JAC Online

2020 Evangelism Through 2030 Eyes
by Major Ron Millar

 

There is little doubt that history will remember 2020 as the year of covid-19. Public gatherings were restricted to help safeguard the population from the spread of the virus.  The church and the Army were not exempt.  For the better part of a year, corps around the territory could not meet Sunday mornings to worship together as a community.  Programmes normally held at the corps building were suspended.  Bible studies and fellowship groups could no longer meet in their normal way. Despite these limitations, God proved yet again that He was faithful to His people, to His church, and to His Army.

 

If I were to fast-forward in time to the year 2030, and look backwards to 2020 through that lens, key truths emerge.

 

First, the gospel is more powerful than the pandemic.  Evangelism is not confined to bricks and mortar.  Throughout history, all kinds of events have threatened to extinguish the spread of the gospel, but it could not be done because the, “gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.”   Despite the need to close our buildings, the gospel continued to spread.

 

Second, personal witness helps transform lives.  Countless reports have emerged of individual Salvationists who faithfully shared their faith midst covid-19. Among the myriad of these stories is a soldier of a corps who was serving as a nurse in a hospital throughout the pandemic.  When fellow workers asked her how she could continue without being afraid, she took the opportunity to tell them about how her faith in Christ sustained and strengthened her.  

 

Third, challenge breeds innovation. When one corps bandmaster could no longer hold band practices at the corps, he built a double-sided lawn sign and displayed encouraging gospel messages while he played salvation songs on his cornet. Cars slowed down, joggers stopped in their tracks, children and parents gathered for a closer look. The open-air has been reborn in a new way!!

 

Fourth, virtual worship is a powerful tool.  Corps officers throughout the territory prepared creative worship services that broadcast throughout their community and beyond.  Many have testified that these meetings reached far more people than had been attending their corps building. 

 

We are now back in 2021. Reports continue to flow in weekly about how these proven truths are coming to life in all the corners of our Territory.  May these eternal principles continue to set the agenda for our efforts to share the gospel in the years to come.  

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

 

 

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