Archives For October 2015

We’re more famous than bacon! For such a small denomination we are certainly in the news a lot lately. Two items in particular have propelled us to the forefront:

1. Ben Carson running for president.

2. Bacon (and other processed meats) as a source of cancer.

Here is an opportunity not to be missed. There are three things you can do (and shouldn’t do) as an Adventist:

1. Contact your elected officials to share what your particular congregation is doing.

Its concerning to me that in many towns the local Adventist church has little connection with elected officials. We are not in the business of endorsing candidates but we can leverage the attention to let people know we exist and are active in the community. I met recently with the US Congressman for Georgia and was able to secure help for a health fair we are doing next year part of COMPASSION 100k. Use a three step process:

Meet with them, ask them what the town needs, do that!

2. Be compassionate as you share the news of the cancer causing meat.

A smug winner is as bad as a sore loser. The way some of us are acting on social media demonstrates a lack of empathy for the people we want to win over. Posting the story is excellent. Smug comments like “I told you so” or “take that you meat eating savages” are not. Our denominational emphasis on health can open many doors, if done in a healthy way. By the way, let’s make sure not to cherry pick stories. There was one last week also about the benefits of dark chocolate. Please don’t send me a link about dark chocolate, just send me some.

3. Use social media advertising.

This article by Rodlie Ortiz is especially appropriate now and a must read:

Once again, with our name recognition increasing, leverage that attention to drive people to check you out. According to the latest research, a “cause” will raise the interest of the “nones” in your church. So as I finish today let me ask you three simple questions:

When are you contacting your elected officials to share what your church is doing and ask what the city needs?

How are you using social media to let people know where to find you?

Are you being respectful as your share the new findings on health?

And last but most important,

When was the last time you had some dark chocolate?

Let me know what your church is doing in the comment section.


Evangelism that Works —  October 19, 2015

“Evangelism is dead.”

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase, I’d have like $200.00 worth of nickels, which is a hassle to carry around, but I digress.

You know what else is a hassle to carry around? A church that is internally focused!

The solution? Evangelism.

But evangelism is dead.

Or is it?

For the last 3 years I have had an average of 3-6 reaping meetings a year in various churches, in various cities, with diverse and multicultural composition. This is what I found:

The demise of evangelism has been greatly exaggerated.

Here are some samples from THIS year:

*Last week we concluded a 34 church, Atlanta city wide evangelism where close to 400 were baptized.

*Lexington Kentucky. 500 members 4 churches. 50 baptisms.

*Jackson Mississippi over 60 baptisms. Deep South, Baptist country.

*We keep them at around 40% higher than average.

Let me share some principles of a workable model that may be beneficial.

  1. Preparation matters.

We do it with a nine month preparation model. This works with small and big churches. It sometimes seems like it doesn’t work, but after constant repetition it starts to stick.

Preach about it.

Talk about it in every board.

Take your leadership team in visitation to unbelievers.

Focus on that 5% that have the gift. Spend money on them. Give them free resources. Send them to trainings. That 5% will make the difference. You may not be able to baptize 400 but you will always have some people in the pipeline. The more you spend in the prep time, the more people stay at the end of the meetings.

  1. Cause matters.

This is brand new research from “The Rise of the Nones” study. Evangelism that does not have an active, intentional, ongoing community/social justice component will find it harder to attract unbelievers. (check out the book with the same title, its awsome)



This is what we are doing:

Used Season of Service material.

March Against Violence

Compassion 100k (100 projects, 100,000 hours of donated work and funds)

Whatever you do, do something.


  1. Eliminate excuses and find workable models instead.

This are some of what I hear:

This area is too hard, too many unchurched people.

This area is too hard too many churched people.

Please pick one, because both can’t be true! If you looked at the world today, it’s a miracle ANYONE comes to faith. Yet they do.


Don’t despair. Try different models, try different dates, try different approaches, but please, TRY IT!

The Power of a Church Plant

Five Things Ignite Fellowship Church Plant is Doing Right

A while back a group of youth and young adults, concerned about the disconnection from church by their peers and worried about their salvation decided to start a church called Ignite. Last year a Pastor Kendall Turcios was assigned and the church has grown. It targets and it is led mostly by Millennials.

I visited the church last weekend. This is what I learned:

1. The power of friendliness.

Although the first impressions team could have done a better job at the door it was more than made up when I entered the sanctuary. The atmosphere was friendly, the people that participated in the platform were real and the pastor and his family were approachable. People will put up with a lot, if they find warmth and friendliness.

2. The power of a testimony.

The person who did the prayer shared about her life and how she came to Ignite after being far from God for years, got re-baptized and has brought her family with her.

Another participant shared how she drives close to an hour to attend, because of the deep impact Ignite has made in her life.

Testimonies work. Its 10,000 better than a flyer in the mail. They are relatable, repeatable and real. Use them.

3. The power of excellence.

Music was well done. The connection cards, information booth, signage, and platform décor all connected with their logo (see below) One of the principles I teach to churches is the need to eliminate as much as possible the “cringe factor”. That’s when things happen in church that are distracting, mediocre or just plain weird for outsiders. There was little of that here.

4. The power of service.

They were kicking of the Season of Service, a 40 day intentional service oriented program that has benefited churches all over the division. It’s very easy for a church to consume itself with itself. Ignite has woven service into all they do. I am excited to see what results they have after the 40 days.

5. The power of grace orientation.

A young man approached me at the end of the service. He said: “I have been attending and studying with Adventists for seven years. I heard today that God accepts me as I am. I am very close to making a final decision.” Grace is attractive, transformative and foundational. If Jesus is lifted up…


If you’d like to know more about Ignite here are the points of contact.