Regional Churches Cast Vision for Evangelism
Seven regional churches in Washington Conference united the first weekend of October for a spiritual revival and vision casting weekend.
"We wanted people to walk away from this spiritual convocation rekindled in their fervor and passion for Christ and His Great Commission," says EuGene Lewis, Washington Conference regional affairs coordinator, Emerald City senior pastor, and event coordinator.
Through the Pentecost Now rally, leaders, pastors, and members took a close look at the evangelism impact of African American churches in the last five years, devoted time for prayer, praise and petition, and began to set a course for improving the evangelistic mission and vision of churches.
During his sermon on "Fishing in Shallow Waters," Lewis presented some sobering facts: in the last five years, regional churches received about $175,000 for evangelism and baptized 177 people, or about 5 baptisms per year per church.
"God is calling us to do evangelism better," Lewis says. "We've lost what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Jesus is our buddy, not our Master. Religion is a hobby, not our passion. Churches are more like clubs rather than a life-defining place of mission."
Lewis outlined a plan where Washington Conference would hire a literature evangelist in 2010 to provide training and support for Bible instructors and personal ministry leaders.
The weekend rally — including a Friday night youth gathering, a Sabbath (Saturday morning) worship service, and an evening gala event — drew about 300 people from seven regional churches: Emerald City Community Adventist Church in Seattle, Breath of Life Adventist Church in Seattle, Mt. Tahoma Adventist Church in Tacoma, Love of Life Adventist Church in Federal Way, Maranatha Adventist Church in Seattle, Lighthouse Fellowship in Woodinville, and Open Bible Fellowship in Lakewood.
"To accomplish the vision of doing evangelism better, we need to be more unified than ever before," says Byron Dulan, Washington Conference outreach ministries director and pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship in Woodinville, Wash. "We want to talk in unity, pray in unity, sing in unity, and walk with unity. With change, we usually apply this need to others, when it is really us who need to change to do evangelism better."