Before our “Apocalypse of Hope” seminar started we had a “friend day” at church where members were encouraged to invite a friend. We assured our members that the whole day would be dedicated to reaching out to people who don’t yet know Jesus and that we wouldn’t do anything to embarrass them. One member, Dan Weston, invited his neighbors to come. Justin had been raised in an Adventist home, but had been gone for nearly 20 years. Jennifer was raised in a Catholic home. They came to our friend day, saw the video advertising for our seminar and the brochure stuffed into the bulletin and decided to come to the seminar. In the next 4 weeks, they came every week to church and then when the seminar began, they never missed a night. The last night of the seminar, they were baptized together in a surprise to Justin’s mom who heard that Jennifer was getting baptized, but didn’t know Justin was too.
Jennifer said to me that their little 4 year old son, Douglas was so excited to be coming to church and she related several stories about learning about Jesus that simply made her heart swell with pride. She was thrilled with what she was learning and went home each night to spend another hour looking up the scriptures, reading through the handouts, and convincing herself that we were preaching from a biblical perspective.