Outreach Report from the Pacific Northwest
“God expects personal service from every one to whom He has entrusted a knowledge of the truth for this time. Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. In the closing controversy now waging between the forces for good and the hosts of evil, He expects all, laymen as well as ministers, to take part. All who have enlisted as His soldiers are to render faithful service as minutemen, with a keen sense of the responsibility resting upon them individually.” Manual for Canvassers, 77.
A big ingredient for the spiritual growth and well-being of any congregation is an active outreach program of the members themselves, not just the pastor or Bible worker. Every month, our two churches here in the Seattle area distribute truth-filled literature from door to door. In addition to the door-to-door outreach, we also have an evangelistic series almost every year. In 2003, Brother John Korponay was asked if he would serve as a Bible worker in the Seattle area to follow up the interests generated by the church outreach activities.
Every one of us need to realize that wherever we are—working at a regular job, in the neighborhood, shopping or just visiting—we are witnessing for the Lord, but because of time restraints we cannot always follow up each interest with Bible Studies or deliver materials for which people ask. Although a number of our members are conducting personal Bible Studies in their time off, Brother John is working with people full time. He uses the Steps to Life Study Guides to open the Bible to the people’s understanding. When someone has finished the thirty-lesson series, they have at least heard and can make an intelligent decision concerning God for salvation, for life and how to trust Him. Baptisms have followed some of the studies, and we are grateful to the Lord for each one. Only eternity will reveal the full effect of our labors. God called us to be sowers, and He promised to give the growth and harvest. We pray for many more, especially in this dark part of the Lord’s vineyard where we have one of the most unchurched populations in the country.
New Age ideas and philosophies abound in the Seattle area. As a result, people are very health-minded, with many vegan-vegetarians. This helps with our health outreach, in which we always have a good reception. Many are taking care of their bodies only for health’s sake, to save the planet or for compassion to animals, which are all commendable goals; but these goals can very easily become self-serving. This should lead us to examine why we live the lifestyle that we live. Is it to only to benefit me, or is it to bring glory and vindication to God? “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
We also participate each year in the local fairs and community events by having a booth featuring free literature for those passing by. We have about five events each summer that keep us busy right up to the big Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA, in mid-September. In all our outreach, we distribute a mail-in postcard that offers the book America in Prophecy (Great Controversy) and Bible-study guides free of charge. This is a very effective tool by which we have been able to fish for souls. Sometimes people actually thank us for being at these events.
Another successful outreach is the insertion of our “free book offer” mail-in postcards into the Little Nickel advertising paper that blankets our whole area. This is very cost-effective, and we receive many requests for truth-filled literature and Bible study guides. Brother John delivers the requests in person. Personal delivery impresses the importance of the material we are handling, and it gives him opportunity to canvass the book, pique the interest and establish personal Bible studies. As a result 15,000 postcards inserted in the Little Nickel papers, and we received nearly 40 cards.
Another outreach tool is four “Silent SAM” free literature boxes stationed between the two churches. Church members have taken on the responsibility of keeping these stocked with Last Generation magazines stuffed with our “free book offer” postcard. These are eye-appealing and targeted at the general public. Recently, Brother John delivered a book to a man who told him that with every new issue he takes more than one magazine to share with his friends. Praise the Lord!
We are always seeking for more effective ways to cast the lifeline for souls. We are praying that the Lord leads us to people who are seeking, or that He brings them to us. We must remember that our calling as Seventh-day Adventists is to give the judgment-hour message of the three angels in Revelation 14. It can be a comforting or a convicting message. It depends on how submitted and surrendered to Jesus one’s life is. As we see the Spirit of God pulling back from the earth, may each one of us become more involved in witnessing to all with whom we come in contact. Then, as the Third Angel’s Message swells into a loud cry, we will be prepared to cooperate with God to give the final call out of Babylon, warning against the worship and mark of the beast. Maranatha!
By John Korponay. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Remnant Church of Seventh-day Adventist Believers, PO Box 1494, Issaquah, WA 98027.