Gary Gibbs is a Vice President of the Hope Channel.

A Sunday church that my family regularly drives past displays banners with pithy sayings. One day, my seven-yearold daughter, perched in our car’s back seat, sat up and noticed the newest sign recently erected.

Carefully pronouncing each word, Carissa read aloud, “Say… it…boldly.” As the church disap - peared into our rearview mirror, she repeated it again, mulling the words over, tasting the meaning of their message. Then, with a flash of realization, Carissa declared, “If they are really going to ‘say it boldly’ they need to go to church on Sabbath and not Sunday!”

While my daughter is correct, boldness can be abused when we don’t “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). I’ve met a few recklessly bold church members through the years. At a church social where a number of people from other faiths were present, I overheard a sincere member lecturing our guests in stern tones on the right day for worship and damning them if they didn’t show up at church the next Sabbath. This is not the type of boldness that I aspire to.

There is a sanctified audacity, however, that we all can benefit from. It is the boldness that the fledgling Christian church beseeched God for while facing beatings, imprisonment, and death. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29).

We too face real risks when witnessing. Rejection. Ridicule. Failure. Even death in some cultures. Human nature shrinks from these and less hazards. And more often than we like, this is where we may find ourselves. Bereft of boldness while opportunities to share Jesus pass us by.

Recently though, I’ve discovered apostolic boldness in the 21st century. On a visit to the church’s Hope Channel studios in Brazil, I was inspired with our members’ holy courage to claim their land for Christ. They have applied for more than 1,600 television broadcast licenses to put Hope Channel in millions of homes. The Brazil Central Union, in the São Paulo metro area, is in the process of purchasing a television station to reach 22 million residents in one of the five most populous cities in the world. Eager to help others find Jesus, South America is also broadcasting their Portuguese Hope Channel to the Portuguese-speaking nations of Africa.

During my visit I was also intro - duced to Viva com Esperança—Live with Hope. This was the Division’s bold campaign to give the gospel to 100 million people in a single day. On September 6, members united together to distribute 50 million Live with Hope magazines filled with Christ-centered articles and Bible studies.

Ten thousand billboards, com - mercials on Hope Channel’s network of more than 200 television stations, and radio spots provided an additional boost by inviting people to the Live with Hope website.

Such efforts are born of boldness and a keen appreciation of our mission. Erton Köhler, South American Division president, explains, “God is in a hurry and we should be too.”

Returning home, I encountered a similarly bold plan for North America—The Year of Evangelism. North America averages roughly 35,000 new members a year. But pastors and church leaders have asked themselves if this reflects enough boldness on their part. 

Recognizing that Jesus yearns to reconnect with His lost children, the church in North America has designated 2009 as the year to win 100,000 persons to Christ. It has never been done before. And it can only happen as every member and pastor prays like the early church for a bold faith. 

At the beginning of the year, every church is requested to dedicate a Sabbath to earnestly seek God for His Spirit. We need Him to do for us what He did in the first century. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). 

Bold goals include big plans and resources. So every pastor and church district is being asked to conduct two evangelistic meetings during 2009: one starting April 17 and the other on September 11. The Adventist Church Channel, Hope Church Channel, and www. will provide a full range of videos and training materials to walk you through the entire evangelism process of personally connecting with people, holding meetings, and the important job of helping new members grow in their faith.

2009 is a call to boldness for all who carry the name Adventist in North America. A call to not only say it boldly, but more importantly, to put our words into action and to live it boldly in The Year of Evangelism.

Visit for more information.

Gary Gibbs is a Vice President of the Hope Channel.