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Ancient God, But Not a Has-Been — 16 Comments

  1. Just as God led his people from Egypt to Canaan, each step of the way guiding, providing, conquering and always doing a new thing for them, then surely He will lead His people in this era. He will do new things as His people continue to honor, worship and exalt His name. He is definitely our Alpha and Omega,

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  2. On my job every few quarters we are forced to set new goals. In order for us to stay relevant we have to always have a new plan in place and some set ways to achieve the success we desire. Proverbs 29:18 says "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." As a church and denomination we need to constantly set new goals. Our actions and methods for evangelism need to reflect the times we are in. In many ways, I feel that this blog & twitter is one way that we are trying to share our testimonies in a modern way that can be understood and shared with many; however I am a little concerned that a lot of our efforts as Adventist reach out to other Adventist. Sure we do a get job sending missionaries throughout world and aid through ADRA, but here in America how are we making radical changes to share with our neighbors?

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    • I can relate to your question. But for me the question becomes more basic. It is not so much how are we (the church) but how am I (personally) sharing with my neighbors? Evangelism is the work of individuals much more than that of the church. When we chose to assign a pastor for every church and delegated that responsibility to them, we began to die as a people. It is only as we accept the personal responsibility that comes with following Jesus that we will live again.

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      • I concur Steve, I sometimes struggle with being comfortable enough to share with my neighbors. I usually take the approach that by the life I live they will know, but that is only part of it.

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    • Elle, you have some very practical ways to keep current instead of becoming a has-been. I don't know about all of America, but at the Tampa First Seventh-day Advenitst Church, evangelism is taking a whole new look. We have Bible studies in restuarants where we can connect with the people where they are at. We have a small golf group where we golf with unbelievers and form friendships that lead to Bible studies. We have a vespers and game night where the members are asked to bring their friends so we can connect with them and share Jesus with them. We have small growth groups that meet in peoples homes. We are focusing more on being wholistic. We are focusing on long term relationships instead of just quick baptisms. Gone are the days where we just sit people in front of a big projecter screen and tell them "We're right you're wrong!" We want to be right but we also want to be relational. Jesus was always right, but He was also always relational. I believe one of the reasons small groups, and growth groups don't work as well in North America as they do in Latin countries is because we are more concerned about being right than we are about being relational. We have wanted the quick baptism because that's what was best for us and our records, instead of thinking of the people themselves, and what was best for them, and helping them find a relationship with Jesus in God's timing instead of our own deadlines and timing. Our evangelism at Tampa First is more focused on the needs of the people than our need to get them baptized and fill out our reports. We have grief recovery groups and divorce recover groups as well as parenting etc. Don't get me wrong, we have baptisms right along. The most we have had since I have been here is 48 in one year. But by being wholistic, we want to have sound relationships as well as sound doctrines. I can tell you this, I have been a Bible Worker for over 20 years now, and a typical workday today is nothing like a typical workday 20 years ago.

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      • That is great to hear. I loved hearing about what the Tampa First Church is doing. Small groups that build relationships is phenomenal, getting to know people through love and meeting their tangible needs, and then share your message just as Jesus did. Bravo!

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  3. Steve you are so right on with your comment. Just tonight I was teaching a group at church how to chain reference their Bibles to give Bible studies and get decisions for Christ. As a Bible worker and pastor, my job is not to give the Bible studies for the church, but to equip the church to give the studies and to share Jesus themselves instead of relying on a pastor or Bible Worker. I have also been teaching a class at Tampa Adventist Academy, and 5th and 6th graders are giving Bible studies now too.

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  4. Willliam, Do you pair the 5th and 6th graders up with other kids or adults? How do you find the people for them to give the studies to? I think it is wonderful to start young people out at an early age giving Bible studies.

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  5. Hi Laura,

    The kids give Bible studies to their nieghbor friends (kids) and non christian family members. A few of the kids have reported doing Bible studies with cousins, and one child has reported studying with a much older step brother. I also let them assist me in doing baptism studies with other kids at school.

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  6. How very true. We have been attending church for a long time now. I had not known the word fear or experienced it , especially when we are discussing the word of God. When we came to South Africa, we realised that our witnessing visits became fewer and fewer. We were getting accustomed to the culture here.(due to the high rate of crime, People are afraid and unsure what to do in the case of door to door witnessing.) The more I think of it, I realise that a witnessing church is likely to flourish and grow like a flowing stream. The less people witness they become like a filthy, stagnant pool that becomes muddy and eventually dries up. with time the fear grew less and as we got to know the communities here and started talking to them, it became easier to talk about God to them (they have become our neighbours and friends.) We need strategies that help us to reach people no matter how difficult any situation may seem. God was with poeple in South Africa then (during Apartheid) and he is with us now. in a society that is recovering from the ruins. He certainly is not a has been for he knew the country and people then and knows the situation now.

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  7. Jeremia, I see the same struggles everywhere. We still do door to door evangelism here, even though there is crime here too, but we also try a variety of methods. Like Solomon said, try a lot of things because you never know which one will work. God bless your ministry in South Africa.

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  8. You know I wish you blessing from the throne of God and wish I could do the same. I would like you to pray for me because I want to do this but my own family does not like to do it especially my husband who I had thought we could visit together. However it is my responsibility alone to see what to do as it is said there are many ways to do it.

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