Pulpits of Hope is a simple, flexible, and effective initiative that every preacher may adopt in his or her church. It is part of a comprehensive evangelism plan and part of the five universal keys of successful soul-winning and evangelism found in the book of Acts.
THE FIVE KEYS OF SUCCESSFUL EVANGELISM
Jesus surprised Nicodemus with the statement “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Churches are “born again” when they teach, follow, and implement the five keys:
1. The strategy of prayer, Bible study, and witnessing for revival.
2. Training and preparation of church members to reach out to the community through Bible-based ministries.
3. Community outreach programs.
4. Harvest through evangelistic meetings and Pulpits of Hope.
5. Events for nurturing new believers and transforming
them into disciples.
PULPITS OF HOPE
Transform the pulpits of our churches into centers of evangelism on Sabbath morning. Here are the facts: (1) Every year, we spend millions of dollars to bring people to the doors of our churches. (2) Every year, millions of visitors and guests visit our churches, and many leave without having been invited to accept Jesus and His teachings. Every pastor and elder who is called to preach may use and follow this flexible, low-cost preaching plan that is doing amazing things in churches that are practicing it. This plan offers the following advantages:
• Exposes members and visitors alike to the whole biblical message, including the distinctive doctrines.
• Helps believers to establish their faith on a solid biblical foundation, avoiding apostasy.
• Helps each pastor prepare for and submit to the local church or district a preaching plan—quarterly, semiannually, or annually.
• Provides the opportunity for church leaders to present the entire biblical message within one calendar year.
• Allows members and visitors to know in advance the topics to be presented. This will encourage them to bring friends and family to Sabbath worship services.
• Develops and promotes a “culture of evangelism”
and the rise of more pastors and lay evangelists.
• Is a highly flexible plan that can be adapted to churches of any size. It doesn’t interfere with the plans of the higher organizations of the church and can be started on any Sabbath of the year and continue for long as needed.
• Can be used in a single church or simultaneously in districts with multiple churches since the pastor can assign the same sermon to all the elders. • Is the most economical and effective method of evangelism.
• Helps many to decide for Jesus and the truths of the Bible. The direct result will be an increase in attendance every Sabbath and a greater number of baptisms throughout the year.
To support this concept, the Ministerial Association of the General Conference is developing a Christ-centered evangelistic series of sermons in PowerPoint and Keynote, fully editable in any language, with prophetic doctrinal topics professionally illustrated (www.gcevangelism.com).
“Evangelistic work, opening the Scriptures to others,
warning men and women of what is coming upon the world,
is to occupy more and still more of the time of God’s servants.”1
Evangelism and soul-winning puts you at the center of
God’s activities. As we near the end of time, God is preparing
a final harvest from people around the world who have honest
hearts. As we plan to reach our neighborhoods, towns, villages,
and major metropolitan areas, God will bless our work.
As we sow seeds, God will give us a harvest. What farmer
would plant a crop and not expect a harvest? In the same way
that farmers eagerly await a harvest, the soul-winner longs
for a harvest. We should embrace God’s promise: “. . . for in
due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).
The most glorious chapters of the book of Acts are soon
to be written. The disciples did not have all the means available
to us today, but one thing made the difference with them
in the first century, and the same thing will make the difference
for us today: to be baptized and possessed by the Holy
Spirit. Very soon, the world will be illuminated by the glory
of God (Rev. 18:1), and you and I are part of the fulfillment
of this prophecy.
Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Aug. 2, 1906.
Robert Costa is the General Conference associate ministerial
secretary for Evangelism and Church Growth.