Intense Training Follows Boot Camp in Lewistion

March 01, 2010 | Jon Dalrymple

More than 40 people attended the ShareHIM Boot Camp in Lewiston, Idaho, Jan. 29–30. It was the fifth boot camp held in the Upper Columbia Conference since they began in the fall of 2008.

This event teaches members how to do outreach and spiritual "seed sowing" as regular part of daily life. "It's an intense and rigorous training," says David Livermore, UCC Church Growth director. "That's why we call it boot camp."

"Boot camp gives our members practical tools for personal evangelism," says Bob Folkenberg Jr., UCC president. "With boot camp and Bible worker coordinators being placed in churches conference-wide through the Share the Life initiative, we want to start a revival where members are regularly opening the word of God to their neighbors."

The boot camp is a two-day event with more than 12 hours of training. Beginning on Friday evening, members are given an overview of who Adventists are as a people and what the Adventist Church's purpose is according to Bible prophecy. They also begin to develop and practice giving a personal testimony they can share with people in the community.

On Sabbath morning members learn about the cycle of evangelism and the difference between the gospel and doctrine. Then on Sabbath afternoon and evening there is over six hours of practical training on how to build relationships with neighbors, prepare Bible studies and sermons, organize evangelistic events, preach from PowerPoint slides, make appeals and how to handle objections.

"There is just a wealth of knowledge and experience here," says Season Townsend from Spokane Valley. "I also think the event helps ignite a congregation and bring them together on a common goal."

"One thing I've learned is that you don't need a college education, or even a high school diploma to do this kind of work," says Larry Sendleback, from the Diamond Lake Church. "It's just simple work you do with the Holy Spirit."

The "boot camp has the potential to transform our conference," says Gerald Haeger, UCC Ministerial and Evangelism director. "Because it really equips people for ministry and having Bible worker coordinators placed in churches around the conference will help keep members inspired, organized and focused on reaching people for Jesus."