Why Not Try This? …Take the 2020 Challenge

baptismAre you ready for the 2020 challenge?

As a pastor (or church leader), by the end of 2020 what will you have done, cooperating with the Holy Spirit, to bring people into God’s final movement? There will be a thousand distractions, a hundred other things, and a dozen fires to put out to derail you from doing the most important things.

I love what the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:20. “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.”

Based on that, I’d like to personally challenge you to do three things in 2020.

  1. Win 20 in 2020. By the end of the year win 20 people for Jesus and His final movement through baptism and/or Profession of Faith. Jesus told us “the harvest is great” (Luke 10:1-3). Go find them! Your members know people and can pray for and share with them. You can find interests through Bible study interest mailings, Social media and Meet Up advertising, bridge events, small groups, and especially those who come visit your church(es). Go find them, share Jesus and Bible truth with them and invite them into the family! Once you have embraced this part of the challenge then share it with your church board(s) and challenge each church to win 20 in 2020. If they tell you it has never been done before, or at least not in the last 50 years, then remind them (and yourself) that Jesus is the Lord of the harvest and when He is Lord of our hearts He will help us find interested people unexpectedly everywhere we go. He will help us love them enough to share Jesus and Bible truth with them and invite them into His family. And God will get the credit when big things happen. One year I baptized 7 people and the next I baptized 61, not by trying harder but by staying focused on the mission, involving more members, trying new things including two major harvest cycles and leading my members and myself to depend on Jesus more. Put your best effort toward pursuing the mission rather than putting out fires. Groups will probably play a key role in your soul winning plans. Watch this amazing example from Minnesota where 175 have been baptized into the Adventist movement in the past three years. The Lord may impress you to take the Adventist message to new ethnic and language groups and communities  that have never heard it before. Keep the focus on soul winning all year long by praying the Lord gives you at least one person every month. Fill the baptistry by faith! If you are already winning 20+ a year then win 20+20 in 2020!
  2. Refocus 20 in 2020. Take the first 20 days of the year to refocus. Ask the Lord to show you things you should fast from for 20 days so you have a clearer mind, better health, more time to get into the Bible and pray and to think and plan more strategically. Once you are committed to doing this then challenge your entire church(es) to do the same. On the last Sabbath of the 20 days have a testimony time during the worship service where people can share their small victories or major breakthroughs. Plan to preach a short sermon if there is time to preach at all! Let the Lord tell people what to give up and be amazed at what He does when they listen and obey!
  3. Do something special to win souls in March. Why March? Because is you start the year strong in soul winning you will tend to end strong. If we wait till the last part of the year often other things will crowd out what we were hoping to do. Another reason for Texas Adventist pastors to do something special in March 2020 is that we are partnering with Shawn Boonstra and the Voice of Prophecy this year (Sep 2019 – Sep 2020) to sign up all our churches and schools as Discovery Centers, using the resources, training and mentoring available online to have major meetings by our pastors, young people and lay members all over our conference. (Email evangelism@txsda.org if you need the link to sign up.) Why not ride the wave instead of trying to create your own?

So there’s the 2020 challenge. Will you, by God’s grace and with His wisdom and power, embrace it, internalize it, schedule it, share it and invite every willing person to join you in it?

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns


Inspired Insights on Hunting for Souls

“Diligent work is now called for. In this crisis, no halfhearted efforts will prove successful. In all our city work, we are to hunt for souls. Wise plans are to be laid, in order that such work may be done to the best possible advantage.” {Evangelism 59.2}

“Ministers should impress upon the people the necessity of individual effort. No church can flourish unless its members are workers. The people must lift where the ministers lift. I saw that nothing lasting can be accomplished for churches in different places unless they are aroused to feel that a responsibility rests upon them. Every member of the body should feel that the salvation of his own soul depends upon his own individual effort. Souls cannot be saved without exertion. The minister cannot save the people. He can be a channel through which God will impart light to His people; but after the light is given, it is left with the people to appropriate that light, and, in their turn, let it shine forth to others. The people should feel that an individual responsibility rests upon them, not only to save their own souls, but to earnestly engage in the salvation of those who remain in darkness. Instead of looking to Brother and Sister White to help them out of their darkness, they should be earnestly engaged in helping themselves. If they should begin to hunt up those worse off than themselves, and should try to help them, they would help themselves into the light sooner than in any other way. If the people lean upon Brother and Sister White, and trust in them, God will humble them among you or remove them from you. You must look to God and trust in Him. Lean upon Him, and He will not forsake you. He will not leave you to perish. Precious is the word of God. “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life.” These are the words of Christ. The words of inspiration, carefully and prayerfully studied and practically obeyed, will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works. Ministers and people must look to God.” {Testimonies for the Church volume 2, 120.2}

“In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men touched by divine truth. There is another field of labor, humbler, it may be, but fully as promising. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great. {The Desire of Ages 152.2}

“We should all become witnesses for Jesus. Social power, sanctified by the grace of Christ, must be improved in winning souls to the Saviour. Let the world see that we are not selfishly absorbed in our own interests, but that we desire others to share our blessings and privileges. Let them see that our religion does not make us unsympathetic or exacting. Let all who profess to have found Christ, minister as He did for the benefit of men.” {The Desire of Ages 152.4}

“All who will go to work, trusting not in what they themselves can do, but in what God can do for and through them, will certainly realize the fulfillment of His promise. “Greater works than these shall ye do,” He declares; “because I go unto My Father.” {The Desire of Ages 667.2}

“Canvasser evangelists are needed, to hunt and fish for souls. The canvassing work should now be earnestly and decidedly taken up. The canvasser whose heart is meek and lowly can accomplish much good. Going out two and two, canvassers can reach a class that cannot be reached by our camp meetings. From family to family they carry the message of truth. Thus they come into close touch with the people, and find many opportunities to speak of the Saviour. Let them sing and pray with those who become interested in the truths they have to give. Let them speak to families the words of Christ. They may expect success; for theirs is the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Canvassers who go forth in the spirit of the Master have the companionship of heavenly beings.” {Colporteur Ministry 38.1}

“The workers in our restaurants are to hunt and fish for souls. Meetings should be appointed at some convenient place, and notice of these meetings should be given to those coming to the restaurant for their meals. Some will attend, and will thus be led to study the Bible, and to ask questions regarding the truths which they have heard.” {The Health Food Ministry 68.2}


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 Harvest Cycles, Outreach, Pastoring, Prayer, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This...? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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