As the last few weeks have unfolded, I have been anxiously awaiting any sign that some goods might emerge from this current season. I have watched and wondered, even as I have been frustrated by the lack of good information and many false hopes have become publicized. But as I have heard from many of our pastors over the past few weeks, one repeating theme has given me hope that perhaps we do have at least one clear opportunity in this season. They report increased attendance in “online” services, as people who wouldn’t normally come to church are checking it out as it has been broadcast faithfully each week. These visitors come from around the world: they are from the farthest reaches and are our next door neighbors. It’s an clear and present opportunity: with the lack of information, people are asking what answers might be found in God.
This is an opportunity we must not miss in this season: the opportunity to herald the good news that King Jesus remains on the throne, that he is bigger than COVID-19, and that He seeks and saves lost people. As so many people have had their lives disrupted and changed, in some cases for the rest of their lives, we must remember that as bad as the situation may appear, it may be an opportunity that God wishes to use for the rest of someone’s eternity. As citizens of that kingdom, we have a responsibility to represent our risen Lord in delivering the hope of salvation and sanctification in this time to a watching world.
If you are serious about that responsibility, but feel underequipped for sharing your faith, this season has provided one additional opportunity of note which we would like to open for you. For the past several years, our Conference of churches has been represented at the Amplify Conference, an evangelism Conference sponsored by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College, by small groups of SDBs who have benefitted from the training available there. This year, because of the situation surrounding COVID-19, the Conference is being offered entirely online for the first time. Instead of taking a small group in person, we are desiring to open this opportunity to Seventh Day Baptists who wish to increase their skill in sharing the Gospel. Due to grant funds for evangelism, we are able to cover your registration fees for the conference, which runs from May 19-21st, if you meet these three criteria:
- You have the recommendation of your pastor/church,
- You can participate in the majority of the scheduled sessions (schedule here), and
- You agree to participate in networking and processing opportunities with other SDBs during the Conference (Facebook group, Zoom meetings for SDB participants, etc).
If you meet this criteria and wish to participate, please have your pastor or a church leader contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact me as soon as possible, as we have limited spaces available and registration fees increase the closer we get to the date of the Conference.
We pray God’s blessings on you in this continuing season as you walk the steps the Lord has given to you in obedience and faith. May we make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Eph. 5:16).
One last thing, if you have not had the opportunity to peruse the useful resources that have been collected around the COVID-19 crisis here at our site, I encourage you to check them out.
In Service of Christ’s Kingdom,