Ministry—what works best?

by Kris Potter, Captain – 

I’ve been thinking about ministry and how to do it best.

Here at the Roseville Corps (Calif.), we are constantly bombarded with flyers, packets of cards, and e-mails—all guaranteeing results “for your next preaching series…next Bible study…next mission trip to Mexico,” and of course, “your next vacation Bible school [VBS] outreach.” All promise tangible results—“if you mail out our flyer we promise a .045 return on your investment.”

After reviewing tons of materials, attending seminars, buying books and watching videos, we can weigh the costs and make certain determinations:

1) People get saved because someone tells them about Jesus’ love for them.
2) People come to church because someone invited them…plain and simple. Just like the gospel.

The truth of these determinations struck us during our recent summer children’s evangelistic outreach, “Son Island.” The total four-day participation was 289 and over 104 attended Celebration Sunday. Our chapel was transformed into an island experience including a waterfall, palm trees, and an island “snack-shack” puppet stage. The centerpiece was Visitor Volcano. Every time a visitor came to VBS, a blast erupted from Visitor Volcano, celebrating the first-time visitor and the efforts of the invitee. The volcano erupted many times during the week, and parents and friends experienced it on Sunday.

During the week, the children brought in 6,937 pennies for World Services, a total of $69.37. We had 22 first-time decisions for Christ; one teen leader accepted Jesus and another teen rededicated her life to Christ.

On Celebration Sunday four adults, parents of participating children, accepted Christ. We first saw these families when they came to family services for financial aid. Every child of these families and the parents ALL accepted Christ for the first time during VBS week!

We have re-concluded that when people come to us for help, what they are really there for is to find Jesus!

So, back to the question—what works best? Jesus knew when he sent us out to preach and teach, and to do it liberally and without hesitation. He knew we’d see fruit, that others would be encouraged and that his kingdom would be expanded. What works best? Preach the word and be ready to do so at all times, for all it may cost us…and every once in a while the volcano will blast, angels will rejoice, others will be inspired and God’s will will be done!

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