“And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end willl come.” —Matt 24:14
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of man comes.” —Matt 10:23
Hello from Knoxville and the Seventh Day Christian Assembly of the Church of God! We, a local congregation of about 20, would like to share a few ideas we have used or are thinking of using to spread the Gospel and to let others know about our congregation.
Although we are an independent congregation, we have, for several months now, sponsored a taped radio program on WTNN, a local station. The taped program is produced by John Pinkston of the Congregation of God, Seventh Day in Kennesaw, Georgia.. Any responses to the program, “Watch America,” are directed to our phone number. The program airs 9:30 a.m. each Sunday, 670 on the dial, at a cost of about $50 each week.
We have received over a dozen calls from the program and 9 people have visited our congregation as a result. One person attends regularly, and another couple attends occasionally (they live quite far away.)
One of our members has independently run an ad in a local “items for sale” type of newspaper, offering a free paperback Bible and a correspondence course just for responding. He purchased KJV Bibles in case lots at a low cost ($2.35 ea) from the American Bible Society. A short thank-you letter was included, which mentioned our church and phone number. He received several responses although no one has yet made contact to attend services.
Another good idea is to place the church number in the telephone book. We are listed in both the white and yellow pages, using bold-faced type in the white pages. We recently have had a couple of inquiries resultant from this.
We believe this has been particularly effective for us as our name includes the phrase “seventh day.” People that have read the Bible and concluded that they are to keep the seventh day look for congregations that meet on the Sabbath.
We are contemplating running a small block ad in the religion pages of the local newspaper. This can be somewhat expensive, but we can simply insert it when funds allow.
Also, we thought it important to list ourselves in the “Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups” published by the Bible Sabbath Association, including a brief descriptive text.
One important factor to keep in mind is that many people will be curious to read about your beliefs even before committing to a visit. We would advise that any group develop a “Statement of Beliefs” as soon as possible. Careful proofreading and a professional printing job are musts. Be prepared to answer questions about church government and structure.
Some might ask the question “Does it work to allow people to attend Sabbath services when they have not had any of our Bible literature to study beforehand?” In some cases, the answer is “No.” We have had people attend a few times that were interested promoting their own political, social or religious ideas. This is why it is important to have a congregation that is solidly grounded in the truth. When these people realize that our congregation is not going to go after their agenda, they move on. On the other hand, there are people with a Sabbath keeping background that are looking for a congregation to attend. They may have recently moved or left another congregation that lost its way. Also, there are a few people that have simply spent a lot of time studying the Scriptures with an open mind and have come to beliefs very similar to our own. This shows Who does the calling!
We must realize that it is our Father in heaven that calls people and not ourselves. John the Baptist did no miracles and had no advertisements, but people came to hear him and repent from all over the country.
In considering these options, we also recognize that perhaps the most important tool of all, personal one-on-one evangelizing by letting our lights shine, cannot be neglected as many of us have in the past. Even the large organizations with big media operations recognize that their biggest source of new members is personal contact with other members!
May the holy spirit guide us into a new period of obedience, knowledge and growth.
—Glenn H. Flemming
Seventh Day Christian Assembly: 2244 Maplewood Drive
Tel: 615-688-1107 Knoxville, TN 37920