by Rodney Payne, Lead Pastor of the Beaverton Seventh-day Adventist Church
We as a church family shared with our community the evangelistic series entitled “Tracing the Footsteps of Jesus”. Pastor Tony Moore’s ministry, The Biblical World, produces this evangelist package. This series seeks to place the story of Jesus Christ as the major focus while incorporating the Adventist doctrine within this framework. Each night we reviewed the assigned Bible study from the evening before, enjoyed the 25-30 minute episode, had moments of interactions to build community, and then I preached the review of the episode adding in additional teachings as I saw fit. In addition to the 28 part series, I preached the more traditional doctrinal sermons on 10 of the Sabbaths that fell within the time of the overall series. One good indicator of our attendance is seen in the fact that we gave away over 130 Andrews Study Bibles as a reward for strong attendance.
These meetings were preceded with a strong emphasis on training the memberships, organizing prayer initiatives, a double waive of mailer advertisements, and door-to-door personal invitations. In addition, we did our best to develop our presence in the community with nearly 2 years of activities such as Christmas programs, hosting community parking lot sales, a community Bible study, International Food fairs, etc…
Follow up of the meetings began by providing a group doctrinal Bible study experience. Our first night of this follow-up series we had just under 40 in attendance and over half were those who are considering the possibility of baptism.
My desire was to conduct a series of meetings that truly put Christ first and central to every thing. I believe we achieved this. However, in doing something a bit different the measurements of success are also different. Over the years, I have become more comfortable with the fact that we never have as many guests as you hope for and that not every guest will decided to become part of this Advent Movement. What truly defines success is whether or not we blessed peoples lives by helping them to move forward in their relationship with Jesus.