Kuna Church Connects With the Community
Beginning Jan. 3 and continuing through much of February, the Kuna Church held a series of public evangelistic meetings called Community Conversations LIVE. For seven weeks, on Sabbath mornings and Wednesday nights, Randy Maxwell, pastor, attempted to engage the seeker, the skeptic, and the unchurched in a dialogue about faith that matters today.
Sabbath morning presentations were followed with a fellowship meal. Wednesday night meetings were classroom-style, designed to give guests an opportunity to dialogue and process questions related to the presentation the previous Sabbath.
"On Sabbaths we engaged the subject matter through proclamation, and Wednesday nights, we dug deeper through conversation and interaction with the Word," says Maxwell.
The public meetings were the culmination of earlier attempts to connect with the community through monthly Community Conversations teleconferences that began last fall. Every fourth Tuesday the church hosts an hour-long telecast advertised in the local paper and on various Web sites. People are invited to call in and listen to Maxwell and guest presenters discuss spiritual issues. "I love how the Community Conversations LIVE fits our church's personality and talents," says Aileen Andres Sox, longtime Kuna member and Our Little Friend and Primary Treasure editor. "The people I've met who visited us for the first time during these meetings are enthusiastic to hear more of what the Bible teaches about the times in which we are living."
The public meetings were designed to be "seed-sowing" with a goal of generating new friendships and Bible studies. During the seven-week series, three new home-based Bible study/prayer groups organized. These "Homes of H.O.P.E." (Houses Of Prayer Everywhere) are led by Kuna Church members. "And what is awesome is almost 100 percent of the new friends who came consistently during the series are still attending regularly on Sabbath and are involved in a Home of HOPE," says Maxwell, who reports three additional groups slated to launch soon.
Sean and Lisa Carrick of Kuna are among those attending the meetings. "The Community Conversations were tremendously helpful to me as I wanted—no, I needed to know the truth about hell, death and the Sabbath," says Sean. "Now that I have some understanding of our living souls, I am living a healthier lifestyle. The home group has been a great support as I am getting lots of grief from family over our decision to become Seventh-day Adventists."
Church leadership has already given the green light on future meetings like these, and is planning to use the DVD and audio recordings from the first meetings in ongoing outreach to the Kuna community.