When the idea of having public evangelistic series was brought for discussion in the church board meeting, there was a certain amount of hesitancy. It was to be expected, given that there hadn't been one in a few good years. "It doesn't work," seemed to have been the underlying hypothesis. However, all agreed that this should be part of a continuous cycle of the church.
After the long church lockdown due to the COVID pandemic, several things were planned: individual Bible studies and involvement in community events like street fairs and Christmas sing-alongs in the park. It wasn't much, but it was a good start.
Dedicated church members — enthusiastic about serving their Lord and Savior — came together in organizing and supporting these events. All these were ways of making new connections in the community, reviving old acquaintances and cementing friendships.
The public evangelistic series that followed a few months down the road was a natural way of gathering previous connections. Besides the mass mailing and the social media targeted advertising, the personal ministries team put together and sent several hundred personal letters to people on the interest list. On the first weekend, thirteen new people showed up to the prophecy seminar, and four stayed until the end of the series.
On the day the baptism was scheduled, none of the potential candidates wanted to be baptized. Yet, later on, the husband of one candidate recalls the moment his wife came to him saying, with a certain trepidation, "The pastor just texted me, but I don't want to look at it ... ." She knew it was an invitation to baptism.
Her husband could barely contain his excitement. Two days before, he had intensely prayed for his wife to accept Jesus as her Lord and choose to be baptized. That weekend didn't work for them though because of previous family arrangements. However, early in the next week, after one of the public meetings, she approached the pastor and asked, "How about next Sabbath?!"
What would you have replied to that?
If there is one thing we learn, again and again, it's that it is always in His time and by His grace. All that remains for us is to humbly and joyfully do our duty, trust Him and trust the process. Every single time, He will faithfully convince souls and increase His own Kingdom. It is our privilege to work for Him in His vineyard!