Church Growth and Evangelism
In God’s kingdom, healthy entities grow, while unhealthy ones struggle to survive. Is your church growing or struggling? To encourage and facilitate growth, our conference developed eight goals as part of its Strategic Plan. The third goal is: Church Growth—Cultivate a healthy ministry environment that grows Adventist Christian disciples.
Since our last constituency session, we have focused many of our conference’s resources on accomplishing growth in Oakland through an evangelism initiative called “Bridges.” Many outreach events have been going on throughout the city! We have provided free medical services, cleaned up city blocks, and done other service evangelism for those in need. We are also connecting with Oakland citizens as we provide a variety of seminars to meet their needs. In addition, we are holding “reaping” opportunities, where people are invited to accept Christ and become members of our Church. We are discipling the converts by helping them grow their relationship with God, by teaching them to serve according to their spiritual gifts, and by supporting them in ministry teams and small groups. As a result of these activities, we are planting several new congregations in Oakland. One of these new groups is coming from “The Veg Hub” restaurant.
Both pastors and members are too busy to do more work. Instead, the church growth department provides a number of resources and ministry tools to help them work smarter instead of harder. For example, this department has a variety of assessment tools to discern the area(s) within your church and community with the greatest potential for growth. Also, a number of our pastors have been trained to coach other pastors and churches to develop their growth plans, as well as to encourage them and hold them accountable.
Since Jesus’ last command was to disciple the nations (Matt. 28:19), our department provides training in discipleship. Too often people join our church through an evangelistic series, only to leave within a few months. Discipleship has been proven to “close our back door” (to retain our growth), equipping and training our converts to be God’s church—not just attend it.
Jesus went about doing good, ministering to the needs of those He met. As we do the same, the time comes when we need to provide a reaping event—an opportunity for people to make a commitment to follow Jesus completely. In 2015, the evangelism department processed 104 requests for evangelism funds, totaling $377,613. In 2016, there were 114 requests, totaling $489,952. In other words, in the last two years we have processed $867,565 for outreach events.
Jesus said, “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). The NCC Church Growth and Evangelism Department is joining you to hasten His coming.
Church Growth and Evangelism
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | 401 Taylor Blvd. | P.O. Box 23165 | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 | (925) 685-4300 | firstname.lastname@example.org