No hace mucho me llamó un pastor muy frustrado. Estaba llorando, y me dijo: “La junta de mi iglesia acaba de votar otra campaña de evangelización para este año, así como lo hizo el año pasado. Son 20 mil dólares para pagar mayormente los panfletos y un orador invitado durante cuatro semanas.” Y añadió: “Ya conozco los resultados: cuatro semanas con un puñado de asistentes, y se quejarán de que los demás no asisten todas las noches. Tendré al evangelista soplándome en la nuca para que le consiga personas que bautizar. Se bautizarán cinco personas, tres de las cuales serán niños de la iglesia, y solo dos de la comunidad.Read More
Me reuní con los coordinadores de las Uniones Hispanas en enero y compartí con ellos una visión que Dios había colocado en mi corazón: la de tener una Caravana de Capacitación a lo largo y a lo ancho de la División Norteamericana, y la de brindar recursos a los Coordinadores de Asociación, a los pastores y líderes de los grupos pequeños, para que pudieran estar equipados y comenzar su ministerio de grupos pequeños, o mejorar los que ya estuvieran en funcionamiento.Read More
During the 2017 eHuddle in Orlando, Florida, Pastor Anna Bennet, Associate Chaplain at Southern Adventist University, and Vanessa Hairston, former Southern Adventist University student, spoke on small groups and the importance of being intentional in forming disciples in a relaxed and friendly environment where any person can participate.Read More
I met with the Union Hispanic Coordinators in January and shared with them a vision that God had placed on my heart, to have a Caravan of Training, all throughout the NAD, and to give resources to the Conference Coordinators, Pastors and Leaders of Small Groups so that they could be equipped to begin Small Group ministries or enhance what was already taking place. The Coordinators agreed with the plan and an itinerary was prepared.Read More
Several years ago, on a Saturday right before Halloween, the members of the newly planted church that I pastored decided to do some outreach in our community. I wrote a pamphlet on the history of Halloween, its origin, and its practices.I ended with a stern appeal, telling people theyRead More
I really like the Nike slogan-"Just do it." Simple, relevant, yet challenging. The "Just do it" statement is bold enough to challenge you for one thing only: action. Not words, not good intentions, not planning, but simple and raw action. If you are sitting for too long, stand up and move.Read More
Oakwood University Church and Speaker/Director of the Breath of Life television broadcast, which airs on four international TV networks. He is also a passionate public evangelist. Dr. Byrd recently authoredContemporary Evangelism for the 21st Century. Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing Association, publisher of the book, recently interviewed Dr. Byrd.
Question: Dr. Byrd, you have a passion for soul-winning and evangelism. Tell me why evangelism is so important to you.
Evangelism is the lifeblood of the church. Without evangelism, we will die as a church”not just a numeric death, but a spiritual death. The primary purpose of the church is to engage in evangelism. Just prior to His ascension back to heaven, Jesus made it clear that we are to engage in the gospel commission teach, preach, and baptize. This was His final charge to us, so I'm confident that it was very important. Moreover, what joy you experience when seeing someone else give their life to Jesus!
Question: Some in the church today suggest that the days of public evangelism are gone, that it no longer works. What do you have to say about that?
It still works. The message is still the same. We must, however, employ relevant evangelistic methods in our postmodern, contemporary society.
Question: How do you see evangelism in the 21st century differing from the way evangelism has been done in the past?
There has to be a better blend of law and grace in our teaching/preaching, along with our interactions with others. Additionally, there has to be increased, intentional emphasis on why we obey God. We obey Him because we love Him. Love must be the motivating factor for our actions and behaviors. The accoutrements that aid in the presentation of our message are more relevant. We've replaced the tent revival with the hall or church meeting. Our online ministry options for public viewing and tracking visitors has increased. Music offerings are more experiential and relational. Also, there is an expectation of excellence in our presentations (preaching/teaching, marketing initiatives, physical plant, music, etc.).
Question: You talk about contemporary evangelism how has evangelism changed in the past decade or two?
There is a greater emphasis on relationships relationships with God and one another. This is reflected in our worship through our teaching, preaching, and singing. We've moved from a "top/down" approach to a more decentralized approach. Evangelism cannot be seen as seasonal; everything a church does should center around evangelism. While we need to teach/preach our distinctive message, it must be accompanied by addressing people's genuine felt needs.
Question: Tell me about your book. Is it just for pastors? Or full-time evangelists? Who did you have in mind when you wrote the book?
This book is for anyone who is passionate about soul winning and evangelism. We may not all be able to preach like Peter, pray like Paul, or sing like David, but we can all do something to build God's kingdom. Pastors, evangelists, Bible workers, church officers, and church members can all benefit from this book.
Question: What can this book do for the local church?
It can revolutionize a local church to mobilize for public evangelism, not just seasonally but for year-round, everyday evangelism as it offers a theology for evangelism, while sharing practical methods for creating an evangelistic culture at the local church.
Question: You make this statement in the book: Neighborhood residents need to see that the church is not merely interested in gaining more members and money, but is more interested in the well-being and positive development of people. Would you share a little more about how this fits with evangelism? What are some specific things a church can do to reach out to the community in this way?
The local church must be community minded and active. It cannot be seen merely as a group of people that shows up on Sabbath mornings for worship, but it must be seen as an outpost for activity that benefits community needs. Community feeding programs, clothing distribution, health classes, health clinics, exercise classes, tutoring programs, after-school programs, ESOL, substance abuse support groups, grief/bereavement support groups, cancer support groups, mental health counseling, marriage counseling, parenting classes, and sports/recreation opportunities should be offered by the church. While this is an extensive list, the local church can identify what service(s) it can do well and practice accordingly.
Question: What is your prayer for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 21stcentury?
That we understand, recognize, and practice what our mission as a church is all about. It's rooted in our name ”Seventh-day Adventists. We observe and celebrate God's seventh-day Sabbath in joyful anticipation of Jesus' second advent, His second coming! May we cease "majoring in minors, sweating the small stuff, engaging in the paralysis of analysis" and, instead, passionately and aggressively through the power of the Holy Spirit collectively share with the world Christ's message of hope and love!
In this video, Pastor Roger Hernandez shares the why, the how, and the what of Evangelism and how ultimately, it takes time. He speaks on Evangelism as a process similar to pregnancy, rather than a singular event.Read More
This fall, join hundreds of churches across North America for The Appearing, a five-part seed-sowing experience from the Voice of Prophecy. During this all-new outreach event October 11-15, Pastor Shawn Boonstra will share timely truth about the Second Coming with your guests, comparing what the Bible says with several of the most popular end-time theories today.Read More
One of the final speakers of last year’s Church Planters Bootcamp – Opening Night, Tom Evans wraps up the evening with updates on new and exciting endeavors within the North American Division.Read More
As we approach the 2018 North American Division Church Planters’ BootCamp we would like to share the Opening Session for the 2017 BootCamp for those who did not have the benefit of being there.Read More
The Nevada-Utah Conference has teamed up with Pastor Ryan Hablitzel of the Ogden Seventh-Day Adventist Church to establish a Center of Influence in Ogden, Utah that is focused on offering sustainable employment for youth involved in ministry in the area.Read More
There is no substitute for proclamation! If we want people to learn about Jesus’ love and His grace offered freely to each one of us, sinners, we must not only show them with our actions but also tell them with our words. If we want people to understand the plan of redemption, and Jesus’ command to love others, as well as the hope of His Second Coming and a resurrection, we must tell them about these things.Read More
“Why plant more churches? Don’t we have enough churches already?” The most common initial responses I’ve heard when church planting is mentioned, often spoken within the same breath. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps, these questions represent one of Satan’s most harmful myths, created in the pits of hell, to keep the church from fulfilling its mission in his desire to make the church disappear from this earth.Read More
In this eHuddle video from 2017, Pastor Laffit Cortes and Pastor Morris Thompson speak on the power of small groups to take a church to the next levels of evangelism. Pastor Cortes starts off by encouraging church leaders to redefine their definition of love to be more than just polite, but by personally investing in the other members of one’s church family. He lists the main objectives of small groups given to us by Ellen G. White, which are spiritual growth, Bible study, and evangelism.Read More
When babies are born they don’t know everything, neither can they do everything! They need help. The same happens with spiritual babies after their new birth, the baptism.
I learned this the hard way, one night, a few days after my son Jose Cortes III was bornRead More
Five years ago, as 16 students of the South Lancaster Academy, who had requested baptism during that week of prayer, were about to be baptized at the fully packed Village Adventist Church in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, something unimaginable happened.Read More
The softball game between Pastors and Youth is a tradition at Greater New York Conference Hispanic Campmeeting. I was the new Youth Ministries Director and I love baseball, so I was ready to play! I remember I wore my jersey, the one my wife had given to me, with my last name, CORTES, on the back and a big #1, remember it was a gift from my wife.Read More
A frustrated pastor called me not long ago, he was crying and said, "my church board just voted another Evangelistic Meeting for this year, just like we did last year, $20,000.00 to pay mostly for flyers and a guest speaker to hold meetings for four weeks.Read More
During the 2017 ehuddle in Orlando, Florida John Boston, former pastor of the Columbus Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the Allegheny West Conference, spoke on church identity and the importance of reaching the communities surrounding our churches. Boston is now an Evangelist for the North New South Wales Conference in Australia.Read More