When a church decides they want to run a prophecy seminar, the budget is usually one of the first things they consider. How much money will they spend on advertising? If they don’t hold it at the church, will there be costs involved in finding a venue? And just how much will it cost to fly in that special international speaker?
In 2018, Pastor Ross Chadwick, volunteer pastor at Dungog Seventh-day Adventist Church, had a list of contacts whom he regularly sent uplifting spiritual text messages to. This list included friends and colleagues who were going through difficult times and he intended for the texts to encourage them. The messages were usually Bible verses accompanied by short inspiring thoughts. On a couple of occasions, he included verses from the book of Revelation.
Towards the end of the year, a non-Adventist contact who had been receiving the texts asked whether Pastor Chadwick could begin sending short devotional thoughts on Revelation as she found the book confusing to understand.
At first, Pastor Chadwick thought it would be an impossible task, given the complexity of the book.
“I’ve had 45 years’ experience in studying the book of Revelation,” says Pastor Chadwick. “It’s one of my favourite books.”
He considered the fact that Revelation draws heavily on other books of the Bible such as Isaiah and Ezekiel and wondered how he could include all the Old Testament symbolism and major stories that were necessary for context in the limited amount of characters a text message allowed him. However, the Holy Spirit prompted him to reconsider.
Almost 60 people currently receive Pastor Chadwick’s texts and half of them are not Adventists. A few learned about the texts from the Dungog church website and others by email.
“I have a data plan with my phone company that can send 60 texts a day,” says Pastor Chadwick. “This means that my Revelation seminar is virtually free. I could never have envisaged running a Revelation seminar with 25 non-church members, let alone doing it for free! It is also pulling in people who would never attend a public evangelism seminar.”
Pastor Chadwick would like to share his resources with anyone who would like to start a similar ministry.
“All they have to do is ‘like’ our Facebook page and message me from there,” he says.