From The President’s Pen
A few weeks ago, Carole and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Haymarket, Virginia.
Here, Pastor Mark and Teenie Finley have established a center for evangelism known as the Living Hope Retreat Center. Seven other Carolina pastors joined us, along with pastors from the Chesapeake, New Jersey, and Ohio Conferences, for worship, fellowship and equipping. Our goal was to sharpen our skills in leading people to become faithful disciples of Christ and active members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The Carolina pastors who met with Mark Finley included Justin Howard, Enoch Omosa, Ben Rueda, Eric Bates, Mark Kent, Cornelius Kamei, and Ralph Henderson. Evangelism has four primary stages:
The proclamation of Biblical truths central to our love for Jesus–truths we embrace as an Adventist Church — in a logical and understandable format.
The conviction of hearts as people are moved by the Holy Spirit to believe what has been proclaimed.
Persuasively creating the desire to respond to the conviction.
The action of choosing a life in harmony with biblical truth and a faithful walk with Christ.
I am not even close to having the caliber of evangelistic skills of Dale Pollett, Steve Vail, Mark Finley or John Bradshaw! However, as a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am called and committed to Christ’s commission of soul winning — to go and make disciples for Him — with the few talents that God has given me. This is why I believe that evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand as the heartbeat of the church.
There are a host of biblical reasons for this conviction. Here are three of them:
Evangelism is God’s means for saving lost people. Paul was very clear about this in Romans 10:13-15, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things’” NKJV.
Evangelism brings joy to the heart of God. Jesus reminded us of this in Luke 15:7 when
He told his disciples that “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” NKJV.
Evangelism gives me a reason for living and fulfills the meaning of my existence. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this in Chapter 43, verse 21, “This people I have formed for Myself. They shall declare my praise” NKJV. Birds were made to fly, fish were made to swim, and we were made to know God and share a knowledge of His love with the people around us.
It is my prayer that in this final quinquennial term of my service as your servant leader, that we as God’s people in Carolina will earnestly plead for and consecrate our hearts to experience the outpouring of the promised power of the Latter Rain.
Hear these words from God’s messenger to His remnant church:
“The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God.” — Ellen G. White in The Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.
As of the end of August, we have added 608 precious hearts this year as new members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North and South Carolina. Will you pray that this year, by God’s grace, we can break our soul-winning goal of 1000, and keep pressing upward till we reach our Heavenly home?
My beloved Carolinians, let’s “Go tell it on the mountain...over the hill and everywhere!” Let’s go tell it from the Blue Ridge mountains to the pristine shoreline of the Outer Banks. Let’s go tell it from the breathtaking vista of the foothills to the Grand Strand of sandy beaches in the Palmetto State. Let’s go, my dear brothers and sisters, to let our world know that Jesus loves them and He’s coming again as our Rescuer and Redeemer soon and very soon!
Your servant leader,
Carolina Conference President