One of our Carolina pastors, Bryan Arvelo, said it well when he said, “Evangelism is a lifestyle. It’s a way that we handle ourselves every single day. Evangelism is an opportunity that we have every day to reach other folks.”
Over the past few years, we have been challenged in many ways. We’ve seen death, sorrow, and depression on unprecedented levels, and one of the only stable, steadfast places we have traditionally turned to for hope — the church — has changed. In these circumstances, it’s easy to find ourselves in an evangelism slump, letting time pass by while we deal with...well, life.
But in these times, there are even more opportunities. The opportunity to reach others in similar circumstances. The opportunity to see the signs of the soon coming of our Lord and feel compassion for the lost. And the opportunity to BE the church these lost souls want to find. This is the individual responsibility of each and every one of us. What an honor and pleasure it is when we know we have answered the call!
Ellen White penned these words in The Ministry of Healing: “Everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of organizations for individual effort. Human wisdom tends to consolidation, to centralization, to the building up of great churches and institutions.
Multitudes leave to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence; they excuse themselves from contact with the world, and their hearts grow cold. They become self-absorbed and unimpressible. Love for God and man dies out of the soul. Christ commits to
His followers an individual work, — a work that cannot be done by proxy. Ministry to the sick and the poor, the giving of the gospel to the lost, is not to be left to committees or organized charities. Individual responsibility, individual effort, personal sacrifice, is the requirement of the gospel,” page 147.
Those are powerful words. Throughout this issue of The Carolina Action, you will read stories of conversion which are the results of someone’s individual efforts to reach lost souls. There are many more stories we could have included. I am continually encouraged and excited to visit our churches, groups, and companies and meet those who are there because someone — perhaps you — gave them an invitation and the Holy Spirit took it from there. I see the gratitude in their faces, and the relief in their hearts.
So far this year we have had 608 baptisms and professions of faith. Praise God! But here comes the question (and I know you’ve heard it before, but here goes): What if every single one of us in the Carolina Conference was a soulwinner? Not a preacher, or teacher, or evangelist, or writer, or door-to-door Bible worker...but just simply a winner of souls. Through whatever means God places on your heart. It could be one of those ways I just mentioned, but I trust that through prayer and reflection, you will find YOUR way. Because God has called you. And what an honor and pleasure it is when we know we have answered the call!
—Glen Altermatt, Evangelism Director