Pastor's Pastor

Pastor's Pastor: Praying for Lonnie

Pastor's Pastor: Praying for Lonnie

Daddy, Mommy, are you going to die?" During the sniper attacks that terrorized metropolitan Washington, D.C., last October, more than one parent had to calm the fears of their children with assurance that may have sounded hollow even as they said the words.

James A. Cress is the Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Daddy, Mommy, are you going to die?" During the sniper attacks that terrorized metropolitan Washington, D.C., last October, more than one parent had to calm the fears of their children with assurance that may have sounded hollow even as they said the words.

How do you help people cope when they are living in fear of random shoot ings, imminent war, terrorism, smallpox, anthrax, heart attacks, and divorce? Only with a message that moves beyond fear. A message of prophetic hope; of good news in the midst of bad—Jesus Is Coming Soon!

Over the past few months, I've been praying for Lonnie and Jeannie Melashenko, who are just now in final preparations to present a dynamic satel lite evangelistic series, The Voice of Prophecy Speaks.

This NET 2003 event will be satellite uplinked, April 27-May 24, from Columbia, South Carolina, by the North American Division's Adventist Com munication Network (ACN). [Phone 1-800-ACN-1119 for more information or for a special equipment package.]

The Voice of Prophecy's regular listeners, plus thousands of guests who have participated in Discover Bible Schools or been invited by Adventist friends, family, and coworkers, will thrill as Lonnie preaches encouraging, practical, hope-filled messages. You can host some of those thousands at your church.

Why another NET series? Didn't we just host presentations from Orlando, or Cameroon, or Brazil, or Seoul?

The answer is as simple as it is direct. Millions have yet to hear the good news of God's love and salvation by grace, of the Holy Spirit's power to transform and empower, and of new life in Jesus to prepare for His soon return. As the old song says, "Tell it again!"

What can happen in a short series? Through the years, I've discov ered four significant outcomes even from a brief, concentrated series of Bible presentation.

1. Revive the church. Your members own faith will increase as they listen again, night by night, to the good news. Every time God's Word is proclaimed, people's hope and faith are reawakened.

2. Reclaim Inactive. Many former attendees are contemplating traumatic times and serious world events and wondering if they should reestablish their fellowship. Every invitation to attend evangelistic services is an invita tion to return to church. Simple gospel messages make profound impact on those who will again rejoice in faith.

3. Reap a harvest. Scripture says there are multitudes in the valley of decision. Even now the Holy Spirit is earnestly convicting individuals of sin, of judgment, and of Christ's righteousness and coming kingdom. This is decision time. As Lonnie preaches, those in the decision process will respond to God's call, follow Jesus in baptism, and unite in the fellowship of His church.

4. Reach the unchurched. Multiplied thousands will first learn the good news and begin preparing now for future bap tism. Concentrate on finding nonbelieving, secular people and invite them to participate with your congregation in this special event. Conclude each evening's program by hosting smallgroup fellowship with snacks, discussion, and prayer requests. Unchurched indi viduals will be attracted by warm, nonjudgmental interaction.

Are you praying with me? Please join me in praying for Lonnie! Record your prayer requests at our Web site, www.ministerialassociation.com and we'll add you to our prayer list.

And while you're praying, begin planning now for YWE/2004 (Year of World Evangelism), a global thrust to impact the world church as every con gregation will be encouraged to host at least one soul-saving event for their community.

YWE/2004 preparation event. Over the coming months, you will increasingly hear of dynamic opportuni ties and methods for reaching millions of new believers during this intensive, yearlong evangelistic emphasis. My colleague, Dr. Peter Prime, will coordinate YWE/2004 planning and information for the General Conference.

You can participate by satellite down link in a special live video conference, Reaping God's Harvest, on April 1 5, 2003, hosted by Armando Miranda and Ted Wilson, cochairs of the Church's Council on Evangelism and Witness.

At this event, our General Conference president, Jan Paulsen, will extend an urgent call to mission for the world church. Mark Finley and other leading evangelists will share special tips for effective local evangelism plus current reports of what is happening now as pastors and laity unite in projects such as Go 1 Million and Sow 1 Billion. Don't miss this opportunity to place your church at the forefront of results for YWE/2004.

And while you're praying for Lonnie, will you also pray for me? I'm praying for you!


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James A. Cress is the Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

April 2003

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