Throughout the state evangelism-based initiatives have taken place as a lead-up to the Michigan-wide public campaign to be held at the end of September. One church that held its evangelism series has already seen those efforts bearing fruit.
One church that held its evangelism series has already seen those efforts bearing fruit. Spanning four weeks, from April 16–May 13, 2023, the series was conducted by Elijah Ringstaff, pastor of the Ludington and Shelby churches, who spoke for all 19 meetings, including a follow-up vespers after the series concluded.
Church members in Ludington, a small town located on the north shore of Lake Michigan, were encouraged to see excellent community engagement. During the four weeks, nine non-members and their families attended the evangelistic series. Four of the guests attended opening night and every meeting after for a week and a half before becoming sick with pneumonia. Four other guests began attending in the middle of the series, but they also became sick. Finally, one more woman began attending near the close of the series, “for the last four or five meetings,” says Ringstaff, and she has “been studying the Bible and is preparing to be baptized.” The other eight have also kept in touch with Ludington church members and are also participating in Bible studies. Despite the unusual circumstances that threatened to tear them away, the Lord grasped these families firmly, ensuring they would find the truth for which they were searching.
Several attendees are coming to church as often as possible and are resolving work issues so they can attend more frequently, according to Ringstaff. They are also coming to prayer meetings.
The Ludington Church understands the significance of reaching every soul for Christ, and their planning for the series began months in advance of the meetings. An evangelistic series isn’t just about the sermons. There’s music to choose, children’s programs to plan, and health nuggets to be selected. And, of course, no series should be planned without careful and fervent prayer.
In addition, Ringstaff credits the conference-wide “Great Controversy” local mission trip as being a catalyst for turning the community’s mind towards Christ. The mission trip was right before the series began, and church members passed out 1,200 copies of “The Great Controversy” with a flyer tucked into each book. Ringstaff believes that not only did the books pull in attendees for this series, but those left at homes will provide “curiosity” for future evangelistic events—a pull to learn more.
Judy Ringstaff is the Michigan Conference administrative assistant for communication.