Churches Pledge to Share Gospel
When the pandemic began and churches closed, evangelism seemed to be forced to a standstill. But can a church truly be stopped in its tracks to connect with their community? Churches weren’t meant to fade in the face of adversity but thrive in it.
In 2020, searches in North America for "end times," "Book of Revelation" and "end of the world" have spiked, with some terms being five times higher than in the previous 10 years. More impressively, searches for the term "Second Coming" have spiked to their highest level in over a decade. In the midst of a health pandemic, economic crisis and social unrest, people in your community right now have questions. The Bible has answers.
It's a unique evangelistic moment for Seventh-day Adventist churches. But with gatherings cut to small numbers and local churches scrambling just to meet the needs of the members, something was needed to help church leaders catch the vision for what’s possible.
That’s when a dozen Adventist ministries joined together — including Pacific Press, SermonView Evangelism Marketing, AdventSource and Seminars Unlimited — to invite individuals to take an evangelism pledge, committing to do something, anything, to share the everlasting gospel in their communities this fall.
And people responded. Whether online evangelistic meetings, an online bridge event on the Second Coming or an interest generation campaign inviting people to study the Bible, thousands of members took the evangelism pledge.
Joanne Jones, Adventist Community Services leader at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montana, is one of those. She committed to continuing to serve her community through this ongoing health crisis.
“During COVID-19, my heart went out to the primary and junior class at church,” says Jones. “To have the Junior Guide left in the cupboard at church was not an option. So I gathered the Guides each week, printed off puzzles, mission story and anything else that would spark an interest in Jesus. Our children are the leaders of tomorrow, and, when we reach out to our children, the Holy Spirit does the convicting.”
Jones has continued to support her community by helping to fill baskets with important basics for those in need, organizing dinners for a family whose house burned down and planning a care box for Thanksgiving with supplies for a traditional dinner.
“Acts of kindness and friendship is what Jesus did while here on Earth,” says Jones. “I plan to meet each person where they are and meet their needs like He did and always share the love of Jesus and what He has done for us.”
Across the nation, pastors, elders and members have pledged to continue evangelism efforts in their church this fall and beyond. In the coalition between these ministries, a variety of resources are available for churches to tap into for ideas and guidance to help them connect with their community in the best way.
When asked what inspired him to take the evangelism pledge, Joseph Maier, Stevenson Seventh-day Adventist Church elder, replied it was the fate of his church.
“It's the only Seventh-day Adventist church in Skamania County, Washington. We cannot let this light be snuffed out. I started taking a church revitalization class online to help get things going again. People in the community have begun to realize that we are here and we care for them and the community. I look forward to the miracles God will be performing.”
Maier and his wife have dreams of starting men’s group studies and a women’s ministry focused on helping women through emotional struggles.
Ken LeBrun is pastor to a three-church district in Northport, Kettle Falls and Inchelium, Washington. LeBrun approached evangelism for his churches in a variety of ways this fall. While two of his churches are virtual seminars, his third church is a combination series with at the first part being pre-recorded and the second half in person.
“I appreciate what SermonView is doing to help churches figure out how to continue fulfilling our mission in these times,” says LeBrun. “I took the evangelism pledge because I believe the Great Commission must be fulfilled in spite of whatever challenges we may face.”
It’s not too late for members to take the evangelism pledge. Now is the time for every church to do something to reach its community.
Will you commit to doing something to share the gospel in your community? Take the pledge today at evangelismpledge.org.