California Field School of Evangelism

UNIQUE among the twelve Field Schools of Evangelism sponsored by Andrews Theological Seminary last summer was the one conducted by Harmon Brownlow, coordinator of evangelism for the South eastern California Conference. From June 14 to July 12, thirteen Seminary students received instruction that they were able to apply immediately.

UNIQUE among the twelve Field Schools of Evangelism sponsored by Andrews Theological Seminary last summer was the one conducted by Harmon Brownlow, coordinator of evangelism for the South eastern California Conference. From June 14 to July 12, thirteen Seminary students received instruction that they were able to apply immediately.

During the first two weeks the students assisted Elder Brownlow in his pilot crusade held in the Arlington, California, Seventh-day Adventist church. The mornings were spent in classroom lectures on methods and techniques of evangelism. The remainder of the day afforded the students opportunity to put theory into practice as they visited interested people and assisted Elder Brownlow in his nightly meetings.

The second two weeks was the unique feature of this particular Field School in that the students conducted their own meetings in four Southeastern California Conference churches patterned after the pilot crusade. They used similar program for mats and the same gift-Bible and Bible-marking plans.

Each team was composed of a speaker, a program and visitation coordinator, and a song leader. Several Seminary students' wives assisted with special music and served as hostesses. One team was made up of one black and two white students working in an integrated crusade supported by a white and a black church. The speakers, one white and one black, spoke on alternate nights.

Results

The climax of the Field School took place on the final Sabbath, when the students met with Elder Brownlow to present their reports. In addition to the 40 baptisms from his campaign, the students re ported 30 baptisms of their own, making a grand total of 70. As of this writing, the total has increased to 80 baptisms. Enthusiasm for evangelism ran high as the students related the victories that God had accomplished in individual lives. Without exception, the students felt that bringing people to Christ was the most thrilling experience they had ever had. One person stated that his experience of bringing three persons to Christ was a confirmation that God had called him into the ministry.

That the students' enthusiasm was more than temporary has been repeatedly demonstrated by the activities of these men once back at Andrews University. Two students were so eager to return to evangelism that they volunteered their services for an evangelistic meeting in Virginia, where seven were baptized. Between school terms two other students conducted a series of meetings in Provo, Utah, where nine were baptized. Several other students have assisted in campaigns in Michigan, and as this article is written students are beginning meetings in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and Decatur, Michigan.

Excited!

In conjunction with the above-mentioned meetings the students train the interested local laymen in Christian witnessing as they were trained by Elder Brownlow. At a recent meeting where I presented some soul-winning experiences a layman asked me: "What's gotten into you Seminary fellows? Why are you so excited about evangelism?" The answer, of course, is that we have had the thrilling experience of leading men and women to Christ. But the answer goes deeper. We have been trained in a method of One to One evangelism that as we work together with the Holy Spirit, is certain to get results. It is a method that so excites me that it has motivated me to write this article. And the method is simple, for I took a young man out with me once where a woman accepted Christ, and he brought another woman to Christ the next week using the same technique. Today both of these women are baptized members of the Adventist Church.

The method, known as Steps to Eternal Life, is primarily for One to One visitation in a home. However, it has been used on entire families with excellent results. It was developed by Elder Brownlow, though he does not claim originality except for the leading question, which I believe is the key to the method.

The Plan Illustrated

Perhaps an experience will illustrate the method best. I visited a woman who had been attending our meetings and discovered that she was well informed about Adventists. She had taken several Bible correspondence courses and had attended two evangelistic series. I proceeded to ask her whether she believed the Sabbath, the mortality of the soul, and the church standards as believed and practiced by Seventh-day Adventists. To each question posed she answered affirmatively. Then I asked her the leading question: "That's wonderful, Mrs. X, but in all of your Bible study have you received the assurance that if you should die now you would have eternal life? In other words, do you know that if you died today, you would have eternal life?" She looked at me sadly and replied: "No. I've never accepted Christ."

It was my privilege to lead this woman through. the "4 Steps" booklet developed by Elder Brownlow:

1. God loves you.

2. Man is sinful.

3. God's only provision is Christ.

4. Receive Christ.

Mrs. X accepted Christ and three days later gave up smoking completely on her own, a problem that none of us knew that she had. Today she is a happy, baptized member of the remnant church.

I believe that it is this method that has excited me most about evangelism. It is a method that can be used on hospital calls, in following up Bible correspondence interests, and in regular pastoral visitations even in members' homes. For those not having access to the "4 Steps" booklet, the "Five Spiritual Facts" produced by our own Collegiate Action for Christ can be used.

The method has excited me because it is Christ-centered. Take, for example, the experience of Mrs. X. Here was a woman who had come to the Sabbath, the mortality of the soul, and a score of other orthodox Adventist doctrines, but had never accepted Christ. This story is not meant to indict our Bible courses or public meetings, for it is well known that thousands have found Christ through these avenues. Undoubtedly this woman would have been unable to accept Christ without this background. The story does, however, point out a judgment that hangs over our heads—the possibility of bringing people to doctrines that appear cold and irrelevant because they lack the content of the living Lord.

The argument could be used that it is not enough merely to bring people to Christ, and I would readily agree. We were careful to point out that once an individual accepts Christ he will be different. He must have a personal relationship with Christ that a framework of doctrines can help to give him. We pointed out that when doctrines are properly understood they become meaningful, for they contain a deeper understanding of Christ.

Often the individual accepting Christ in the privacy of his home had little idea of the full implications of his decision. We tried to point out to him that now that he had accepted Christ he would probably want to demonstrate in a public way that he had accepted Christ privately, for Christ has promised to confess before His Father those who confess Him (Christ) before men. In this context it was no problem to get these individuals out to a specific meeting where they promised to publically take their stand for Christ. It was a source of encouragement to the evangelist to know that sitting in the audience were six or eight individuals who would respond to his call. Of course, their example often encouraged others who had not taken their stand for Christ previously. We found that once these people begin coming to the meetings they do not usually miss a night. It then becomes only a matter of time before they are ready for baptism, for once they have accepted Christ, points such as the Sabbath, tithing, and church standards are no problem, for obedience to the doctrines becomes the natural expression of the decisions already made.

Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

July 1970

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

To Prepare a People

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import— the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages.

What Time is It?

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and The United International reported that at 5:30 A.M., July 16, 1945, a light brighter than a thousand suns or moons illuminated the white desert sands of New Mexico and the skies in western United States. One scientist who was watching that first atomic detonation wept. "My God," he said, "we have created hell!"

The Christian Principle of Religious Authority

IT IS often said that there is a crisis of authority today. It is, indeed, a time when values that have come down to us from the past are being widely questioned both in the world at large and within the church.

Pulling Together

AN UNWRITTEN law of human nature is that people need to be associated in a common cause. Only when they are working together for something that is bigger than individual ambition can men achieve their best. . .

Men of the Century

THE year 1969 was the best year yet for public evangelism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. From every division revelations of spiritual miracles pour into the office. Pen and ink cannot do justice to these stories. No language yet invented can en compass the scope of the miracle. The Australasian Division reports 6,512 baptisms.

Doctrine of Revelation and Inspiration (Part 1)

THIS church has no clearly defined and developed doctrine of revelation and inspiration. We have aligned ourselves with the evangelical or traditional position. This is not to deny its adequacy. But as far as this presentation is concerned, I speak for myself with a view to interpreting what I consider to be both Biblically and doctrinally sound.

The Call of the Elijah Message

SIR, I want help. I am not an Adventist. I am not even a Christian. I have never voluntarily attended a church in my life." So began one of the many thrilling stories experienced during visits of the Columbia Union College Better Family Living team.

The Sevenfold Impact of the Truth

IT HAS been pointed out in a previous article how we need to give first place to those evangelistic methods that are designed to bring the truth from the Word in direct contact with the minds and hearts of the hearers. The people to whom we preach today in America are far more ignorant of the Bible than people were twenty-five or fifty years ago. . .

"So You Are a Minister!"

I am a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, called of God to proclaim the unsearchable riches of His love. Therefore, I voluntarily adopt the following principles in order that through dedication and self-discipline I may set a more worthy example for those whom I seek to lead and serve. . .

Uniformity and Catastrophism (Part 1)

DURING the Dark Ages the state of science was both at a low level and static. To the modern mind it is difficult to understand how the peoples of those times could be so devoid of curiosity, so ignorant of the role of direct observation in the establishment of truth. Arguments over the number of teeth in the mouth of a horse led the participants to study the classics of Aristotle, Galen, et cetera, but no one thought to look in the mouth of a horse!

In Search of the Origin of the Sabbath

DR. MEESTERS is a Dutch Old Testament scholar. The concern of his study and his point of view are set forth as follows in the introduction to his book. "The subject of this study is the sabbath.

The Joy of Personal Work

At the house I found a woman in her thirties who, seeing God as a cruel Master, had become very rebellious toward Him. "Why does He allow children and animals to suffer, not to mention people, who are bad enough to deserve it? I have been sick so much that I don't remember having a happy day in my life. I wish I had never been born." These and similar words came out in a torrent.

"...And Ye Visited Me"

"Don't you think I'd better have it dropped? You see, I can't help the church financially, and I can't get there very often, so I'm no good to the church..."

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Trending

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600