Chesapeake Conference churches added 545 new members in 2022 through baptism or profession of faith.
“The feeling in the church at the end of the series was just amazing.”
Ten people made decisions for baptism during an evangelistic series at the Westminster (Md.) church last month.
The decisions came as part of an eight-night presentation of “Forecasting Hope” by David Klinedinst, Chesapeake evangelism and church growth director, held from Oct. 16-24. The series represented the first time Forecasting Hope (the name of two conference-wide online prophecy series last year) was presented to a live audience.
The series was the first in-person evangelistic series the Westminster church has hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“When we were making plans at the beginning of the year, there were mixed feelings because some were worried that it would be expensive and no one would come because of COVID,” says Ignacio Goya, pastor of the Westminster church. “But we prayed, and we prayed, and we prayed. In the end, everybody was rejoicing about what happened. The feeling in the church at the end of the series was just amazing.”
The church is holding a follow-up Bible study class and hopes there will be additional decisions for baptism soon.
“I think the true success in proclamation is when you build relationships with people,” Goya says. “You have to mingle with them and build trust and friendships so that when you get to the proclamation part, the new people who are coming get attached to the community like glue.”
After the success of the meetings at the Westminster church, Klinedinst hopes more churches will choose to move ahead with evangelistic efforts.
“If people are open and something has just happened in the world that hasn’t happened for generations, and people are asking questions, why would now not be a good time for evangelism?” Klinedinst says. “If you’re nervous about COVID, then take whatever social distancing precautions you need to take, but do something. Don’t use COVID as an excuse.”