Welcome to the Conference Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the state of Indiana. We are a Christian faith community, which bases its hope and future in Jesus Christ. Our administration and staff provide strategic leadership, support services and resources to more than 81 congregations and 14 schools within Indiana to achieve our shared vision of proclaiming Christ, nurturing believers and serving humanity. Thank you for stopping by.
Reaping the Harvest
Imagine the anticipation. It is harvest time. A farmer has waited all summer for this moment. He goes into the barn and starts up his large, expensive combine and drives it out on the dirt road. His tractor is a fine piece of machinery. It is relatively new and equipped with the latest technology. He has invested a lot of money in order to bring in the harvest smoothly and efficiently.
On this early fall morning the farmer heads down the hill with engine rumbling. When he arrives in the field, he discovers a major problem. There is nothing in the ground but a bunch of weeds! The farmer had failed to sow the seed earlier in the year. As a result, there are no crops to gather in. The ground remains barren, yielding no fruit.
Friends, what farmer would do such a thing? Anyone with a little bit of experience knows not to expect a harvest unless there is the planting of seed ahead of time. Yet, sadly, our churches do the same thing year after year. They bring in highly-trained evangelists expecting great results, but they have not sown any seeds beforehand. Although the evangelists may be some of the best speakers that our denomination has to offer, if there has been no work ahead of time by the members, there will be nothing to reap in the fields. The ground will bear no fruit, and souls will be lost for eternity.
“Evangelism is a process, not an event.”
What our churches need to see is that evangelism is a process, not an event. It is not just holding a meeting and expecting people to be baptized and join the church. Instead, evangelism is church members being engaged in ministry throughout the year. The evangelism cycle consists of preparation, sowing, cultivating, harvesting, and preserving. At the end of the year, the cycle starts all over again and continues year after year until Jesus comes. If our churches will follow a cycle similar to the agricultural model, we will see growth for the kingdom of God, which is what we all desire and long for.
As we approach the 61st General Conference Session in 2020, our Conference is laying out evangelistic plans for the next two years. We hope that you will join in what God is doing. Please pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that the work can be finished and that we can be in heaven with Jesus. Ellen White wrote these words many years ago: “The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and heaven is waiting to bestow it” (Evangelism, p. 701).
Indiana Conference President
Vic Van Schaik