3 The Elder and Church Growth EvangelismIs the lifeblood of the church.Through evangelism the world church grows and spreads its influence around the globe.Through evangelism the local church calls men and women in its own community to join Christ’s remnant people.
4 The Elder and Church Growth World Church GrowthThe early church was dedicated to its mission of taking the gospel beyond its birthplace in Palestine.The early Adventist church began as a small, regionally based movement in North America. But in 1870, nine years after the organization of the church, the first Foreign Mission Society was formed.
5 The Elder and Church Growth World Church GrowthToday, Adventists have a presence in over 209 of the world’s 231 countries.Insist that your Sabbath School continue to include a missions emphasis.Promote strongly the world missions offering.Encourage church members to give of themselves.
6 Local Church Growth Involving the whole church Because all Christians are called to be God’s ministers, they all became evangelists in one way or another.Members must be involved in enlarging the congregation, not only for the sake of the lost, but for their own sakes.
7 Local Church Growth Two ways of doing evangelism: First, it publicly proclaims the gospel through evangelistic preaching, radio and television, the distribution of literature, etc.Second, and with greater impact, the gospel reach others through the personal relationships with members of the community.
8 Local Church Growth Elders’ participation Relieve pastors of some of their duties and free them to devote themselves exclusively to evangelism for a time.Active inactive members. In many congregation church attendance would double if inactive members could be reclaimed.Be involved in evangelistic follow-up.
9 The Elder and Church Growth Preparing baptismal candidatesBaptism is the symbol of entrance into the family of God’s church.Baptism should not take place until the candidate has been instructed, experienced conversion to Christ, and evidenced that conversion by a changed life.
10 All instructional avenues should be used. The Elder and Church GrowthInstructionTime spent in preparation.Include the major teachings and unique beliefs of the church.Prebaptismal instruction should include: personal reading and study, Bible studies, public meetings, baptismal classes, etc.All instructional avenues should be used.
11 The Elder and Church Growth ConversionAccept Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Saviour.Experience: repentance, confession, and forgiveness.Strengthen their faith in God.
12 The Elder and Church Growth Church’s ApprovalFinal examination of candidates for baptism can be done before the entire church or a representative group such as elders, a committee, or church board.No person or group outside the congregation has authority to add or drop a name from the church.The church members must vote the acceptance of a new member.
13 The Elder and Church Growth Church’s ChildrenYoung children should be encouraged to commit their lives to Christ.There should be maturity and preparation before baptism.Prove to your children at the time of their baptism that they are important to the church.“Baptism does not make children Christians;neither does it convert them.”Child Guidance, 499
14 The Elder and Church Growth Church PlantingDo not be afraid to start a new church.More members will be involved in the work.A new congregation will be established in a new area.The best way to produce more fruit is to plant more trees.New churches revive inactive members more easily than do old churches.
15 Reclaiming Missing Members Lost membersThe shepherd left the 99 sheep and went out searching for the one that was lost.Within your church fold, you too have sheep who are lost and need help in finding their way back.
16 Reclaiming Missing Members Why members drop outThey are not challenged to use their gifts.The do not develop meaningful devotional life.Quarreled with a church members or moral problems.The church is cold, boring and unaccepting.
17 Reclaiming Missing Members Laying plans to reclaim missing membersPeople chosen to visit missing members shouldbe wisely chosen and carefully trained.Visiting missing membersApproach them in a friendly, open, noncondemningmanner.
18 Visiting Missing Members Seven suggestions to guide your visit:1. Ask questions tactfully2. Listen attentively3. Encourage confidence in God’s love4. Respect confidences5. Pray for them6. Invite them back to church7. Love them
19 Holding New Members Adventist churches or Fishing boat A church that does not evangelize will fossilize.Spiritual BabiesThey need the support and love of the church familyto provide special food to nourish their earlyspiritual development.
20 Holding New Members Stressful time Dangerous time They are often subject to demanding social changes.Their decision to follow Jesus will cause them to be rejected by family and friends.Dangerous timeThe first 18 – 24 months can be a real danger time for new members.They are prone to disillusionment and discouragement.
21 Holding New Members Four basic things you can do: Befriend them Introduce new members to other members.Chose a spiritual guardians.2. Teach themHelp them to discover their spiritual gifts.Help them to establish the Sabbath School habit.
22 Holding New Members 3. Visit them Should be regularly visited to encourage them in their growth.4. Involve themIn the church activities.
23 The Elder and Church Growth The combined effect of the new member’s influence on old friends and the attractive example of a changed life make powerful soul winning tools.