Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Win a Soul

Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Win a Soul

Since launching in 2016, (BSO) has grown both in the total number of Bible study interests (over 10,000!) as well as the number of participating churches (currently 348 in the United States and Canada). But wonderful as such growth is, the real aim of BSO is not measured quantitatively but qualitatively; in the personal, timely follow-up each Bible study interest receives. The last thing we’d ever want to do is rejoice over a great number of Bible study interests hungry for the Bread of Life—who we neglect to feed!

To help ensure that the vital work of timely follow-up is taking place, BSO now includes a delinquency protocol that automatically reminds church coordinators via email and pop-messages in their BSO account when a new interest has not been visited promptly. Here’s how it works.

After immediate notice is given when someone first signs up and is added to your BSO study interest list, you have 4 days to record an initial visit before you get your first reminder notice on day 5:

OOPS! You have at least one Bible study request that is due for a visit. We advertise follow-up service of 5-7 days, and one or more of your church’s requests has been waiting 5 days.

  • Check your church’s study requests for any “new” (unvisited) interests. If you or someone on your BSO team has made an initial follow-up visit, record the visit as either attempted or completed. This will change their status from “new” to “active.”
  • If someone has not yet followed up with these requests, be sure to do so soon! If no visit has been recorded in the next three days, this interest will be automatically removed from your list of Bible study requests and sent to the Discover Bible School for mail correspondence follow up.

Thank you for sharing God’s Word with seekers in your community. God bless!

If after that reminder still no visit is recorded, the next message is given on day 7:

WARNING! This is the last day to visit one or more of your Bible study interests! 

  • Check your church’s study requests for any “new” (unvisited) interests. If you or someone on your BSO team has made an initial follow-up visit, just record the visit as either attempted or completed. This will change their status from “new” to “active.”
  • If someone has not yet followed up with this request, please to do so immediately! If no visit is recorded today, this interest will be automatically removed from your list of Bible study requests and sent to the Discover Bible School for correspondence follow up tomorrow.

Thank you for sharing God’s Word with seekers in your community. God bless!

If still another day goes by without a personal visit from a local BSO representative, the study interest will be re-assigned to the Voice of Prophecy’s Discover Bible School for correspondence follow-up. When that happens, the local BSO coordinator will receive this message:

UH-OH! One or more of your unvisited Bible study requests have now been sent to the Discover Bible School for mail correspondence follow up.

The uniqueness of BSO is the opportunity for local churches to personally and promptly follow-up with spiritually interested people in their own communities. We are confident that you and your church family share that goal and will make every effort to visit new interests promptly in the future.

Thank you for sharing God’s Word with seekers in your community. God bless!

The first time an interest is re-assigned for correspondence follow-up, the local BSO coordinator simply needs to click an acknowledgment button and their BSO work will continue seamlessly. If subsequent interests are re-assigned due to delinquency, the local coordinator will receive notice that their church’s BSO account has been paused. This means that they can continue to work with current study interests, but no new interests will be assigned to their church’s BSO account until their delinquency issues have been addressed.

The reason we’re going to these lengths is that in recent months literally hundreds of Bible study interests have gone unvisited and have been re-assigned for corresponded follow-up.

The uniqueness of BSO is the opportunity for church members to visit local Bible study interests personally and promptly. We trust you share this goal and will continue to use BSO to enhance your church’s Bible study ministry.

What did the Visitors think of Discovering Revelation?

What did the Visitors think of Discovering Revelation?

To better understand what people liked (or didn’t like) about our recent evangelistic series, we sent out an online survey to everyone who pre-registered to attend Discovering Revelation. Here’s what we they told us…

For all respondents, the primary way they learned about Discovering Revelation was through the handbills delivered through the mail, with Facebook advertising coming in second. Of course, those media advertisements are always most effective when combined with a personal invitation from someone they know. So don’t skimp on advertising—and don’t neglect the power of your personal influence to encourage visitor attendance!

What about the folks who pre-registered but didn’t attend? When asked why they didn’t end up coming, most said their plans simply changed or that they just forgot. The overwhelming majority of respondents, 90% to be exact, said they would attend if something like this were offered again. So don’t despair if most of your pre-registrants didn’t show up! They had enough interest in spiritual things to visit the website and register in the first place—and likely their lack of attendance isn’t a signal that their spiritual interest has waned. In fact, these should be some of the first people invited to your next evangelistic program!

Those who did attend were asked specific questions about their experience. For example, attendees were asked to rate (on a scale of 1 to 5) whether the venue was clean and inviting, if the hosts were warm and welcoming, and if the messages were presented clearly. Each of those categories received high marks. Additionally, attendees rated their overall experience at Discovering Revelation at 4.71 out of 5. While it’s not perfect, if that were the rating of a restaurant you were curious about, you’d probably give it try!

In addition to those quantitative measures, we wanted some qualitative feedback as well. When attendees were asked what they appreciated about Discovering Revelation, here’s just a sample of what they said:

  • “Everything – but especially the deep study of God’s word & meeting new seekers/believers.” 
  • “The teachings were refreshing and very clear for understanding.”
  • “I wish I know this long before now.” 
  • “Very well put together, very informative.”
  • “The fact that you opened your doors to the public for this event is wonderful, I hope to see more churches doing things like this… I look forward to coming to more seminars when I can.”
  • “Facts, even my son who is not a church goer agrees with.”
  • “Absolutely everything! The Pastor and staff were amazing.”

Wonderful as it is to hear such positive responses, it’s also important to know how they thought the seminar could be improved:

  • “Have it every week! Loved it!”
  • “I cannot think of a single thing to improve what and how they presented.”
  • “We jam it in 1 hour. Would be nice if it lasted a little longer.”
  • “Schedule was a little confusing.”
  • “I think you guys did a great job. Maybe slow it down just a bit. I understand the time constraints, maybe stretch it out another 15-20 minutes, if possible. Kind of how I feel about taking a few minutes longer on Sunday morning worship. He gave His all for a brood like us; it won’t kill us to set a few minutes longer to hear our Creator’s word, or sing one more song of praise. We owe it to Him. And The football game will still be there when you get to the T.V.. But that is just my own feelings.”
  • “Allow discussion at the end of each session.”
  • “Maybe have 3 to 4 day seminar’s on a single topic. There was so much information given on each topic is was hard to absorb all of it. Breaking it up into smaller weeks with only one topic of Revelation would allow people to delve deeper into each topic.”

This kind of constructive feedback is incredibly helpful and encouraging! Most of the concerns people expressed were related to needing more time to study, discuss, and digest the information presented. Many are hungry for truth and sincerely want to understand it “line upon line and precept upon precept.” (Isaiah 28:9, 10) This only underscores the counsel we’ve been given: 

“After the first efforts have been made in a place by giving a course of lectures, there is really greater necessity for a second course than for the first. The truth is new and startling, and the people need to have the same presented the second time, to get the points distinct and the ideas fixed in the mind.” (Evangelism, 334)

In the end, some 70 sites participated in Discovering Revelation. Just over 1500 people pre-registered, but most of those did not attend. At the same time, some 1000 visitors attended on opening night, the majority of whom did not pre-register! Thus, around 2000 non-Adventists either expressed interest in attending or actually did attend Discovering Revelation. These are souls with varying degrees of spiritual interest whom the Lord has brought within reach of our church families. Let us be diligent to befriend, invite, and offer to study with these dear folks as we seek, by God’s grace, to lead them into the truth for this time. 

IMPORTANT NOTE! Measures such as attendance later in the series and number of spiritual decisions made are currently unavailable due to the lack of feedback from host sites. If your church held a Discovering Revelation series and has not yet completed the exit survey, please do so ASAP! Click here to begin.

Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Win a Soul

What’s up with Ingathering?

In recent years you’ve probably noticed that the packet of Hope for Humanity ingathering resources that local churches usually receive has been missing. What’s up with that? 

The fact of the matter is that the person who oversaw the North American Division’s (NAD) Hope for Humanity ingathering program retired in 2021 and that position remains vacant to this day. Thus, while Hope for Humanity still exists and there is confidence that it will revive under future leadership, no one is actively promoting Ingathering across the division. So, what should we do?

Michigan Conference church members typically raise over $60,000 in Ingathering funds, a quarter of which is returned to the contributing local churches for use in their own benevolent outreach activities. Given the current situation at the Hope for Humanity headquarters, this year we have received permission for all the Ingathering funds we raise to stay right here in Michigan! 

While we anticipate a division-wide revitalization of the Hope for Humanity initiative to come, for now please continue to be active in Ingathering outreach and send those funds to the Michigan Conference marked “Ingathering” to help us make a positive impact on our own home territory. 

A Short Quiz

A Short Quiz

What do the Hillsdale, Tecumseh, Farmington, Detroit Oakwood, Grand Rapids, Owosso, Belgreen, Houghton, Ann Arbor, Cadillac, Warren, Kalamazoo, South Flint, Saint Johns, Alma, Mt Pleasant, Jackson, Wyoming, Riverside, Big Rapids, Gobles, Otter Lake, Saginaw, Waterford, Lansing, and Holland churches all have in common?  They all had people sign up for Bible studies with Bible Study Offer last month! Besides those in Michigan, spiritually curious people in North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Montana, Kentucky, Indiana, Idaho, Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon, and California also registered with—and all just in the month of August!

Some of those new interests were invited to take studies by someone when they attended a local church. Others responded to an advertisement in the mail, and still others signed up through Facebook or Twitter. But regardless of how they heard about it, they all expressed interest in learning more about the Bible.

Now that they’ve done their part it’s time to do ours. The greatest need in Bible study ministry today isn’t more learners, it’s more leaders. To the same degree that we praise the Lord for hearts moved to study the Bible we need to pray to the Lord for eager hearts willing to help people on their journey with God. Some 2,000 years ago Jesus said it this way: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

If you are willing to be a laborer in harvest field of your community, speak with your pastor, Personal Ministries leader, or Bible school coordinator in your local church to see how you can help lead those interested in spiritual things to the truth they need in Jesus.  

Time is Almost Up!

Time is Almost Up!

Believe it or not, we’re only three short weeks away from Discovering Revelation! As you’re reading this, literally thousands of people are seeing Discovering Revelation ads on their social media feeds and clicking on the Discovering Revelation registration website. Right now, billboards are popping up in strategic locations across the state followed by hundreds of thousands of handbills arriving in mailboxes on the final days before the campaign begins. But the most important advertising won’t be on social media, highway road signs, or even in people’s mailboxes—it will be done by you!

While we may assume people attend evangelistic meetings because they saw a billboard or received a handbill in the mail, the reality is that most people choose to come to a series of meetings as the result of a confluence of several factors. For example, in the past few days someone may have briefly glanced at a Discovering Revelation ad on their Facebook feed and thought little about it. That small seed of thought, however, will be watered by the corresponding billboard they see on their way to work. In another week or so, a Discovering Revelation handbill with more details about the topics that will be covered and the location the meetings will be held will “just happen” to arrive in their mailbox. Now they are genuinely curious and will either go ahead and register right then or at least be open to discussing it if someone were to bring it up in conversation. That’s where you come in. When after all that preparation, you approach your friend, co-worker, neighbor, or Adventist-curious family member to personally invite them to attend the meetings with you, their odds of being receptive to your appeal will be far greater! And when they do show up on opening night and they fill in their card at the registration table, they’ll most likely check “someone invited me” as the reason they came, without itemizing the subtle yet invaluable inroads made by the advertising ahead of that personal invitation.

The point is, our best results in terms of attendance will occur when we harness the preparation of public advertising by mustering the spiritual courage to step out and invite people, many of whom may indeed just be waiting for your personal appeal. Your personal efforts during these last few weeks are vital! So please pray for, look for, and by God’s grace initiate those divine appointments where you can invite someone to Discovering Revelation!