Coos Bay Tries a New
Approach to Evangelism
Instead of the prophecy seminar approach, we addressed the universal question, “If God is love, why did this happen?” We respectfully suggested that God is on trial before the world and the universe, and dared to ask about God’s actions and motives.
The format was simple but relevant. We found a neutral location in town, a restaurant that closes in the evenings. The price was right; $30.00 each night. The 15-night, full message series was on weekends only, September 14 through October 14. We focused our advertising on person-to-person invitations.
A local lay person, Sherry Healey, developed the series, “Asking Really Tough Questions about God.” Using original PowerPoint presentations, she established the validity of the Scriptures, the irrevocable nature of free choice, and the responsibility mankind has for the condition of our world today.
Sherry showed that God really is love and that He is personally and emotionally connected to each of us. Each key Bible doctrine demonstrated God’s fairness, mercy, and love.
We organized our time to start each night at 7:00 pm and end at 8:30 pm. As people arrived they listened to music from Sherry’s two sons, Alex and Nick Metcalf.
At 7:00 pm Pastor Ken Williams welcomed the guests, and talked about the gift book that we gave each weekend. He offered prayer and then turned it over to Sherry, who spoke until 8:00 pm.
But the event was not over! The participants, who were seated around tables, received an outline of that night’s topic with some questions. Someone at each table facilitated fellowship and a review of that night’s topic. To encourage people to stay and participate, fruit and cookies were placed on each table. This half hour enabled relationship evangelism!
The response was great from everyone. Bob said that since his divorce he had felt abandoned by God, but now he felt God’s love.
Don admitted that he had never really understood the Sabbath before, and now embraces it. Marsha confided that this was the first time she enjoyed studying Revelation, because she now sees Jesus there. Truus said the presentation on forgiveness was the best thing she ever heard. Joe was once a Catholic, and an altar boy, but he now plans to join God’s Adventist family. Jack and Jim, 70-year-old twins, left the Adventist Church 40 years ago. They rejoiced in the message of God’s love. Fifteen-year-old Andrew recently gave his life to Christ at camp. We’re planning the baptism service for December! He came and helped night after night of the meetings.
The evangelistic team consisted of the pastor; the speaker; the musicians; the set up crew; the greeters; the childcare ladies; the refreshment committee; the prayer team; and the PA man, who also recorded each night. We gave away hundreds of CDs.
We plan to do this at least twice a year, and to train others. Pastor Ken is grateful for the gifts God has given to Sherry. Sherry is grateful for a pastor that mentors the members to do evangelism! She says she wants to exalt the love of God every day for the rest of her life.