If at First You Don't Succeed ...

July 22, 2021 | Church | Michael Demma

Listen to what people are saying online and on the street. Many are wondering about a possible connection between the coronavirus and end-time events. With this increased interest in mind, the Puyallup Adventist Church members held high hopes for the It Is Written digital evangelistic series, Hope Awakens. 

No one at the church had ever done an online digital seminar. The learning curve felt steep. The training involved both never-before-used software and how to work with interested online viewers. With the help of email support and video training classes, members felt somewhat prepared. Nevertheless, it did feel like they were trying to work on a car’s transmission while driving it! 

When the series began, members were delighted to see that nearly 100 non-Adventists had registered up for the event. A delightful surprise for sure.

As the series went on, members faithfully followed directions regarding emails to contacts, then phone calls and then invitations to small groups. The responses were few. Even speaker John Bradshaw’s appeals garnered only a couple of responses.

Hardly any of the viewers were willing to communicate with members. Finally, all online viewer communication dropped to zero. Hopes were dashed.

So, what was learned through it all?

Members said, "We learned to persevere. We learned to listen and support one another as we all endured the same frustration. We learned that fishing — as Jesus put it — is tiring. We learned to be more sympathetic toward each other and those who worked at the host site. (We’re all human!) And we learned that we’re ultimately not responsible for great results. Finally, we learned a bit more of God’s heart."

God has and continues to invest everything in saving people with comparatively little results. Yet, He continues. The lesson is not lost on the Puyallup members who also invested significantly to reach people with no visible results at present. Yet, by God's grace they plan to continue on.