When a visitor goes to the effort of coming to an Adventist church on a Sabbath morning we have a God-given responsibility to help them prepare for the return of Jesus.
Veteran pastor and It Is Written Spanish Associate Director Robert Costa has pastored Spanish and English churches and has seen exponential growth in both through several simple Sabbath morning soul winning activities. Feel free to share your comments below.
“I’ll share with you two basic principles that helped me be more effective in pastoring Hispanics for 25 years and an Anglo church for eight years. There is nothing new under the sun. The first one I give credit to Cyril Miller, the second is mostly something I developed through the years based on some counsels from Mark Finley.
The bigger the church, the more ministries should be developed. A smaller church may focus on one or two ministries. There are two ministries that never should be forgotten in a congregation of any size:
1. SABBATH MORNING EVANGELISM. Every other Sabbath I used the pulpit to preach like we preach in a regular evangelistic series, using the same subjects fully illustrated followed at the end with an appeal. I spent eight years doing evangelism that way without asking one dollar from the Conference. The results? A church in Austin, TX grew from 69 members to 600+. That same church planted three new congregations.
Some of the benefits of the prophetic-doctrinal approach of evangelistic preaching on Sabbath morning are: a) Establishing of the believers in the truth. b) All the major topics of the Bible are covered in one year. c) Brings new interests and encourage them to continue attending church. d) Creates an evangelistic environment in the church. e) The church grows and is in a revival mood all year round. f) Helps the pastor to become an evangelist.
I am more convinced that we must use our houses of worship as evangelistic centers in a continuous basis. When we open the Word before the people the miracle of soul winning becomes a reality.
2. PRAYER WITH GUESTS AND VISITORS. Every visitor and guest is an asset in our church. Think how difficult it is to bring someone on Sabbath to the doors of the church. Once they are there, as a minister, I must establish contact with them. At the beginning of the sermon I ask how many friends or guests are in the worship service that day.
Once they raise their hands I tell them something like this: “I’m so glad you are worshiping with us today. You could have gone to some other important place this morning, or been working, or at home or at the mall, or resting, but you chose to be in the house of the Lord. There is a blessing for you today….. Before I close the sermon this morning I want to pray for you. I don’t want you to leave this place without God’s blessing. I want to pray for you, your family, your job, your needs. I want to ask God to put a fence of protection around you and your family…..” Then I ask the congregation: “Aren’t you happy to have guests and visitors with us?” Etc, etc.
Just before I finish the sermon I invite the guests to stand to pray for them. Then I step down off the platform and invite them to come to the front to join me for prayer. There I make an appeal to them to accept Jesus, to put their hands in His powerful hand. Following the appeal I invite church members who have a special need to come to the front, and I close the service with an appeal and a prayer of dedication.
Two simple steps that don’t require money or something special, that could be summarized as “Preaching the Word evangelistically” and “Connecting with visitors though prayer.”