided we ought to prepare for it here” one of the church leaders said with a smile. “Although many of us came from the Korean church we now represent many cultures and countries.” The pastor is Filipino, the elder if Chinese and the deacon is Korean. A number of other Asian, African and American groups are represented, all bringing something unique to the congregation. During the World Missions time in Sabbath School several members were able to tell direct personal stories of recent visits to relatives in China, etc.
- Youthful, Family-focused Church- The congregation has a feeling of life and energy as infants, toddlers and adolescents participate in their children’s Sabbath School classes, the worship service and, of course, potluck. I had been asked specifically to preach about how to strengthen the home and family through family worship and other activities.
- Warm and friendly- I was greeted by several young men at the door as I entered the church. The three Sabbath School adult groups all reached out to those who came a little late, inviting them to join their group. One young man who was in his fifth day off drugs Continue reading
We need more lay members like Allison Downs. North American Division President Don Schneider reports seeing Allison at the Ontario Conference Campmeeting this summer. She is planning to plant a church at Moosenee, on St. John’s Bay four hours from her house! Since there are no roads Continue reading
“Since this post office box is for a new Seventh-day Adventist Church, can you find us one with lots of sevens in the number?” I jokingly asked the postal clerk.
He smiled. “I’ll see what I can do.”
We had recently planted the Abundant Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wenatchee, Washington as an effort to involve more members in ministry and to have more points of contact with the community. Our volunteer secretary, Amber Barber, told me they needed my signature to rent a post office box so we met at the post office one afternoon. Looking at the five sizes of boxes we decided to rent the second smallest size, and then waited in line for the first available clerk to help us.
When it was our turn to go to the counter a friendly man with the name “Emery” on his badge offered assistance. “Let me see what box numbers are available for that size box.”
Soon he returned with a list of about a dozen possibilities. Pointing at the first number on the list he said “Here’s one with some sevens in it.”
“P. O. Box 1774. That’s a good one,” I responded.
“Or you might be interested in this one.” He pointed to a number farther down his list.
The number jumped out at me. “How did you know we might want P. O. Box 1844*?” I asked amazed. Continue reading
It started last fall with a Spokane area bus wrapped with the giant question “Did you used to go to church? Tell me why you quit” and a website www.WhyIQuitChurch.com. With a large response to the online survey, many saying they had drifted away rather than outright rejected the church, and public showings of the movie “Lord, Save Me From Your Followers” an growing group of interests were formed. Now project coordinator Dave Livemore, Upper Columbia Conference Personal Evangelism & Discipleship Coordinator, reports that they are exploring the possibility of planting a new Seventh-day Adventist Church with the growing group of interests and those from existing churches who have a special passion for this ministry. Stay tuned to see what God does.
The White Center Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Seattle, Washington is the first church plant to qualify for a $10,000 grant from the NPUC under the new 30-30-30 Church Planting assistance guidelines.
Organized as a church May 9, 2009 with 145 members, the White Center congregation is focused on taking the Adventist message to the 43,000 Hispanics within a five mile radius of where they are located in Seattle, WA. Working in cooperation with their conference and union leaders, thirty of their members have been trained and equipped to give Bible studies and are actively involved in giving Bible studies this year.
Here are four of the factors in their rapid growth–
- Week of Reaping every month. Every month the group has a Week of Reaping, allowing those who were baptized last month to bring their friends to be make decisions for baptism this month, and then to bring their friends the following month.
- Weekly Small Groups. Every Friday evening Continue reading
Want to know where the various religions are dominant in the US? Click on a link below to see a map. The Three Angels Message is to go to people of every faith and no faith before Jesus returns (see Revelation 14:6-20). Let’s go for it!