Robert Costa is an associate secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association.

I cannot forget Leidy. She affirmed for me the power of evangelistic preaching. She was present when, through the dedication of pastors and members, 370 people were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cúcuta, Colombia, and a further 128 in Ibagué, Colombia.1

Pastors followed up in their local churches and continued to preach evangelistically. Each weekend the pulpit offers a beautiful opportunity to transform the preacher into a powerful and effective evangelist. Sabbath evangelism makes it possible to announce topics for each quarter in advance, offering many advantages: (1) The congregation knows what topic will be presented and will bring friends who are interested in that topic. (2) The evangelistic sermon is ideal for appealing to people to follow Christ and His truth. (3) The entire gospel message can be presented in one year, establishing believers in Jesus and His doctrines and minimizing apostasies. (4) It is possibly the most inexpensive and effective method of evangelism. I practiced this for 22 years, with my elders and without an evangelism budget. Fourteen churches were planted, and apostasy was eliminated.2

I cannot forget Leidy. She affirmed for me the value of community involvement. She was blessed by our heavenly talk, but she was impressed by our earthly walk.

“For us, the social assistance that Seventh-day Adventist pastors have been carrying out in Ibagué is of utmost importance, because it transforms the lives and families of citizens, something that leads to better societies,” [Leidy] Gómez said. “It is a special event, because we understand that glorifying God’s name brings blessings and a different atmosphere to this city. We are more than grateful for this event.”3

I cannot forget Leidy. She affirmed for me the efficacy of cyclical discipleship. Leidy felt that our outreach could not be just a one-off event. You see, Leidy Gómez served as director of citizen services in the Ibagué mayor’s office. She wanted the local administration to keep collaborating with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the region. The transformation needed to go on and on and on.

I can assure you that evangelism is addictive; once you start, it is difficult to stop, and God will confer more gifts on you by exposing His Word, and His blessing will accompany you. But you will notice that something supernatural begins to happen in your life: you will have less stress and more time for the family, for hobbies, and for taking care of your health. You will have discovered one of the greatest joys in ministry, and you will notice that God gives you new physical and spiritual strength.4

Evangelism is the task of everyone who has been called to follow Jesus—but especially ministers.5 As disciples of Jesus, we are His disciple-makers. Ministry leader Lorna Johnston says, “Just as no one becomes skilled at anything in life without practice, so it is with evangelism.”6 So, practice, practice, practice. Because failure to do so is pastoral malpractice.

  1. Cristin Serrano and Laura Acosta, “Hundreds Are Baptized Throughout Colombia in Ongoing Evangelistic Efforts,” Adventist Review, Nov. 24, 2023, https://www.adventistworld.org/hundreds-are-baptized-throughout-colombia-in-ongoing-evangelistic-efforts/.
  2. For materials and resources, visit the General Conference Ministerial Association’s Evangelism page at https://www.gcevangelism.net.
  3. Serrano and Acosta, "Hundreds Are Baptized Throughout Columbia in Ongoing Evangelistic Efforts."
  4. “If you engage in this work of mercy and love, will the work prove too hard for you? Will you fail and be crushed under the burden, and your family be deprived of your assistance and influence? Oh, no; God has carefully removed all doubts upon this question, by a pledge to you on condition of your obedience. This promise covers all that the most exacting, the most hesitating, could crave. ‘Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.’ [Isa. 58:8, KJV]. Only believe that He is faithful that hath promised. God can renew the physical strength. And more, He says He will do it.” Ellen G. White, Welfare Ministry (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1952), 31.
  5. “Do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5, NIV).
  6. Lorna Johnston, "The Joy of Evangelism," Jan. 11, 2022, https://outreach.ca/article/ArticleId/3737/The-Joy-of-Evangelism.

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Robert Costa is an associate secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association.

June 2024

Ministry Cover

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