May Ford wanted to do something for Jesus. Her church was having an evangelistic series and the pastor was urging everyone to get involved. But her physical limitations and her natural shyness discouraged her from joining in any activities.
She decided to ask God to show her what she could do.
Soon it occurred to her that she could pray. So she pulled out
her telephone directory and chose 15 names at random and
faithfully prayed every day for those people.
Three years passed, and one day she heard that her
church would be having a baptism. One of the names sounded
familiar—Noah Greenman. She knew that name—he was
on her prayer list!
Incredibly, as the months passed, eight of the 15 people on
her list were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church!
Coincidence? Absolutely not. Could Mrs. Ford have done
things differently? Maybe. But when we do something for God
with a willing heart, it gives Him an avenue to bless.
Imagine for a moment what our world church would look
like if God could find in each of us an avenue through which
to bless others. There would be no limit to what God could do
That’s why the General Conference is launching a bold
new initiative called TMI—Total Member Involvement. It’s a
full-scale, world-church evangelistic thrust that involves every
member, church, administrative entity and every type of public
outreach ministry. Jesus is coming soon, and God longs for a
Spirit-filled church that can receive and pass on His blessings.
How can you and your church participate? Here are three
Challenge your church and each member to pray for specific
requests. Pray asking God to show you what He wants
you to do. Pray daily for a family member, a friend or a neighbor,
that they may accept Christ. Pray for wisdom in mapping
out a strategy for your church.
“It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the
prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not
thus ask” (Great Controversy, p. 525).
Prayer must go hand-in-hand with planning. The most
effective way to accomplish total member involvement is
through a calendar-driven program. Unite as a church in
scheduling outreach and evangelism-driven events. Then
divide in small groups for group planning. Sabbath School
classes can function as Disciples in Action units, praying
together and planning group outreach. The possibilities are
endless—health seminars, Bible studies, youth projects, and
multiple Christ-centered, prophetic evangelism events.
I recently returned from Zimbabwe, where 30,000 people
were baptized! How was this accomplished? It took prayer
and planning, but the members didn’t stop there. They took
action. A total of 980 meetings and seminars were held
throughout the country, which included a health initiative. As
the people’s physical needs were met, they responded to the
We can praise God for these results. Some may say, “But
that was Zimbabwe, where things like this are possible.” That
may be true, but if we don’t believe we can win a soul for
Christ, we won’t win anyone. God can only bless when we
are willing to be used.
I want to challenge you to plan a strategy this year for your
church, your Sabbath School, your institution, and ultimately,
for yourself. I know I do, because only as we reach out to others
can God’s Spirit work through us, and give us the greatest
blessing of all. “He who seeks to give light to others will
himself be blessed” (Desire of Ages, p. 142).
Duane McKey is a special assistant to the GC President. He is also
the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director for the General
Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.