Why Not Try This? …Take the Adventist Message to a New Community

Related imageThe City of Benbrook, Texas (population 23,000) has never had a chance to hear or see the Adventist message. Until one year ago this month.

A group of us from the Crowley and Ft. Worth First Seventh-day Adventist churches made a commitment to do whatever we could to establish a permanent Adventist presence in Benbrook. We spent Sabbath afternoons with prayer caravans, stopping to pray at key locations throughout the community. We knocked on doors and offered Bible study guides. We offered an Anxiety and Depression Recovery Seminar. A Bible Worker knocked on doors asking who was interested in learning more about the Bible. We rented locations for health presentations and Bible Prophecy Meetings. We started Bible Study groups in every home that opened to us. We put our location on Google maps and started a Facebook page.

Last week our small team (“Mission Group”) was officially recognized by the Texas Conference as an “Organized Company” on the way to becoming an “Organized Church.” Here are a few lessons we learned along the way so far.

  • Accept help. Some Adventists are not yet able or willing to leave the comfort of their home church.  But we have gladly accepted their help with prayer support, door knocking, seminars and donations.
  • Everyone is needed. God has brought together a wonderful and growing group of believers numbering 35 a year after starting. About a third were active Adventists elsewhere. Another third were inactive Adventists who are now plugged in and learning to lead. And the other third are brand new Adventists or Pre-Adventists. All are involved in the mission.
  • Expect to see Jesus transform lives. If you were to come visit on a Sabbath morning you might see some of these examples. (Names have been changed).
    • Margie greets you at the door. Although she’s a lifelong Adventist she didn’t attend church for years until invited to help start a new church. She is also the new church treasurer.
    • Joanie welcomes you to a Sabbath School group that is meeting in the church lobby. Six months ago was the first time she had ever set foot in an Adventist church. She found this one online and was baptized three months ago.
    • The Sabbath School lesson is led by Martin & Teresa. They’ve been Adventists all their lives but recently moved to the area and decided to help start a new church even though they have never done that before.
    • In the Children’s and Youth Sabbath School (the “cradle-teen division”!) are children aged 1 to 17, none of whom were Adventists a year ago.
    • During the Praise singing six ladies lead out, including two that recently moved to the area and three who were baptized in the last seven months.
    • For the offering testimony Shawn, who is not yet a member, tells how God impressed him 18 months ago to start returning tithe regularly and what a blessing it has been.
    • The sermon is a testimony shared by 19 year old Ernest who was baptized three years ago as the first Seventh-day Adventist in his family. Recently his sister and his mom were baptized at another Seventh-day Adventist Church.
    • Stacy helps set up tables for the fellowship dinner. A year ago she was praying that God would send good people into her life when a Bible worker knocked on her door asking if she was interested in Bible studies. She and her fiance are preparing for baptism.
    • The pastor isn’t here this morning because he is at another group he is helping plant. He is usually at Benbrook church one Sabbath a month, one evening a week, and meets with key lay leaders each month to guide the group in its mission.
  • God will provide a place. After looking at nine potential locations we finally settled on a Sunday church. Because we’re small we offered $500 a month for rent. They considered our offer then counter-offered $100 a week! Come to find out the senior pastor had rented from Seventh-day Adventists in Louisiana forty years ago when he planted his first church!

What if we hadn’t taken the Adventist message to Benbrook a year ago? There would be fewer answered prayers, fewer Adventists, fewer workers in the harvest and fewer people ready for Jesus to return!

If you would like to take the Adventist message to one of the unentered communities where you live then pray, get together with your friends and go for it! Here’s more info about Advance Teams and Church Planting in Texas.

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns


Inspired Insights

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14.

  • Annex the world! – Churches are to be organized and plans laid for work to be done by the members of the newly organized churches. This gospel missionary work is to keep reaching out and annexing new territory, enlarging the cultivated portions of the vineyard. The circle is to extend until it belts the world. {Evangelism 19.2}
  • Make more appeals for volunteers. More decided calls should be made for volunteers to enter the whitening fields. Unless there is more done than has been done for the cities of America, church members will have a heavy account to meet for neglected duties. We pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We profess to believe that the commission given to the first disciples includes the followers of Christ in 1907. But what are we doing? I pray that the Holy Spirit may move upon human hearts, that many way go forth as did the early disciples, making their way to homes and to churches, where men and women are waiting for a knowledge of present truth. {8Manuscript Releases 206.3}
  • No special training or age required. In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to give His message. Many of these have had little opportunity for education; but Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to fulfill His purpose. If they put their hearts into the work, and continue to be learners, He will fit them to labor for Him. {Education 269.3}
  • New work wherever possible. – Let forces be set at work to clear new ground, to establish new centers of influence wherever an opening can be found. {Evangelism 60.2}
  • Can target your own unentered area. If in one place there are only two or three who know the truth, let them form themselves into a band of workers.” {Testimonies, 7, p. 22}
  • New targets cultivate missionary spirit. It will cultivate a missionary spirit to work in new localities. Selfishness in respect to keeping large companies together is not the Lord’s plan. Enter every new place possible and begin the work of educating in vicinities that have not heard the truth. {Evangelism 47.1}
  • What if there is no funding? There are among our church members faithful souls who feel a burden for those who know not the truth for this time. But one will say to such, The conference will not support you if you go here or there. To such souls I would say, “Pray to God for guidance as to where you shall go; follow the directions of the Holy Spirit, and go, whether the conference will pay your expenses or not. “Go work today in My vineyard,” Christ commands. When you have done your work in one place, go to another. Angels of God will go with you, if you follow the leadings of the Spirit. {8Manuscript Releases 206.4}
  • New converts will help finance. – Our church members should feel a deep interest in home and foreign missions. Great blessings will come to them as they make self-sacrificing efforts to plant the standard of truth in new territory. The money invested in this work will bring rich returns. New converts, rejoicing in the light received from the Word, will in their turn give of their means to carry the light of truth to others. {Christian Service 184.2}
  • Revive existing churches first? No! – Should all the labor that has been expended on the churches during the past twenty years be again expended upon them, it would fail, as it has failed in the past, of making the members self-denying, cross-bearing followers of Christ. Many have been overfed with spiritual food, while in the world thousands are perishing for the bread of life. Church members must work; they must educate themselves, striving to reach the high standard set before them. This the Lord will help them to reach if they will co-operate with Him. If they keep their own souls in the love of the truth they will not hold the ministers back from presenting the truth in new fields. {9Testimonies 140.2}
  • Lack of Advance Teams results in more consuming churches than producing churches. – The lack of effort to plant the standard of truth in the cities of America has brought about a condition of things in which the consuming is larger than the producing; and how the work shall now be carried forward is a difficult problem. {Ministry to the Cities 151.1}

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 Changed Lives, Church Planting, Health & Temperance, Outreach, Pastoring, Prayer, Small Groups, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This...? and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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