Sustained Evangelistic Program

Radio evangelism in action.

By ARTHUR L. BIETZ, Pastor, Berkeley, California

Many radio preachers have been hesitant in stating that their broadcast is spon­sored by Seventh-day Adventists. But instead of concealing this, we are featuring it here in Berkeley. It appears that reluctance to give our identity has caused unnecessary prejudice in many instances. The radio service can be a definite asset to the pastoral-evangelistic pro­gram. In our radio services, we feature the entire program of the church. Not only are the evangelistic meetings stressed, but also the prayer meeting, the young people's meeting, the Sabbath school, and the regular Sabbath morning worship hour. The topics of all these meetings are announcd a week in advance dur­ing the radio service. During the regular Sun­day morning broadcasts, we refer to the day before as the Sabbath, and tell our listeners about the Sabbath activities of the church.

It may be that such fostering of the local church program will cut off some superficial listeners, but we believe that it will accomplish more over a period of time. This procedure eventually removes prejudice, and the people become accustomed to the name of our denomi­nation. It also puts our work definitely in the religious front of the community. We are not so much interested in the "mail response," as we are in the "meeting response." We do, however, promote a radio Bible school which has been most effective.

Here in Berkeley, we have a direct line to the church from the radio station. With this remote control arrangement, all programs and services emanate from the church auditorium itself. Our service is announced as the "Bible Crusader Service" corning directly from the auditorium of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Our service is on the air from nine-thirty to ten every Sunday morning. The regular church choir assists in the radio serv­ices. Our members are happy to have the name of their church mentioned. This makes them feel that they belong to a program of which they need not be ashamed.

It seems that we have lost much by discon­necting our evangelism from the church. Too often, our members think of evangelism in terms of "spurts" or- "efforts," rather than as a sustained activity. The church can be the center of evangelistic endeavor. With such a sustained church and radio program of evangelism, we have been able to add nearly one hundred by baptism to the membership of our church in eighteen months. This saves the "hall to church" transition of new members, which is not always satisfactory.

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By ARTHUR L. BIETZ, Pastor, Berkeley, California

October 1942

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