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The Year of Evangelism

A year of enthusiasm

What an amazing year this has been for evangelism in the Southwestern Union. The union office has been directly involved in organizing and conducting 111 meetings, both at home and abroad, resulting in more than 3,200 baptisms. Some of our speakers were experienced preachers. Some did not know if they could or think they should preach, but what life-changing experiences took place!

There was the young Southwestern Adventist University student who shared, “I will never be the same.” And the SWUC Executive Committee member who was terrified before preaching, but who excitedly proclaimed after the event, “This has been the best experience of my life!”

What about the more than 500 churches in our union that have held evangelistic meetings? Were they blessed? Absolutely! They were blessed with more than 5,000 people who have been baptized and have experienced transformations in their lives beyond belief! Yes, this has been our best year ever in soul winning in our conferences and in our churches. Praise the Lord!

What is next? Is the work finished? What can we do?

We can be kind, gentle, and friendly with our new members, so they will want to remain a part of their new church family.

We can encourage our new members to join the quest for souls. No one is more on fire than a new believer. And nothing solidifies faith like sharing it. Let’s capture their enthusiasm for truth by continuing to share the light with our communities.

We can lead by example. We must get off of the pews and get out into our neighborhoods. We can’t expect new members to do something we refuse to do ourselves!

We can learn from the example of a 16-year-old girl in south Texas who was not ashamed of the gospel, but shared Jesus with her friends and gave them Bible studies. She surprised the church when she brought 12 baptismal candidates with their baptismal bags packed and ready to be baptized. That church and that young lady will never be the same! And, Jesus would say, “Go thou and do likewise.”

Again, is the work finished? No, but we are building momentum. I can hear Jesus saying, “Rejoice with me, for the lost are found.” I can almost smell the green grass of paradise. And, I can almost see the reflections of the light at the end of the tunnel.

I hear rumors of an unreached group of people numbering several hundred million (some of whom are our neighbors) actively studying the prophecies of the second coming of Jesus from an Adventist perspective. When they come, will we be ready? I hope so. I am tired of this “old ball of mud” and I want Jesus to come.

But before He comes, somebody must go somewhere and tell someone, because Jesus said, “Go, preach, teach, and baptize.” Won’t you say with me, as did Isaiah, “Lord, here am I, send me!”

Duane McKey is the vice president for evangelism at the Southwestern Union.
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