Evangelism Gets Personal With
New Beginnings DVD Distribution
By ASI and ADVENTIST REVIEW staff
ay evangelism received a strategic boost at the recently concluded fifty-ninth General Conference session in Atlanta, Georgia, as global delegates were offered a tool to use in reaching their neighbors.
Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI), working in partnership with the world church’s Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department, distributed approximately 10,000 New Beginnings DVDs on Sabbath, June 26, 2010, with more given away daily throughout the session.
The DVDs contain slides and sermons that can be used in small-group outreach, along with supporting materials. Several translations were released at the session: three English versions (for audiences in Africa, in Asia, and for international use) as well as Spanish, French, and Portuguese versions were the ones most widely given away.
Each delegate received a DVD during the morning Sabbath school program, which featured the impact the New Beginnings training program has made around the world. Other attendees received cards as they exited the Georgia Dome, which they used to exchange for copies of the New Beginnings DVD at the ASI-Maranatha Volunteers International One-Day School exhibit in the registration area. Help came in all sizes: 8-year-old Roman Johnson helped with the distribution at the booth, keeping pace with the various language requests.
CHILD’S WORK: Eight-year-old Roman Johnson helps hand out New Beginnings evangelistic DVDs during the General Conference session in Atlanta, Georgia.
As a new feature, the New Beginnings evangelism DVD package includes the Abundant Living health series, which can be presented in conjunction with New Beginnings. ASI has negotiated rights to use the Abundant Living series in all the languages in which it is available. The GC session DVD distri-bution inaugurated the Abundant Living addition.
“It has been tremendous to see the Lord’s hand in this outreach to spread the gospel around the world,” says Terry Anderson, ASI’s vice president for evangelism. “Thousands of souls are expected to be reached for the kingdom with this joint outreach effort between ASI and the General Conference. Please pray for this effort as the DVDs distributed on Sabbath travel to all parts of the world.”
The project is an extension of a 4-year-old ASI initiative, which has seen the training and equipping of 37,000 lay evangelists around the world, many of whom also received DVD players to use in presenting the materials. No players were given away in Atlanta, but the people who received the DVDs represented a global cross section of people representing many unreached areas. (The Joshua Program, a nondenominational research group, estimates there are as many as 2.74 billion unreached people around the world.)
By giving away the DVDs at the world church business meeting, ASI officials said they could stretch resources: “This cost us the same or less than training 600 people overseas with our typical method,” said Chester Clark, a former general vice president of the lay group who is now a graduate student at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. “We felt it was very cost-effective,” he added.
The DVD distribution was coupled with lunch- and dinnertime training sessions that were open to session participants, Clark said, duplicating the kind of training ASI has given in the field.
“Pastors said they wanted to take several sets to train laypeople back home; union and conference presidents also wanted to take it back home,” Clark said when asked about the reception the distribution program received.
Future plans call for updating and rereleasing the New Beginnings DVD, as well as posting training resources online at www.asiministries.org, the ASI Web site.