As part of the Idaho Conference Operation Exponential Growth, It Is Written is partnering with the Idaho Conference and the North Pacific Union Conference for Operation Exponential Growth 2023. John Bradshaw, president of IIW, will present a series in the Treasure Valley (Boise Metro area) April 14–May 13, 2023 which will be livestreamed across the conference. In partnership with Southern Adventist University, IIW has developed a course called SALT — Soul-winning And Leadership Training — held at SAU.
IIW brought SALT on the road. Road SALT was a one-week course in the evenings to start a group of church members on the path to becoming Bible workers. In just a week, Eric Flickinger, IIW associate director, and Jack Phillips, IIW outreach coordinator, led the group of 45–60 members through how to set up an evangelism team, how to solicit Bible studies by knocking on doors and how to respond to Bible study cards that are returned to IIW and then shared by ZIP code with the churches.
On the first Sabbath afternoon, attendees went out in pairs and knocked on doors, getting to know people. That resulted in a few Bible study requests and one of the women reconnected with a former student of hers. Bible studies may be in their future!
The last Friday evening, Flickinger and Phillips began the meeting with seven minutes of sharing prayer requests and praying in small groups. This modeled how the evangelism teams at each church should begin their weekly meetings.
The evangelism teams will follow up with Bible study requests, meeting for no more than an hour each week. There is a specific process IIW teaches on how to deal with Bible study request cards. First, take a photo of the card — that way it won’t get lost. Second, pray with your partner. Always go out in twos — it’s Biblical! Jesus sent the 70 disciples out in twos.
Next, just go and knock on the door of the card or cards for that week. Don’t call, don’t give the person an excuse to not visit with you. Always have the following: name tag, Bible lesson, perhaps a gift, a Bible (not an online one) and extra supplies like an extra Bible and pens. A complete guide with all the steps listed, resources and video tutorials are available at SALT365.org.
Members practiced their opening canvass, how to deal with rejections and how to set up the next appointment for those who were receptive. They also spent time learning to prepare their personal testimonies on how they met Jesus and what a difference He has made in their life. This step was difficult, especially for long-time Adventists. The emphasis on a personal testimony is not how one became a Seventh-day Adventist, but on how Jesus came into their life. There is a difference.
Norval Rios, one of the regular attendees, shared how this week of training affected him. He said, “When Lee Venden gave a series of talks last year in Nampa Adventist Church, he stated that the Christian life was likened to a three-legged stool. Each leg representing a duty, should one want to follow Christ: read, pray, share. My challenge was sharing. With the It Is Written program, SALT facilitates the function of the third leg, witnessing for Him.”
Members ended the week on Sabbath with more neighborhood visitation. Many of them are looking forward to March 12, 2023 when SALT is back to prepare more Bible workers in the Treasure Valley.