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Innovating Public Evangelism

Innovating Public Evangelism

As Outreach Ministries director for the Oregon Conference, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of innovative public evangelism. Our journey began with a simple yet profound question that we posed to our pastors and church leaders: “What would get you excited about evangelism?” The responses were eye-opening, revealing a specific longing for a new approach to public evangelistic series—one centered on transformation, discipleship, and engaging both the heart and the mind.

With these insightful responses in mind, Field Evangelist Rob Zama and I embarked on a mission, guided by prayer, to create a brand-new kind of public evangelistic series. This series was designed to present our unique Adventist doctrines through the lens of our true identity in Christ, focusing on discipleship and the practical value of each of our beliefs. Our foundational text, John 12:32, reminded us that lifting up Jesus would draw all people to Him. This principle guided our efforts.

The series we designed is comprised of ten topics, each designed to address the practical pain points people face, with titles like “Purpose” (Creation), “Trust” (The Origin of Evil and the Great Controversy), “Guidance” (The Scriptures), “Love” (The Law of God), “Rescue” (Salvation), “Rest” (The Sabbath), “Transformation” (The Holy Spirit and Baptism), “Hope” (The Second Coming and Heaven), “Peace” (The State of the Dead), and “Belonging” (The Church). Each presentation invites participants to see themselves through the eyes of Jesus, to understand that we are each created, guided, loved, saved, renewed, transformed, hopeful, fearless, and supported by Him.

Our pilot program at the Corvallis Adventist Church was a leap of faith. We wondered, “Will this work?” The answer was a resounding yes. The impact was immediate and profound, with many experiencing God’s blessings in remarkable ways. Testimonies poured in, including the story of a teacher who found solace in the message during a tough week, and a woman who, after years of suicidal thoughts, found a family and a renewed sense of purpose in the church community. These stories are a testimony to the power of presenting the gospel through the lens of our identity in Christ.

Encouraged by the success in Corvallis, we introduced the series to the McMinnville Adventist Church, where the impact continued. A young man drove over two hours each night to attend the meetings, finding community and belonging. Meanwhile, a church member of over 40 years discovered a joy in God she had never felt before. This series was not only reaching out to the community; it was rejuvenating the faith of long-standing members as well.

Our journey then took us to the Brookings Adventist Church, where the series touched lives across generations. A woman battling anxiety found freedom from negativity through the meetings, and church members became even more passionate about sharing Jesus with their community. Baptisms followed, celebrating the diverse group of individuals who had been drawn to Jesus through this innovative approach.

After witnessing the transformative effects at Corvallis, McMinnville, and Brookings, we've seen a broader impact that speaks to the heart of our mission. So far, over 40 individuals have made decisions for baptisms as a direct result of this series' impact, a reason to praise God!

As we look to the future, our goal is to make this new public evangelistic series available to any church interested in embracing this innovative approach to evangelism. AdventSource is partnering with us to create a box kit that can be easily implemented by churches across North America and beyond.

If you're inspired by what you've read and want to bring this life-changing series to your church, I invite you to sign up for updates. We're planning to have these resources ready by the new year, and your church could be part of this exciting movement. Join us in lifting up Jesus and watch as He draws people to Himself. Sign up for updates and be part of this evangelistic innovation.

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