Evangelism Shark Tank Grants Awarded

In April 2021, the NPUC rolled out a program called Evangelism Shark Tank. Northwest pastors were asked to submit their ideas on how to better reach their community. Grants for as much as $15,000 would be awarded in each conference. Here is a little bit about the winning projects.

Crosswalk Portland is a new church plant in Portland, Oregon, that plans to reach out to those in the area who have become disconnected with the church. From Oct. 9 through the end of 2021, members of Crosspoint will make an intentional effort to reach the disconnected or disillusioned. One way they will do this is by having a “Love Well” outreach opportunity so that when they gather, they focus on a loving God, loving each other and loving their community well.

Inside Out, a Portland church plant, will offer their community a weeklong spiritual retreat on the Santiam River, away from hard city life. The weekend features food, fellowship, Bible studies and spiritual messages.

The Billings Church in Montana plans to utilize online platforms to host an evangelism video series. They will create a 12-15 part series to share relevant Biblical teachings that tie into what we believe as Seventh-day Adventists. This series will be promoted through online advertising using social media and Google based AdWords. It will have its own web domain which will allow for leads to be generated to contact and follow up with those who watched.

The Hamilton Church in Montana will be doing a more traditional approach of a 24-part evangelistic series targeting their population of 50,000. The funds will cover handbills, newspaper ads, Facebook, etc. They will have a children’s program, nightly Bible studies and several books as giveaways to attendees.

LifeBridge, a new church plant in Tacoma, Washington, has a full schedule for utilizing their funding. They will hold a community fall festival in October where each family in the church will seek to connect with a family from the community. In November, a free dental clinic will allow every patient to receive treatment as well as prayer, an invitation to Bible studies or the opportunity to participate in the various ministries of the church. A Christmas outreach will provide 50 stockings to children in the local children’s hospital. A live nativity scene in a local park and a Christmas worship experience will invite guests to commit to Christ through Bible studies and baptism. Spiritual revival groups will host several concurrent groups in homes reading and discussing a book such as Steps to Christ or Steps to Personal Revival. Finally an evangelistic reaping seminar entitled What is God Doing about Suffering will share the Adventist beliefs through themes of The Great Controversy. They will invite people to make decisions for Jesus and continue involvement in LifeBridge Church.

Bonners Ferry Church in Idaho will do one or more video series to target specific populations and draw them into a connection with their local church community. The videos would be hosted on a platform that would allow an automated follow up and response system to prompt inactive viewers that a video is waiting. It can also prompt them to watch another recommended series, join an online study, connect with a local small group, start a correspondence Bible study or have someone come to their home to study the Bible.

Palmer Church in Alaska will launch a podcast entitled More BetterIt will invite people into a life with Jesus that is more and better than anything else. The podcast will tell stories through pastoral journalism. Much like an investigative journalist would take listeners on an audio journey, an audio recorder will capture the moments and conversations that illuminate where God is at work. Every episode will follow a plotline to communicate one main point: to call listeners into a Jesus-centered missional life that is more and better than anything they can imagine.

Idaho is partnering with the NPUC on a project called Operation Exponential Growth to provide resources for personnel, finances, training and discipling. It will include several parts, beginning with prayer as the foundation, it will lead to revival, then to baptism and will follow with new church plants. The plans also include work to reclaim members who have fallen away from the church. Evangelistic meetings will take place throughout the conference either conducted live by the local pastor or through a livestream of evangelistic meetings by Bill McClendon in the Nampa Church in Idaho.