HOW do you get non-Adventists to come to a meeting and stay all day?" asked a fellow minister.
The answer is simple. Charge them a $2 registration fee and emphasize that this program is only for individuals who really want advance knowledge from the Word of God. Allow no one under 14 years of age to register and courteously prohibit parents from bringing babies and small children. Furthermore, do not encourage members of the church to attend. In our all-day seminar during the MISSION '72 crusade, more than half of the 123 persons present were non- Adventists.
How do we spend all day in Bible study? Use the Bible survey, chain-reference Bible study, symbols, books, and other interesting subjects. Material on subjects studied is passed out, and we encourage that everything be kept in a binder that we provide.
The new believers and people interested in the Adventist way of life are introduced to vegetarianism. A delicious noon meal prepared by the sisters in the church is served. Recipes for the dishes served plus others are made available.
What are the benefits of an all-day seminar? Several! We are able to get across many details of our message that we cannot do in public meetings. Doctrines of our faith that are difficult for some people to grasp, such as the Sabbath, change of the Sabbath, soul sleep, and law and grace are explored more deeply. The fellowship during the noon meal is something that welds our new believers to our church. We have also found that if people are willing to come to an all-day meeting on Sabbath they usually are prepared to sit a mere two and one-half hours on Sabbath morning.
I have held three seminars in conjunction with meetings, and I recommend that every pastor-evangelist try it in his next series of meetings.