Why Not Try This? … Help Your Conference Focus on the Harvest

What happens if an entire conference (or union or division) becomes focused on soul winning and the mission Jesus gave us? Lost people will be brought to Jesus and His church, those in the church will experience revival and reformation, there will be great rejoicing in heaven, and Jesus will return soon! How exciting is that!

If you are a conference/union/division officer or staff member, or serve on a decision-making and/or planning committee on the conference/union/division level, I encourage you to look over the thirteen items listed below, pick one or two items to act on, then go for it! See what God does in your life!

Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35 NIV

  1. Clarify Your Own Identity and Mission.
    1. Deepen your time and walk with Jesus and His word
    2. Develop a regular personal study plan to clarify your understanding of and commitment to the–
      1. Adventist mission. See Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8; Acts of the Apostles
      2. Adventist message. See Revelation 14:6-12; Patriarchs and Prophets; Prophets and Kings
      3. Adventist methods. See Luke 9:1-6; Luke 10:1-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; The Desire of Ages; Acts of the Apostles
      4. Adventist urgency. See Daniel; Revelation; Matthew 23-25; 2 Peter 3:1-14; The Great Controversy
      5. (For all four see Evangelism; Gospel Workers; Christian Service; Pastoral Ministry)
    3. Build a circle of like-minded friends to celebrate God’s successes and to keep you focused on your mission and identity
  2. Campmeetings
    1. Interview new Adventist believers and those that had a part in their conversion
    2. Interview lay soul winners
    3. Interview leading pastor soul winners
    4. Have at least one major presentation on the Gospel Commission
    5. Feature an evangelist as one of your speakers
    6. Have training for Lay Bible Instructors
    7. Invite your conference/union evangelist to make a presentation
    8. Take a special evangelism offering
    9. Ask your major speaker(s) to make a call and have a plan for follow up
    10. Pray publicly for the Lord to send workers into His harvest- Luke 10:1-3
    11. Hold a baptismal class during Campmeeting
  3. Pastors Meetings
    1. Set aside one+ hours specifically for a soul winning focus every meeting
    2. Interview top soul winning pastors
    3. Interview new believers; Have them tell their testimony
    4. Challenge your pastors to plan for a baptism every month
    5. Invite your conference/union evangelist to make a presentation
    6. Set aside time to study the book of Acts, Acts of the Apostles, Evangelism, Christian ServicePastoral Ministry, etc.
    7. Pray together for the Lord to send workers into His harvest- Luke 10:1-3
    8. Set up area/regional pastoral clusters to brainstorm and network soul winning ideas and plans for that area
    9. Provide visible reminders of the mission (e.g. pens, caps, pencils, magnets)
  4. Staff Meetings
    1. Begin each staff meeting with a conversion story of one of your staff or office workers
    2. Each year ask each staff member to share how they plan to be involved in soul winning personally and as a department
    3. Set aside time to study the book of Acts, Acts of the Apostles, Evangelism, Christian Service, Gospel Workers, Pastoral Ministry, etc.
    4. Pray together for the Lord to send workers into His harvest- Luke 10:1-3
    5. Set aside time for departmental leaders to share stories of personal involvement in witness, soul winning, and changed lives
    6. Review together the number of new believers baptized or joining by profession of faith for each church conference-wide every six months. Pray for them.
  5. Education
    1. Ask that each year, each school have a simple, written soul winning and outreach plan presented to, voted by the school board
    2. Ask that each Teachers/Educational Meeting include main speakers and seminars that help schools focus on the Gospel Commission and soul winning
    3. Ask for regular stories of students sharing Jesus and the Adventist message individually and as a class or school
    4. Encourage Weeks of Prayer to include appeals for decisions and follow up plans to help students who respond
    5. Set and promote a Youth Baptismal Sabbath near the end of each semester (e.g. posters, simple manual, resources awareness)
  6. Executive Committee Meetings
    1. Set aside time to study the book of Acts, Acts of the Apostles, Evangelism, Christian Service, Gospel Workers, Pastoral Ministry, etc.
    2. Pray together for the Lord to send workers into His harvest- Luke 10:1-3
    3. Set aside time for committee members to share stories of personal involvement in witness, soul winning, and changed lives
    4. Review together the number of new believers baptized or joining by profession of faith conference-wide every six months. Pray for them.
  7. Conference Newsletter, Union Paper Stories, Website & Bulletin Inserts
    1. Include something about soul winning in every issue
    2. Feature soul winners
    3. Feature new believers
    4. Feature soul winning churches and schools and institutions
    5. List the number of new believers in the conference every six months
    6. Provide a Prayer List insert for every member each six months, with encouragement to pray for those they would like to see accept Jesus and embrace the Adventist message
  8. Pastors Monthly Reports
    1. Ask for a brief “changed life” story each month
    2. Ask for key soul winning “vital signs”, such as…
      1. Which churches, schools or institutions in your district had a prayer & fasting emphasis recently?
      2. How many small groups of all kinds do the churches, schools and institutions in your district have? (= Adventist-led groups of three or more people who meet at least 2x per month short or long term to build relationships, meet needs and/or study God’s word, e.g. Sabbath School classes, Bible study groups, Recreational groups, Social groups, Prayer Meeting)
      3. How many pre-Adventists are currently in regular Bible studies through the outreach of the churches, schools and institutions in your district?
      4. How many local reaping preaching sites do the churches, schools and institutions in your district have this Harvest Cycle?
      5. Which churches, schools or institutions in your district hosted a Momentum satellite reaping event this Harvest Cycle? (= an eight-night reaping series uplinked from one of the ten largest cities in the Northwest). What was the largest attendance at each satellite site?
      6. Which churches, schools or institutions in your district have a “New members & guests” class?
      7. Which churches, schools or institutions in your district have a mid-week group(s) for new members?
      8. What are the Year-to-Date (YTD) Baptisms/POF for each church, school or institution in your district?
      9. What is the YTD Tithe for each church, school or institution in your district?
  9. Mail, Email & Text Messages
    1. Send a note of affirmation to a leading pastor soul winner
    2. Send a note of affirmation to a leading teacher soul winner
    3. Send a note of affirmation to a leading lay soul winner
    4. Send a note of affirmation to a leading youth soul winner
    5. Send a note of affirmation to a pastor who is not succeeding as a soul winner, asking him to share with you a “changed life” story or progress on his soul winning plans
  10. Target you Top Three Metro Areas for Special Effort
    1. Plan a major reaping event (one week or longer) in one of the major metro areas every spring and fall
    2. Meet regularly with area pastors for prayer, study, coordinated planning, mobilization of large groups of lay members in outreach, Bible Studies and soul winning and planning of reaping activities.
    3. Have metro wide training of lay members in how to give Bible studies and have a mailing to the area to discover Bible study interests.
  11. Partner with Soul Winning Organizations (Share Him, Amazing Facts, It Is Written, Voice of Prophecy, etc.)
  12. Staffing Considerations
    1. Hire at least one Lay Bible Instructor Trainer for your conference
    2. Assign Interns to soul winning districts to help shape their early ministries
    3. Shift expectations from pastor-chaplains-caretakers to pastor-evangelist-equipers of lay members
    4. Devote at least one conference FTE salary to training and mobilizing lay members in ministry and soul winning
    5. Allow/Encourage Soul winning pastors to hold a reaping meeting outside their district each year
  13. Personal Involvement
    1. Maintain a Prayer List of pre-Adventists you would like to see accept Jesus and embrace the Adventist message soon, and update it each six months
    2. Ask someone to be your missionary partner, to meet regularly for prayer and outreach
    3. Join or start a small group that includes pre-Adventists
    4. Offer to study the Bible with a pre-Adventist
    5. Hold Reaping Meetings each year
    6. Disciple a new Adventist for six months
    7. Re-read the book of Acts, Acts of the Apostles, Evangelism, Christian Service, Gospel Workers, Pastoral Ministry, etc. Share what you read with others and/or encourage others on the staff to read it too.
    8. Tell stories wherever you go of changed lives and spiritual growth you have personally seen recently
    9. Go on a Global Mission trip to where the church is growing rapidly and learn at least one lesson in soul winning to bring back home and implement

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

About danserns

Happily married and father of three great kids. Seventh-day Adventist pastor who invites everyone to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, embrace all the teachings of the Bible and join a vibrant Adventist group.
This entry was posted in Adventist Education, Bible Study, Changed Lives, Church School, Outreach, Second Coming, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This...?. Bookmark the permalink.

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