Public evangelism sees success in New Zealand

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A recent evangelistic campaign in Auckland has led to 95 baptisms and counting with nearly a hundred more to follow.

The North New Zealand Conference (NNZC) partnered with the Institute of Public Evangelism (IPE) to run a citywide campaign that looked at archaeological evidence that supports the accuracy of the Bible.

“The evangelistic program is the icing, the life of the Church is the cake. They are most powerful when they go hand in hand.”

With the guidance of Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the South Pacific Division (SPD), and Pastor Gary Webster (director of IPE), 17 Adventist churches took up the challenge of running “Ancient Mysteries” meetings over five weeks.

Training meetings were held prior to the event and weekly prayer meetings were set up every Sunday morning at 6am, where members from across Auckland regularly came to pray. The prayer meetings were an opportunity for church members to praise God, confess their sins and seek the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

“I experienced the Auckland public evangelistic series firsthand in five churches and public meetings,” said Pastor Townend. “I sensed the commitment and compassion of the church meetings and prayed with some of them for the people. I did some training with the evangelists and members. The process of discipleship using public evangelism is flourishing in the South Pacific Division.”

“My wife Simone and I attended the talks by Pastor Gary Webster,” said attendee Heath Johnson. “I found the archaeological evidence in relation to Biblical events fascinating. For me, the seminar highlighted the accuracy of the Bible versus the scientific consensus. Simone felt there was a sense of harmony and kindness amongst all those who attended. It was both a moving and informative collection of talks, which culminated in us both being baptised.”

The revival meetings led to many success stories including a church plant that grew by 50 per cent with over 25 decisions for baptism, a new church planted on a previously unentered island (Waiheke) and a church that had a regular live stream viewership of 400-600 for each evening meeting.

“One of the key things we learned during this campaign is that discipleship is best done in relationship and is about the whole person,” said Pastor Clifton Glasgow, director of the campaign in Auckland. “The evangelistic program is the icing, the life of the Church is the cake. They are most powerful when they go hand in hand.”

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