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Christ's Model for the 21st Century

Mark Finley

Description

Objectives:

 1. To share with each participant a practical model of whole-person care implementation using health evangelistic outreach similar to the Living Hope School of Evangelism model in Haymarket, Virginia.

2. Demonstrate how to effectively meet the unspoken needs (spiritual, mental, lifestyle, etc) of upper-middle class, relatively high income individuals and improve their quality of life.

3. To describe a broad based, Christ-like approach to medical practice modeled after the ministry of Christ in the New Testament.

4. To delineate a step by step process for local churches and medical practices to coordinate a ‘felt-needs’ ministry for patients and the larger community. 

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • October 27, 2017
    2:00 PM
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How can our churches become redemptive centers of grace? How can our churches become the transforming life-changing centers that Christ wants them to be? So before the end of the class, I’m going to do everything I can to take the principles that we're talking about and apply them.

 

Now in Scripture, there is a law that you may not be familiar with that I wanna introduce you to. It's called the Law of First Mention - the Law of First Mention. What does that it say? It's is that when you look at something in Scripture that is mentioned first, usually that becomes the seminal, embryonic seed that's going to grow and develop throughout Scripture. So the Law of First Mention simply says that you look for something that is mentioned first and then you watch that develop throughout Scripture.

 

Let me give you some examples. Where is Sabbath mention first in the Bible? Where is that mention first? Genesis chapter 2 where it talks about God rested on the seventh day; God bless the seventh day; God sanctified it. When you look at the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments, it refers back to Genesis. Everything on Sabbath theology throughout Scripture goes back to creation. So that's the Law of First Mention - the seed is planted in Genesis then it develops throughout Scripture.

 

Where is marriage mentioned first? In Genesis. And you remember even when Jesus talks about divorce in Matthew 19, He says, “It was said from the beginning” and He takes you back to Genesis.

 

Look at the Book of Daniel, for example, Daniel chapter 2 - The great image outlines first Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the head of gold, breasts and arms of silver,  thighs and legs of iron. But what do you have in Daniel 7? You go back to Daniel 2; Daniel 8, you go back 2; Daniel 11, you go back to those early chapters.

 

If you look at the Book of Revelation, it's the same way. You have the seven churches that deal with seven epics of history; but the seven seals and the seven trumpets are based on those.

 

So the Law of First Mention says, “Look where something is mentioned first, find the seeds of that in Scripture, and then see it developed.”

Now we're gonna go to the gospel of John. What are the first words that Jesus speaks in the gospel of John? Here's the Law of First Mention. What are the first words that Christ speaks in the gospel of John? The first words that Jesus speaks. You gotta find it. What are the first words that Jesus speaks? Now, you may have an old ancient parchment like me and you may have a Text on your iPhone; but if you have your Text on the iPhone, I know you're not texting, I know you're looking for that Text. All right. So you're finding for me the first words. Now if you have a red letter edition of the Bible, it's going to be easier for you; but what are the first words that Jesus speaks in the gospel of John? Can you find the first words the Christ speaks in the gospel of John? What are they, You know? “What do you seek?” OK. So the Law of First Mention says that you have an embryonic seed and that seed is gonna grow and develop throughout the Book. So the first words that Christ speaks in the gospel of John are “What do you seek?” So Jesus is always asking, “What are you seeking?” He's always asking, “Tell me what your needs are?” Jesus never begins where He is; He always begins where others are. Jesus never begins with His agenda; He always begins with their agenda. He always wants to know what are you seeking, what’s your heart longing.

 

What if a church was a center of redemptive grace in a community that was looking out to the needs of its community, trying to see what the people in the community were seeking so that those needs could be met with the opportunity of opening to them to the Gospel.

 

We're gonna share with you how our new congregation is doing just that; but first we have to have the theological framework.

 

In John chapter 1, Jesus says, “What are you seeking?” In John  chapter 2, 3, 4 and 5, He meets the four basic needs of humanity and in John chapter 6, they wanna make Him king. And so let's look at the four basic needs of humanity that Christ Himself ministers to based on this principle in John chapter 1.

 

Now what is the principle? We call it the law of what? The Law of--- You've got it. The Law of what? The Law of First Mention. And how do we define the Law of First Mention? When something is mentioned first in Scripture, you look to where that is mentioned first and once you see where it's mentioned first, you watch that develop throughout Scripture.

 

So here, Jesus is saying, “What are you seeking?” “What's in your heart?” “What's in your mind?” “What's deep down in the, in your soul?” and “What do you seek?” and then in John 2, 3, 4, and 5, Jesus meets the basic needs of humanity.

 

We're going to John the second chapter - John chapter 2. The need in John chapter 2 is a social need. The host in a Galilean village runs out of unfermented wine.

 

Now let's look at that need. On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there. Both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. They ran out of wine. The mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said, “Woman, what does that concern you? My hour has not yet come.” Now Jesus is concerned. He eventually turns the water into wine. He's concerned. Why would Jesus be concerned in that village? A man has a social need. How many of you have daughters? Anybody who have daughter here? How many have daughters? All right. Let's suppose your daughter is going to get married and you have attended my class and you say, “I'm gonna invite pastor Finley to the wedding” and the wedding is five hundred miles from where I live. I said to Pastor Ted Wilson, President of the General Conference, “Pastor Wilson, I need a riding companion, why don't you come with me? We're going on travel five hundred miles; we’re gonna drive together way to my friend's wedding.” Pastor Wilson is a gracious man, kind man, he says, “Let's go.” So we drive together to the wedding, we are famished when we get there, absolutely famished. We've been driving now 500 miles. It's taken us about ten hours to get there. We didn't wanna miss the wedding, so as the result of that, here we are at the wedding. As we are standing in line, now the wedding itself took about 45 minutes to one hour. Its beautiful music; but we could hardly get through it. Our stomachs were groaning and we're standing in line and we're about the fifty third people back; but 52 people back. The woman in charge of the wedding, the wedding coordinator, whispers in my ear, “I'm so sorry Pastor Finley, we just ran out of vegetarian sandwiches and we don't have any beans and potato salad either and there is no more sparkling grape juice, can you guys go down find some restaurant to go eat in?” How would you feel if it were your daughter's wedding and some church officials were standing in line and there was nothing more to eat? You would hope that somebody could perform a miracle and multiply the beans and potato salad or at least the vegetarian sandwiches, right? Sure. Jesus sense that this man was incredibly socially embarrassed and He met a social need.

 

I should mention to you, some people say, “Well, is there any proof in Scripture that this was unfermented juice of the grape and it wasn't wine? Because a lot of people will say this is wine. Now, this is just a little aside from the class; but I wanna show you the evidence, very simply from Scripture that this had to be the unfermented juice of the grape.

 

Notice John 2 verse 1, “on the third day, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee.” Every time in the Bible that you have the expression “the third day”; “destroy this body and on the what? third day, I'll raise it up again”; “as Jonah was in the belly of the whale, also the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. “The third day” - every time it mentions “the third day”, it's a pointer to the cross of Calvary. Cana means “wickedness.” So it's the center of wickedness. Then notice it says also that Jesus and His disciples are invited to the wedding and when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus... So here you have a wedding - Christ as united to His people. You have Cana, the center of wickedness. You have “the third day” expression; you have the mother of Christ there. Notice what Jesus says, “My hour has not yet come.” Every time John uses the expression “my hour,” every time without exception, He's always talking about the cross.

 

Look at, just keep your finger there and turn over in your Bible here to John chapter 17. There's John the 17th chapter and notice what Jesus says here. He says in John the 17th chapter. He reverses that statement and notice what Christ says. John 17 and notice what He says for example in verse 1, Jesus spoke these words and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “The hour has come now.” What did He say in John 2? “My hour has not yet come;” but what do you see in John chapter 17? “My hour has come.” So every time you see the expression “my hour” “my hour” “my hour”, it's always to the cross. So when you look at John 2, you have key expressions that are key indicators that are pointing you to the cross of Calvary.

 

John chapter 2 - Cana that was the center of wickedness. John chapter 2 – “on the third day”; “destroy this body, third day I'll raise it up again.” John chapter 2 – “My hour has not yet come.” John chapter 17 – “My hour has come.” John chapter 2 - His mother is there. John chapter, in the crucifixion story, His mother is there, so when you look at John chapter 2, what are you seeing? The wine that Christ creates in John 2 has to be unfermented because fermentation is always a sign of sin and this represents the pure blood of Christ. So what do we see taking place in the second chapter of the Gospel of John? Jesus meets a social need but He uses that story and He changes the water of Judaism with its legalism, with its meticulous attention to legalistic external details into the grace of the gospel. So that what that's why. This couldn't have been fermented wine in John chapter 2 because if it were it would distort the symbol of the pure untainted blood of Jesus Christ.

 

So we're looking at principles. We're looking at a law called the Law of First Mention. This is you look where something is mentioned first. John chapter 1, Jesus says “What are you seeking?” “What's in your heart?” John chapter 2 - Jesus meets a social need.

 

John chapter 3 -The need is not social. Nicodemus comes to Christ by night. He is a spiritual seeker. In every society, there are spiritual seekers. In every society, there are men and women whose hearts God has stirred up to know the gospel. So Nicodemus comes. The spirit has been working on his heart. You remember what Ellen White says about the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts the Apostles page 109, “Many are on the verge of the kingdom waiting to be what? Gathered in.” So Nicodemus was like that. He was a man where the Holy Spirit was stirring his heart. He was a man that God was working powerfully in his life. So Nicodemus comes to Christ. Does Jesus offer Nicodemus an invitation to a natural lifestyle cooking school? Does Jesus say to Nicodemus, “I’m gonna give you a hydrotherapy treatment? Where does Jesus begin with Nicodemus? “You must be born again,” with the spiritual outreach. Why? That was Nicodemus’ need and that's what he was seeking.

 

Just in our local church that we are raising up now. We started with the church in an old building. My wife and I joined it. It had 25 to 30 people coming to church. No young people in the church at all. They had no Youth Sabbath School. Oh I should have not said that. If somebody would come to Sabbath school with a young person, they would have one. And it had been a very small church for 30 years. Last Sabbath in church, we've now built a new facility, center of health, a center of healing, a center of a lay training center. We're teaching all kinds of courses. We teach church growth courses. We bring pastors in for five to seven days. I'm teaching a course now to elders on preaching and it's just a four session course. We teach elders how to prepare a sermon. Elders can come in on a Friday night and they can stay with us to a Sunday. We immersed them in the culture of preaching. Just this last week, I had Brazilian pastors with me because people are coming from all over the world now to our center and we had a group from Brazil with us learning principles of how to take a stagnant church and transform it. Last Sabbath, we had 258 people in our church. We have 120 members. We had doubled our membership. We looked around the church and all kind of people were sitting there that had come to our seminars. Just you know illustrating this Nicodemus point.

 

Did Jesus know about Nicodemus before Nicodemus came? He didn't; but Christ was open to this idea when Nicodemus came that Nicodemus needed spiritual help and Jesus said, “You must be born again.” The Holy Spirit was working in Nicodemus’ heart.

 

The other night, I was teaching a seminar. I teach a couple seminars now when I'm home; every other week I have a small group. We have our health programs. And so this last year in an attempt to meet people's needs, we were and like living to a healthy hundred, natural lifestyle cooking, stress management. We run them out of our church. We had 500 people walk through the doors of our church last year. Just to our seminars alone; 250 of those registered as non-Adventists. So when you have a little church you have 250 registering as non Adventist but we're constantly inviting them to seminars. So I invited people who had come to our health programs to a small group at my home and the problem is that the group got so big that the neighbors got distress because we were blocking the street with cars. So we had to switch it to the church. We had about, our highest was forty people in my house and they were sitting on the floor, sitting on the stairs, and we study the Book of Revelation with these groups phrase by phrase by phrase. We've been going for a number of weeks; we’re around chapter 8 this Monday night. We've moved to the church. About half of our group is not Seventh Day Adventists.

 

Then on Tuesday nights, typically we teach a seminar. I always have some kind of seminar going when I'm not travelling for the General Conference. And so now I have a seminar in a hotel; it's an archaeology seminar. Actually we have about a hundred non-Adventists that come.

 

The other night, I was at that, in the seminar and I was a greeting people and Diana came out. And I had not met her before and I said, “I’m so glad to have you at the seminar. How did you learn about it?” She said, “You know what? I was went to the county fair at the City Fair called the Hay Market Day Fair and I saw this large booth that said Seventh Day Adventists.” Now we were talking about making this booth that was kind of like a tent and they said, “Should we put the name Seventh-Day Adventists on it?” and I said, “Definitely. You put the name Seventh Day Adventists on because Ellen White says that the name Seventh Day Adventist itself will attract some people. So put it on, don't hide it.” And Diana said, “You know I had begun studying the Bible Sabbath and I was so impressed as I studied the Sabbath on the Internet with the Sabbath and I went by that booth and I saw a Seventh Day Adventist and I thought those people keep the Sabbath. I'm gonna go by and talk to them.” So she went by and she put her name in for a cook book on plant based diet natural lifestyle cooking and as the Lord would have it her name was pulled out, she got my wife's cookbook and they gave her a copy of our advertising for our health - for our archeology seminar and she came. Here is a seeker - a woman we had no idea was out there seeking but God sent her to us.

 

I was talking to another lady at the seminar or some of my staff was and they said, “How did you learn about the seminar?” “We used to watch Pastor Finley in the country of Kuwait. We were living in Kuwait, he was on Trinity Broadcasting and we watched him for 20 years. Now, we've moved to Northern Virginia, saw his picture on the handbill and we wanted now to come and hear the Word of God for Pastor Finley’s

Teaching.

 

Nicodemus was a spiritual seeker. In your community, God is already at work. God is already at work, there are scores of people in your community where the Holy Spirit is working on their heart and every program you conduct gives God an opportunity to bring them. But if you don't go knock on any door, you're not going to find them. If you don't give a Bible study, you're not gonna find them. If you don't hold a health seminar, you're not gonna find them. So God is longing to bring the people that He already is working with to your church.

 

So John 1, “what seek ye?” “What is the need? What is Christ’s method?” Christ method is_ Where is there a need?

 

John chapter 2 - The need is social.

 

John chapter 3 - The need is spiritual.

 

John chapter 4 - The story of the woman at the well.

 

Now if you look at John (4) 3 and 4, you see the contrast. John 3 - A man, Nicodemus. John 4 - A woman at the well, the Samaritan woman. John 3 - Nicodemus is a Jew. John 4 - She is a gentile. John 3 – Nicodemus is well respected in the community. John 4 - She's a woman of the ill repute. John 3 – Nicodemus is/come seeking for Christ. John 4 - She stumbles across Christ. Vast contrast – Jew, gentile; rich, fairly poor; respected, not respected; come seeking Christ, now not seeking Christ at all.

 

You come in John 4 and you begin to look at this woman. Jesus says to her, “I'm real thirsty, can you get me something to drink?” He detect something unusual about the woman. She's come at noon. No woman would come at noon in the blazing sun in Palestine. You come early in the morning to gather your water where there's not that much sun. And as Jesus talks to her, He senses the brokenness of her heart. He senses the tear in her eye. He senses the hurt in her soul. Jesus comes to her and He senses her emotional needs. And He said, “I know you're thirsty for genuine love. I know that the people men that you've been with have used your body as a plaything and you haven't been respected and they have defiled you and abused you and disrespected you.” And Jesus begins to talk to her and He tells her about the water of life that will satisfy the thirst of her soul and in John 4, Jesus meets an emotional need.

 

John 1 - What are you seeking?

John 2 - A social need.

John 3 - A spiritual need.

John 4 - An emotional need.

John 5 - A physical need.

And if you look at John the fifth chapter, you see Christ and this is Jesus’ medical missionary work. You remember what Ellen White says in Ministry of Healing 143, “Christ method alone will bring true success in reaching the people. Jesus mingled among men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy to them. He ministered to their needs then He bade them follow Me.”

 

Now, notice what Jesus did not do. Notice the statement does not say, Jesus mingled among men as one who desire their good, showed sympathy to them, ministered to their needs period. Is that what she said? No. Christ method alone will bring true success in reaching the people. Jesus mingled among men as one who desire their good. So, we mingle. Jesus is very social. He's out where people are. He showed sympathy to them. He was caring about their needs. When you were with Jesus you knew that He cared about you. All of His intention was not focused upon Himself. He cared. He ministered to their needs; but it doesn't have a period there. Then He bade them follow me. Jesus was not interested in having the woman touch the hem of His garment and then go away unhelped.

 

One of the greatest problems that we have, I believe, in medical missionary work today is there are two. Number 1, we have the idea of bridging. You've gotta bridge from the physical to the spiritual that never worked before and it won't work now. You don't bridge from the physical to the spiritual because the bridge is too great. And I have people ask me all the time, “How do you bridge?” Well, you want my answer? We don’t. We don’t bridge, we blend. And there's a difference between blending and bridging. Bridging is - this is physical, over here it's spiritual, I got to build this great bridge. Blending is - you talk about the physical, the mental, the spiritual unashamedly in every single program. And people right from the beginning, whether it's a cooking school, stress management, we're always constantly dealing with the physical, the mental, and the spiritual, and we integrate. So we do not bridge, we blend. We integrate every aspect of human behavior together. That's one of the major problems.

 

The second major problem is this, people run isolated programs with no major strategy and George Odiorne in his book, “The Activity Trap” says that we do a lot and accomplish a little. So we do a lot and accomplish a little. So you know, I have churches that say to me, “Pastor, come help us; but look, we had a cooking school over here but totally unrelated to anything else, it's not part of an integrated structure that I'm gonna share with you.” So we do not bridge, we blend, we do not run isolated programs, we run an integrated wholeness in every single thing that we do.

 

We're going to John chapter 5 and we're looking there. Jesus meets a physical need. John chapter 5 verse 1, “after this, there was a feast of the Jews and (Jesus went up to Bethesda. Now, no,) Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Verse 2 – Now, there is in Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, a pool which in the Hebrew tongue is called Bethesda. Now, notice Beth-esda. Beth in the Bible is “sign of” or “house of.” Bethlehem - Beth is “sign of.” Lehem is “bread.” So, Jesus - the Bread of Life was born in the house of the baker. Beth- saida. Saida is fish; Beth is sign of. Jesus called Peter, James and John to be fishers of men from a village that was called “The house of fish” – Bethesda. Esda is Mercy. Bethesda is house of mercy.

 

So Jesus goes to the most despicable place where there are scores and scores of people that are sick and lame and dying. And as He comes in there, Jesus takes that place, finds the most difficult case, the guy that's been there 38 years, a guy that's been trampled on, a guy that can never get to the waters with this superstition and Jesus heals him. He takes the most despicable place and He makes it a place of mercy.

 

So Jesus constantly (John 2) meats a social need; (John 3) meets a spiritual need; (John 4) meets an emotional need; (John 5) meets a physical need.

 

John 6. What happens? They wanna make Him king.

 

How do you take the ministry of Christ and apply it to a local church?

 

First Corinthians chapter 12. First Corinthians, the 12th chapter. How can we take the ministry of Christ and apply that to a local church. First Corinthians chapter 12 and we're looking at verse 4, 5, and 6. The apostle Paul develops the body theology. He takes the illustration of Christ and He says, “The church becomes the body of Christ.” In other words, the church becomes the eyes of Christ; the church becomes the hands of Christ; the church becomes the feet of Christ. In other words, the church becomes the visible body of Christ.

 

First Corinthians chapter 12, now there are diversities of gifts; but the same spirit. And there are diversities of ministries but the same Lord; and diversities of the activities; but the same God who works all and all. Verse 11, “but one in the same spirit works all these things distributing to each one individually as He will.” Verse 12, “for as the body is one and has many members but all the members of that one body being many are one's body so also is Christ.” In other words, you have a body theology.

 

The church becomes the body of Christ. (And in that church) And that body, there are three things the Bible talks about. It talks about one gifts, talks about two ministries, and it talks about three activities. So we build a body theology that the church is the Body of Christ and the church is to reach out to meet the social spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the community.

 

So we raise the question, “How can we do that?” First, gifts. What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts are divinely imparted qualities by Christ given to every member of the church for service. So, a spiritual gift is a divinely imparted quality that Christ gives to every member of the church for service.

 

What is a ministry? A ministry is a creative outlet to meet the needs of the community that implements the gifts of the members. So what is a ministry? It's a creative outlet to meet the needs of the community utilizing the gifts of the members.

 

What is an activity? An activity is the specific function or the specific program in which the gifts of the members are utilized through their ministries.

 

Now, maybe if I charted it this way, it would be helpful for you. How do we organize church Jesus way? The circle that I'm drawing here, this circle represents--- Everything outside the circle represents the community. OK. So the community is out here someplace. The community is composed of people with needs. So we write the word needs out here. Now, there is a difference between a felt need and a eternal need. A felt need is the need the person perceives that they have. A felt need is “I may feel that I have a need to lose weight. I may feel I have a need to quit smoking. I may feel I have a need to get on a better diet. I have a need for a better relationship with my wife and family.” So I may have a certain felt need but in addition to the felt need I have, I have eternal needs. I have the need to know God, the need for inner peace, the need for purpose in my life; so people recognize they have felt needs but they often don't recognize they have eternal needs.

 

One of the most significant passages in the Bible on this eternal need is Ecclesiastes 3 verse 11. Ecclesiastics 3:11 says, “God has put eternity in their hearts.” So in every heart, God has put eternity. Every person in your community has a longing for eternity.

 

Now the community needs - what might they be? Well, they may be physical needs. What might they be? They may be social needs. What might these needs be? They might be emotional needs over in this corner here. What might those need be? They may be spiritual needs.

 

So that's the community. Now inside the circle is the church. Don't judge me on my art, please. All right. So inside the circle is the church. I put a cross so you know that's the church. So here's the church and here's the community. Within this church, there are members. OK. These are all members in this church. Now every single one of those members has been given gifts by God. You never try to organize a church around spiritual gifts. You always organize a church around ministries and the Spirit of God that imparts the gifts leads the people into the ministries. If you try to organize around gifts you become frustrated because - I had a pastor call me once that, “I just had a spiritual gifts test and I discovered my members have 28/29 different spiritual gifts. I have no clue how to organize it.” You always organize a church around ministries.

 

So here is a ministry. Let's say that this ministry here is a health ministry. And there is a team in my church that focuses on health ministry. This last year we had 10 to 12 people in our church that focused on health ministry. And in our health ministry team, we need some people that are good with database that can help us with the recordkeeping. In our health ministry people team, we need some people that are pretty good in advertising. They can help us with that. And so in our health ministry, we might reach out to meet the physical needs of that community; but everybody in the health ministry team understands that our goal with the people out here is to help them physically, mentally, spiritually. I’m going to talk to you how we have blended ministry. So that maybe my health ministry team. Over here we might have a family life team that is focusing on the family life issues in the community and to helping single mothers and helping - coming up with all kinds of program. We might that have a women's ministry, men's ministry that helps to reach out to the community.

 

We also all together are focusing on the spiritual needs. Just this last weekend, we were training 90 lay Bible workers - Friday night, all day Sabbath, all day Sunday. And so you know we may have lay Bible workers that are reaching out to the spiritual here. We may conduct seminars that we do a lot of seminar work and so we may be conducting seminars on prophecy or seminars on great doctrines of the Bible and we have our lay teams working with us.

 

There may be social needs where we're reaching out to the community to help that community with whether it's medical testing that they need; whether it's - could be a lot of the social programs we do; might be in the area of concerts; could be running a film series at the church; could be meeting in some communities that are underprivileged communities. They could be meeting the social needs of people; more the economic needs and helping with food programs.

 

Here is a principle. We call it the narrow few principle. And what is the narrow few principle say? It says, “The fewer outreaches you have to the community, the fewer people you're going to reach.” OK. So the fewer outreaches you have to the community, the fewer people you're going to reach. And we work on a basic rule of thumb and that's this is what our rule of thumb is. How/what whatever the active membership of our church is, whatever the active membership of the church is, we wanna be in contact with at least that membership number of non-Adventist every year. At least that, I like in small churches, we do twice. So for example, if the average attendance in our given congregation is 140 to 150, we want 300 names of non-Seventh Day Adventists walking into our programs that given year. That might mean we can get some in our health programs like our vegetarian cooking school or a stress management or our health expo. Tonight in our church, we start pale horse with Sean Boonstra. Next month in our church or next week in our church, I’m continuing archaeology in November in a hotel, that's in a hotel; in November in a hotel, my wife is doing something we call health and wellness - it largely focuses on weight management but it's heavily with laden with vegetarianism and motivation. In December, we run something we call Bethlehem and beyond where we combine physical, mental, spiritual health and a lot of things with children. We take them to Jerusalem with our, with our programs with graphics and Tinnie, wife, talks about vegetarian diet.

 

The fewer outreaches you have to the community, the fewer people you're gonna reach. The fewer contacts you make, the fewer you are going to reach.

 

If all you have going into your community are spiritual programs, you're going to miss this whole half of the community, a whole three fourths of the community you could get. So we are constantly thinking - how do we reach the physical needs, the social needs, the spiritual needs, and the emotional needs of that community?

 

Now, you might be asking what did I mean that we don't do bridging, we do blending. Probably it would be more accurate to say that we do we do both bridging and blending; but what do I mean by blending? And how do we do that how can you have people coming to a cooking school and they've come for a cooking school, what do you do? Do you just get up and give a devotional before the cooking school? We don't do that. So we don't get up and say, “Now we have worship and then we have cooking.” Rather we do it this way. Let's suppose my wife's making homemade bread and I'll just give you a few little hints. And she's got the bread out like this she's making it and then she might say to me, “Well, Mark, tell us a little bit about the value of vitamin B?” So I took a little bit about vitamin and vitamin B complex in the diet and as I'm talking about thiamine of vitamin B complex. I tell an experience about Ray Williams. And Ray Williams 1948 was the man who really let out in the reinforcement with vitamin B as the result of the grain being depleted of vitamin B. And I tell a story about how he worked with a group of women and how this group of women, he depleted their diet of thiamine, they signed a release form, and after six months they became so angry at one another they couldn't possibly work together and then I say something like this, I simply smile and say, “Well you know I'm not suggesting that if you eat my wife's whole grain bread that is filled with thiamine and vitamin B, you'll never going to get another argument. Maybe you know that, that takes a real spiritual faith to help in that area and you know remember Jesus said, He said, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” What do you have next Tinnie to demonstrate for us?”

 

So you see it's not this idea - so people in that audience identify with me, they identify with my wife as godly spiritual people. We're not preaching them a sermon during a health program. Like if I'm teaching stress management, I tell a wonderful little story abou. And you can often share spiritual principles with stories. And so I tell a little story about a lamb that was being shocked and shocked and shocked and finally this lamb was shocked so much that it had a heart attack, died. And the researchers with seeing how much stress a lamb could take and so they put this lamb in a pen and they put about ten feeding stations in and the lamb would go eat in a station be shocked and then go eat in another feeding station and be shocked. Go eat in another feeding station and be shocked. Pretty soon, that poor lamb, they shock at every feeding station and the lamb just quivered and quivered and quivered and had a heart attack. They took that lamb’s twin and put it in the pen. One difference, they put the mother in there. The lamb got shocked, he looks up runs to mother. She says something in his ear. Now this is where the research broke down because they couldn't interpret lamb language. So they don't know what the lamb said in his ear. So anyway, the lamb that was shocked runs back to the pen where it was shocked. Because it's just given these little shock, eats, they shock it again, looks up at mother goes “baba”, the mother lamb looks back “baba” and it keeps eating. Where do you run in the great stresses of your life? Do you have any place to run to, the have a social support system, father, mother, sister, brother? For many of us, the research indicates that those who have God as their support system do a lot better in handling stress. Let me share with you some studies about stress and faith and how going to church, how reading the Bible, how praying helps reduce anxiety and stress.

 

So you see, we are not, we don't have the old idea that I'm gonna do a cooking school and then some magic thing is gonna take place and these people are gonna come to church just because I develop relationships. We from the very first night are trying to sow seeds in their life.

 

Now here's something that we have found quite amazing. If I’m mailing to my community a spiritual brochure, so let's suppose you wanna get a group out to a seminar on The Book of Daniel, let's suppose you wanna get a group out to a cooking school, let's suppose you wanna get an audience, it costs me about 5,000 dollars per seminar to get a group of fifty people out that would be about 50 non-Adventist. And what tends to happen is this and I'll give you some numbers. It's about 5,000 dollars in most of my health seminars, so I can get about 50 visitors out.

 

And here's how the cost breaks down, for every 1,000 brochures that we mail, we get 2 people. Now you say, “Pastor, I've heard better statistics than that.” How can I put it? You may have heard better statistics than that but I would question. It may happen occasionally but I've charted this for 20 years. The most you're gonna get is about two people per thousand. What does that mean means? I've got to mail about 25,000 brochures to get 2 people out; I mean to get 50 people out. I gotta mail about 25,000 to get 50 people out. What does that cost me? Cost me about 225 dollars a thousand. Cost me about 150 dollars a thousand for postage, 260. Cost me about 50 dollars a thousand to mail and about 10 dollars a thousand to 12 to label. So I'm spending that money.

 

Now, here is that amazing thing for you. Here's what our goal is - we are willing to make those investments over a two to three year period. Why? This year, I had 250 visitors walk through the door of our church. Two hundred fifty based on a process we just kept mailing and mailing making investments, getting some money from the conference, our own sacrificial giving, our school helps.

 

Now, what do I know? If I know how to mine that database, I get 25 percent response from the database rather than to a thousand I'm getting 25 percent response out of my database. So what does that mean? Five years, if we do this for five years, we will have in our database twelve to thirteen hundred non-Adventist names. And every year, we mail to our database or e-mail it four times - that four times will produce 250 to 300 visitors with little or no expense every single year.

 

So the strategy is to constantly reach out to your community - constantly develop interest in the in your community. Develop a systematic database in which you reach that community and pretty soon, pretty soon, every program you run is going to be filled - every single one.

 

Now, how do we, how do we blend spiritual and how do we get people from the spiritual program from the health programs into our spiritual? Well, first the personal contacts make a difference. First is personal contacts. We train our team and we train a team of workers to make personal contacts with everybody coming through our health seminars. We wanna know their name, we wanna know their interest. Secondly, for us health seminars are not something we do occasionally, but that’s something we do systematically. You can count on it that every year we're going to be running stress management. You can count on it that every year we're going to run a nutrition class. You can count on it that we're going to be running wellness classes. So systematically people come to your programs. They wanna invite your friends. If you do it the same time every year. So every, every March, we do will do this something -vegetarian cooking school. Every April/May, something in the area of stress management. So the same time every year. October, the fall, we have another system of programs that we're doing now we call Health and Wellness.

 

So personal contacts. Systematize.

 

Three (3) is our database. Because we get those names on our database, we're inviting them to concerts at the church. We are selectively inviting them to various other activities.

 

But probably the most, there are two other things that we love. One is we've gone to a health coaching program and we love it. Let me tell you about health coaching; how it works. You see what I have for time here. OK. I've got 4 minutes perfect. OK. Here's what we do. During our health program, I will stand up and I'll say to the people coming to the program, “You've been coming to our natural lifestyle cooking program and I know that you've been blessed; but you may go home you say, “How do I prepare this food?” or you may say, “I have a broader interests than in nutrition. I really am very interested in getting a better exercise program” or “I really want to lose some weight.” We are here to help you. You've gone through five nights of our health program. You've gone through five nights of vegetarian cooking but we're really here to help you and we've got three health coaches that we've trained. (And we have three health coaches that we've trained. We're training more now.) And usually we charge 60 dollars an hour for our health coaches but I'm going to give you them free for the next twelve weeks.” And people say, “what?” “Yes. Because we want to pay back to the community. We want our community to be the healthiest community in America.”

 

And this is the way it works. Our health coach will sit down with you and you'll watch a video on good health and it's the video produced by life and health network here and it's the video on the 8 natural laws of health (NEWSTART). So they sit down and watch that. Then we have a booklet in which you set your own goals. You might set a goal saying, “I wanna drink more water. I wanna set a goal – I’m getting on a better diet. I wanna set a goal on losing weight.” One of our health coaches will be there with you they'll meet with you on a weekly basis for the next three months and they will be with you. They'll help you in any way possible. So if you want to have a personal health coach, we usually charge sixty dollars an hour. There's no charge for you at all for twelve weeks. And we will try to do everything we can to get you want to better health program.

What do you think happens at the end of my talk like that? People flock to our health coaches. And what happens when our health coaches are walking? They walk with the people. They eat with the people. They say, why are you doing this and what do we say? Because we have an interest like Jesus did in the community. The last thing we do and then I have others coming for the next class is every health class, we pass out something called “yours for the asking.”

 

“Yours for the asking” is a form and that form is - It has about 8 things on it where people can check. I would like to attend your stress management. I would like to attend your natural life style cooking. I would like to - and always on it, we put no more, this is very important, no more than seven things. If you put 15 things on, you put too many on it. Two out of the seven a spiritual. One is to join a small group and one is to take personal Bible studies. We don't frame it that way - we say personal studies and great doctrines of the Bible.

 

Twenty five percent of the people coming to our health programs are gonna check something spiritual. Twenty five percent. So rather than the idea of, “Oh, I'm gonna hold a cooking school here once a year hope something happens and maybe it will bridge into an evangelist meeting.” It's not bridging, it is what? Blending. Everything is blended together in an approach where we openly talk about physical, mental, spiritual, social altogether.

 

I need to have you for seven days that's why we brought a brochure. “Hey, Philip, on the back chair I got a number of stuff for them. I'll just give it out to them. We've got some brochures.” Couple of things that I want to tell you about. Yeah, we can hand them when we go. What do I have back there? A preaching brochure. OK.

 

If you go by, there's a booth that's a Living Hope booth in the room. If you wanna know when we teach classes for pastors or lay people, you can just go by. Incidentally, you know what the best thing of our classes are? We don't charge anything. You come for a week, we don't charge you anything. You just got to get there, pay for your meals which we serve you at eight dollars a meal, tremendous meals; help you to find a hotel at great prices; but we charge nothing for our classes. God has given too much for me to charge to it so I give it away.

 

But two brochures on the way back out. Number one, we're teaching a course in about two weeks on lay preaching. If you want to come in on a Friday night, stay with us Sabbath and Sunday on lay preaching. Our facility is in for Virginia. It's beautiful this time of year and there's no charge for the course. Philip will give it to you.

Secondly, a lot of people say to me, “You do a lot of tours.” I'm leading a tour with Hope Channel on the Footsteps of Paul. If you have any interest in it, you can see the brochure it's this summer and we will have a great time. Sorry, couldn't have questions. God bless you.

 

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