Dave Livermore, Kelso-Longview, WA District (OR Conf.)
[In September Dave held a Pastors’ Leadership Retreat at his church. He and many of his church leaders shared what role they playing in ministry and soul winning. Here is a summary of some of the highlights. If you would like to take part in a future Leadership Retreat contact firstname.lastname@example.org]
Each January I have a public evangelistic series in the church. All of our year round activities focus toward this reaping series. During the year we have “Big Events” (Christmas, Easter, 4th of July) to meet people, “Free Market Small Groups” to meet the needs of the members and community, and Worship Services (using inspiring music, drama, and PowerPoint) that touch the hearts of visitors and members.Recently (October 2004) we have hosted a Spanish reaping meeting with Ramon Canals from the NPUC. In advance we had Spanish classes for our members so we could welcome them into our congregation. But the interest is so large a new Spanish congregation will probably be planted as a result.
Donavan Kack, Libby, MT District (MT Conf.)[The town of Libby, MT has less than 2,500 people and a church that hadn’t grown noticeably for years. But during the last 12 months over 20 have been baptized. In October Pastor Donavon Kack was asked by Montana Conference President John Loor to present his experience to the Montana pastors. Here is a summary. Donavan’s e-mail address is email@example.com
I cannot thank the Lord enough for what He has done here. I know that it was nothing short of His blessing that has brought such a bountiful harvest. I am desperate for the blessing of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In reality everything we did was to place ourselves where nothing would hinder God from pouring out such blessing that there would not be room enough to receive it. Anyhow, here is a brief outline of what happened. But to be honest … I didn’t have this outline until it had happened. It has been an exciting learning experience for me as well.
1) I realized my own desperate need for a wholehearted continual surrendera. It is always easier to see the churches need instead of my own.b. Got serious about a personal prayer life.
2) Set the house in ordera. “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, to that the Lord can pour out His Spirit on a languishing church” 1SM p.124b. So I asked what things have come to my attention as being potential hindrances?1- Unfaithfulness in tithing?2- An unforgiving spirit? There were some difficult things that I had to address my leadership with. They responded very positively…much to my joy. And immediately I could sense the Lord begin to do something special.
3) The Word of God was made supremePreaching it, making it the answer to all our difficulties. Made Bible studies the major focus and priority. The focus was how can we find more people to study with. Obviously prayer drove that point deeper and as we prayed the Lord convicted two of our member to start a Discover Bible School. Others began giving Bible studies to their friends. Every service had testimonies from members about how their Bible studies were going…the enthusiasm grew. I began to hear more and more, “It can be done.”
4) We set some Big GoalsWe wanted to have over 30 Bible studies going every week. That goal caused us to work harder. Within a couple of months we had well over 30 Bible Studies. By this time the enthusiasm had become contagious… Between the Discover School and the Personal in-home Bible studies we had over 140 bible studies going.
5) We didn’t try to get the whole church working at the start [start small it will grow]It began with one member who wanted to learn how to give bible studies. He was willing to introduce me to his patients who had shown an interest in spiritual things. In a little over a week we had 12 bible studies going. I decided to use that approach with other of my members, they would introduce me to their friends and I would see how open they were to bible studies, amazingly the majority were. When the bible study started I had no problem with finding someone to commit to coming with me on the study. The member who introduced me became my Bible study partner and I used the opportunity to mentor them so that they could take over a successful study. (One that was going to advance to baptism) Before long there were over 10 members actively doing bible studies.
6) Be persistent, never give up. Psalm 126:5-6 “If we have the interest that John Knox had when he pleaded before God for Scotland, we will have success. He cried, “Give me Scotland, Lord, or I die.” And when we take hold of the work and wrestle with God, saying, “I must have souls; I will never give up the struggle,” we will find that God will look upon our efforts with favor.” Manuscript 14, 1887 [Also in the Great Controversy]