Still on the Cutting Edge

December 01, 2002 | Jere Patzer

I had the recent privilege of meeting with some key Christian community leaders. They wanted to know what was happening in the Adventist Church. I told them about the new DVD initiative for reaching people with a knowledge of Jesus and His biblical truths.

After the meeting, one of the top executives of the Billy Graham organization was so impressed, he asked if I would share a copy with him. Of course, I did.

I realized from that conversation, once again, that Adventists remain where we have always been—on the cutting edge of evangelism. The new DVD series is merely the latest attempt to use modern technology for the Lord.

Let me tell you why I believe every one of the hundreds of series conducted this year in the Northwest was a huge success.

Seeds Were Sown

First, seeds were sown, the fruition of which may not be reaped until the future. The logical, biblical truths were supported by state-of-the-art graphics. The fresh presentation of gospel truth was a grounding process for all who saw and heard.

The second benefit came to the presenters themselves. Presenting a biblical concept oneself makes a greater impact than merely hearing someone else’s. I can personally attest to this, each time I preach an evangelistic series.

I can relate to Jonathan DeBard, a Gem State Adventist Academy student, who preached on baptism. At the end, when the script called for a decision, he raised his own hand and said he wanted to be the first to respond, as he had never been baptized!

Long-term Results

One lay person, commenting on the fact that their particular series has not produced huge results from a human perspective, used this powerful illustration: It’s like the man who asked God what He wanted him to do. God said, “Do you see that big boulder over there at the bottom of the hill? Push it to the top.”

The man began pushing with all his might, but to no avail. He tried from every angle but was unsuccessful. He retried the next day and again was unsuccessful.

Each day for weeks he returned to struggle with the boulder, with the same lack of results. Finally in frustration he said to God, “It’s no use. All that effort for nothing.”

And God said, “It wasn’t for nothing. Look at you. See how much stronger you are now than before. You are better prepared to serve me the next time I need you.”

Yes, being involved in sharing one’s faith builds spiritual muscle.

As I was leaving a DVD evangelistic meeting one evening at my home church, a lay person came up to me enthusiastically: “Can we get more sets?” he asked. “We now have six more people who want to do a series.”

Just today, I learned of a Northwestern church that had 19 simultaneous DVD meetings conducted by lay people. This is how the DVD initiative will grow. So wonderfully simple to deliver, yet professional and profound, these programs will be used by the hundreds in homes, churches, and auditoriums. We’ll not only grow as a church, we’ll be a stronger church, too.

Thank You

While some recent series realized seemingly minimal results, every one was a success. To the hundreds of pastors, lay leaders, and young people who participated in one of the approximately 400 DVD Northwest evangelistic series, we say “Thank you.” More importantly, so does the Lord, because you have made an eternal difference.

If you would like to share your faith through this miracle of modern technology, contact your local conference ministerial department or the North Pacific Union Conference ministerial department.