Conference Plans to 'Grow Montana'
The Montana Conference held its annual pastors’ meeting Jan. 14–17, 2018, in Bozeman, Mont., where strategic planning took place with a focus on revival and transformation. “It is our heart's desire that every member in our conference would experience a significant growth in their prayer life,” says Elden Ramirez, Montana Conference president. “I am convinced that when we come together as a body of believers and seek the Lord in prayer amazing things happen. When revival takes place in our hearts, not only our lives experience transformation but also our churches. They become active in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Three Angels' Message, in love, mercy and grace."
Every pastor was invited to participate in reading a collection of books on prayer throughout the year. The first book was written specifically for ministers, to help them in their own spiritual growth. The other books are for them to read with their church members so everyone can be encouraged to grow in their prayer lives. This conferencewide prayer initiative is to prepare every church for Grow Montana, an evangelistic plan to engage as many as possible and invite them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Grow Montana plan consists of five steps:
- Prepare: Preparing the soil of the heart as the first phase of the evangelism process. This is the reason why a strong emphasis in prayer and the reading of God's Word is extremely important.
- Plant: Testing the soil of the heart by planting seeds of biblical truths. Jesus said, "The seed is the Word of God" (Luke 8:11). This is accomplished by sharing our personal testimony. Every member should have a personal testimony to share. There is nothing more powerful than to share with others what God's Word has done in our lives. Total member involvement is key for growth to take place.
- Cultivate: When someone responds positively to the planting of spiritual seeds, it is time to offer a weekly Bible study. This is where we cultivate the growing interest through the study and application of the Word. This can be accomplished through weekly personal or group Bible studies.
- Harvest: After cultivating the interest with Bible studies, it is time to lead those embracing Jesus to make decisions for baptism. Harvesting decisions for Christ can be accomplished through Bible studies, public evangelistic meetings and other forms of evangelistic outreach.
- Preserve: After baptism, new members will be discipled through nurturing friendships and continued learning. This is the preserve phase of the evangelism process. An intentional mentoring plan will enable the equipped disciple to make other disciples, thus adding to the growth of the church in Montana.
The Lord has blessed the Montana Conference with godly, committed ministers who are claiming 2018 as the “Year of Revival” and are partnering with all church members to experience transformation, engage in the Grow Montana initiative and witness the continued advancement of God’s work in Montana.