About 40 pastors and active laymembers from Estonian Adventist churches, about 45 pastors and active laymembers from Latvian Adventist churches and 38 pastors, Bible workers and lay members from Lithuanian Adventist churches refreshed their commitment to evangelism and explored new ways to reach unchurched people in their neighbourhood in Evangelism training seminars in Tartu (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania) organised by the Trans-European Division of Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Two day seminar gave lots to think about, maybe even to argue about, and as the Estonian Conference youth leader Ivo Käsk said, it was important to hear again that if we are willing and ready, God will use us in His work.
“This two day seminar was very productive. It was a great opportunity to refresh our commitment to evangelism and think about new strategies. I’d like to express my gratitude to Janos and all TED team for this seminar and support to mission,” said Viesturs Rekis, Latvian Conference president.
“This seminar was exactly on time,” said Bertold Hibner, Lithuanian Field president. “I feel that people are very encouraged to become actively involved in evangelism by seeing how it could be done, by hearing that TED and BAUC are ready to support financially, by experiencing warm understanding from leadership. I expect that church members will boldly take the responsibility and share their faith with their friends. We are working to choose ten projects to implement the evangelistic circle J. Kovacs-Biro has thought us.
“I believe that this training seminar has helped people to crystalize what they’ve been thinking and praying about. We are very grateful for the training seminar which Janos Kovacs-Biro has conducted for Lithuanian Field ministers, Bible workers and elders. I’m very grateful to all TED and BAUC staff for organising this training event,” concluded B. Hibner.
In our secular society one of the main questions is what really works and what has potential to bring people to God. “As I cherish close personal relationships with my friends, I was happy to hear that 76% of people who are coming to church, are doing that thanks to the close friendly relationships,” said pastor Toivo Kaasik, who pastors two small churches in the center of Estonia. “A friend, relative or a neighbour who doesn’t believe in God are the first ones whom we should invite to study the Bible with us, with whom we should talk and lead on the path to Christ.”
Participants had to come up with interesting new ideas for evangelism. In Estonia the best support got social network connection idea. In Latvia the biggest support received the idea about the inflatable and portable church. In Lithuania — contrat with the local bakery to place Adventist Church advertisements on the bread labels. Now church members have to work on these ideas and make it into the projects.
“I noticed great response in these training seminars in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These seminars did leave impression on its participants. These seminars gave birth to new initiatives, new evangelistic series. Training was very simple and very practical. I could see that Janos is talking from his experience, and real experience has much stronger power of conviction. All pastors were gratified. Now all our pastors are working on evangelism projects. We’ve got financial support for 10 evangelistic compaigns in each Baltic country. Each evangelistic compaign will get £500 support from the Trans-Euopean Division and Ls 200 from the Baltic Union Conference. I think local conferences and churches will also give their share. I believe that thanks to this initiative many people will hear good news about Jesus Christ and will find new purpose and aim in their lives,” in conclusion said Baltic Union Conference president Valdis Zilgalvis.
Guntis Bukalders and Lauri Beekmann