The final message spoken by Christ to His followers is our fixation in a fresh, relevant way across the eight territories of the Southern Union. According to Mark 16:15 (KJV), we are admonished by Jesus to pursue lost people through these words: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Combustible growth and expansion of membership is taking place in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky. We are thankful to God for the innovations, exploits, and creative initiatives currently designed to introduce people to Jesus. Each conference within the Southern Union has already signed onto a grand approach to reach people for Jesus through a coordinated and concentrated “full court press” soul winning strategy. We have all agreed that our Union can establish a more robust evangelistic program. We are hoping and praying that every member, pastor, church, conference leader, student, teacher, academic institution, healthcare employee, and Union leader will engage in the pursuit of hurting, hopeless people to join us in a meaningful relationship with the Prince of Peace.
The 2009 Year of Pastoral and Lay Evangelism, initiated by the North American Division (NAD), yielded record baptisms in the Southern Union. The Southern Union led the way in the Division. Because of the blessings of God in 2009, the Southern Union Presidents’ Council and the Southern Union Executive Committee have voted to declare the year 2019 (the 10-year anniversary of the NAD evangelism initiative) as the Year of Southern Union Lay and Pastoral Evangelism.
In the wake of multiple distractions within the organizational structure of our Church, and in the wider culture of our nation and world, we in the Southern Union choose to sustain our unswerving focus on the mission of reaching women, men, girls, and boys for Jesus. We will share significant information with our Southern Union constituents during the next 12 months; however, please indulge my quest to share this counsel with you today from the Spirit of Prophecy:
“Every member of the church should be instructed in a regular system of labor. All are required to do something for the Lord. They may interest persons to read; they may converse and pray with them. The minister who shall educate, discipline, and lead an army of efficient workers will have glorious conquests here, and a rich reward awaits him/her when, around the great white throne, he/she shall meet those saved through his/her influence,” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 308.1.
“There should be no delay in this well-planned effort to educate the church members,” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 119.2.
“The best help that ministers can give the members of our churches is not sermonizing, but planning work for them. Give each one something to do for others… Let all be taught how to work,” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 82.2.
“The example of Christ in linking Himself with the interests of humanity should be followed by all who preach His word, and by all who have received the Gospel of His grace. We are not to renounce social communion. We should not seclude ourselves from others. In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men/women touched by divine truths. There is another field of labor. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great; …and in the gatherings for innocent social enjoyment,” Desire of Ages, 152.2.
Thank you for Partnership! I am praying for the commitment and engagement of all. WE NEED YOU!
Southern Union | December 2017