A few days ago, I walked into our Division President’s office with a question: “What would you like to see happen in North America, when it comes to Evangelism?” His answer was quick, sharp, and brief. He replied: “EVERYTHING.” Pastor Jackson’s reply has stayed with me since that day and I would like for it to stay with you, “EVERYTHING.”
When it comes to Evangelism and Outreach in the Adventist Church across the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Guam and the Micronesian Islands, EVERYTHING goes. Yes, you read it right. If it Reaches, Retains, and Reclaims individuals, families, and communities for Jesus, EVERYTHING and ANYTHING goes, it must be tried and it must be used. After all that’s what Jesus did, and our Church is His Church, and we are His followers.
This means that subscribing to only one or two methods to reach, retain, and reclaim our communities and cities for Jesus is no longer the norm. This means that creative outreach ideas must not be shut down by a few people, who know the power of the infamous phrase, “we don’t do that here.” Evangelism needs to stop being just an event or a non-event, which happens during a season, in which only some participate, and become the lifestyle of all Adventists, 24/7, 365 days a year. It means that there is work beyond the four walls of our church buildings; it is perfectly appropriate and smart to minister outside, where most people are. Those who are doing it are seeing the difference.
It means we must continue to enhance what has worked, abandon what is not working, duplicate what is working for others in our context, and find ways to become more innovative and effective in the fulfillment of our mission. Each Adventist disciple of Jesus in North America, should get a chance to experience the joy of sharing Jesus daily and seamlessly, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or language. For that to happen we must open up many evangelistic avenues and opportunities, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This means that if you cannot Preach or Teach, there’s got to be a way for you to Reach someone, somehow.
We must await the Second Coming of Jesus being relevant, with all hands on deck, moving in the same direction, without in-fighting, although our methods may differ; remembering that unity in mission is paramount while multiple methods are necessary. Let us continue to pray and work for a spirit of unity and grand-collaboration that extends from our youngest members, pastors, evangelists, administrators, and to our most renown and influential Adventist entities. People, churches, schools, ministries, hospitals, and institutions who are the eyes, the heart, the hands, the feet, and the mouthpiece of Jesus daily and constantly, become blessings to humanity and huge magnets for people. Jesus did that while on this earth, and now calls you, me, and our church to do the same in this so called Post-Christian era.
As we Reach, Retain, and Reclaim North America together, please count on our support, prayers, and love. Our team exists to empower and support you!
Pastor Jose Cortes Jr., is an Associate Ministerial Director and Leads Evangelism for the Adventist Church in North America.