Participants: Jason McCracken, Karen Thomas
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000060
00:30 Have you ever wondered how it always ends up
00:34 that big people are doing big things?
00:37 When you have big crowds,
00:39 it seems like you are able to accomplish so many things.
00:42 But today, we're gonna talk about
00:44 how people in small groups
00:46 and in small churches can do great things for Christ.
00:50 And join us today for our guest is Pastor Jason McCracken.
00:53 Welcome to the program. Thank you, thank you.
00:56 It's great to have you back again.
00:58 Thank you.
00:59 Pastor Jason McCracken is a market representative
01:02 with Review and Herald, publishing association.
01:05 He is an ordained minister of the gospel,
01:08 a board member of the Academy of Adventist Professionals
01:11 and a family life educator.
01:14 He is also a professional stage production manager.
01:17 So, he has done big, big, big events.
01:19 But he is here today to talk about how small groups
01:22 and small churches can do great things for Christ.
01:26 Yes, thank you. Where do we begin?
01:28 Well, first of all we have to begin with the Bible,
01:31 and in Matthew chapter 28,
01:34 that great commission is designed for us,
01:37 it says "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
01:40 All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
01:43 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
01:46 baptizing them in the name of the Father,
01:48 and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
01:50 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
01:53 I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you always,
01:57 even unto the end of the world. Amen."
01:59 But now when we move to Mark Chapter 16
02:03 its, its Marks understanding of how the gospel is.
02:08 It's basically the same what is different.
02:10 Look at, look at what Mark says, Mark 16:15.
02:14 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
02:19 and preach the gospel to every creature.
02:24 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,
02:29 but he that believeth not shall be damned."
02:32 And it goes on.
02:34 But now the most interesting thing that Jesus wants
02:38 all of us to do even in the small churches is to go.
02:43 Now, "G" means get, "O" means out.
02:47 People in small churches tend to be very comfortable
02:51 in their own environment because they're few in number.
02:55 May be there are 10 or 15 or 20,
02:58 I pastored a church with 30
03:01 but in one year we had over a hundred.
03:05 Is because we understood the biblical commission
03:09 and the principle "Get Out."
03:13 And so small churches have to learn
03:16 to get outside of the churches, go into the community
03:22 and demonstrate number one, that you are there.
03:27 Most small churches are afraid to go outside
03:30 because they feel that they do not have
03:32 a big evangelist to help them.
03:34 You do not need a big evangelist to come in
03:37 and help you and your small group.
03:40 All you need is just a group of believers
03:44 who are willing to go out and test the Father,
03:47 love of Christ to another person.
03:49 So, lets take an example, if you have a church
03:52 or a group of 15 people, five are young people,
03:57 ten are adults, working adults
04:01 may be one or two junior youths, senior youths okay.
04:07 Now you have ten they are trained to talk
04:12 about the love of Christ to their friends.
04:16 They're going to interest their friends
04:18 in doing basic Bible studies.
04:21 That means 10 people help 10 other people that makes 20.
04:28 Now, each and every on of us today
04:32 we have friends in our community,
04:33 our neighbor next door, our neighbor across the street,
04:36 our neighbor down the street, even a friend at our job.
04:38 So you have target just one, not some, just one.
04:45 Now if I want be radical as an evangelist say,
04:47 "Okay, ten people target ten people you have a hundred."
04:51 No, it doesn't work that way
04:52 because evangelism is based on relations.
04:57 It's a type of ministry where you have to talk to people,
05:01 you have to learn about them, you've have to even hold them
05:04 and hug them and touch them
05:07 and help them where they need help.
05:12 And so, 10 people can touch 10 people that's 20.
05:17 If its consistently done in a small group or a church
05:21 with in two years you'll probably have
05:24 from 50 to 80 people attending church.
05:28 That's wonderful. That is marvelous.
05:31 So, now what about if the community is small
05:34 where the church is located?
05:37 That's even easier.
05:40 Can you imagine a small church in New York City
05:44 trying to attend to reach 14 million people
05:47 but can you imagine a church that might have 30 people
05:50 in a community of may be 500 every body know somebody.
05:57 So, now when you have a smaller community is even better,
06:00 the effect is even greater
06:02 because out of 30 you can reach 500 in a week.
06:07 A lot of people like to say lets go knock on all the doors
06:10 and let's give them a piece of literature
06:12 and say here take this piece of literature
06:15 the Lord is gonna save you.
06:17 That's not evangelism.
06:19 Evangelism is walking and knowing your neighbors
06:24 and speaking to them like people, not condemning,
06:29 not telling them that they are doing wrong
06:32 just speaking to them.
06:34 I give you an example.
06:36 When I was pastoring in Canada I was given a small church.
06:41 They were gonna close the church down
06:44 and send the members to the church 20 minutes away,
06:48 every body had cars not a problem.
06:50 The church was a house church it sat on a corner,
06:54 it was built with boulders.
06:57 The basement was so low that you had to duck.
07:01 They have one bathroom,
07:03 the sanctuary was only one sanctuary.
07:06 They cut the sanctuary in three quarters to have a hallway
07:12 because the church was dwindling down in size.
07:15 So, they brought me in as a pastor.
07:18 Well, I have noticed that they where children
07:20 and young adults in the church.
07:22 So, I started preaching youthful sermons.
07:27 Every month we had a program plan in the community.
07:32 Within six months a representative
07:38 from the Ontario Conference headquarters
07:41 came to our church and asked the question
07:45 why is it that you have chairs in the isles?
07:49 Are they here because I am here.
07:52 I said not necessarily we will like this way
07:55 after the third month of my ministry.
07:58 What have you done?
08:00 I've trained the members to talk to their neighbors
08:03 in such a way that their neighbors would come
08:06 to church without being offended.
08:10 The young people were bringing their friends afternoon,
08:13 in the afternoon because we had a program
08:15 designed for youth in the afternoon.
08:17 In six months we needed to look for a new church.
08:21 Today that church has left that house church
08:25 and now they are renting a church
08:27 and they have more than 150 people
08:30 in their conversation with a full time pastor.
08:34 Relationalship evangelism is very simple
08:39 all you need is mouth
08:42 and you need a Biblical foundation
08:44 to go to your friends and talk about the love of Christ.
08:50 That's the simple technique. Let's use another example.
08:56 In a small church you have people
09:00 who have developed a small mentality.
09:03 Now yes that's--
09:05 They are saying,
09:06 how can we reach everyone in our community?
09:08 Yeah, the giants in the land.
09:10 Giants in the land, giants--
09:12 what could we do we're in this community?
09:15 Now lets move, lets move, lets go back to that church again.
09:18 Now that church was there on that corner for 75 years
09:22 and because it was on that corner for 75 years
09:25 I asked them what is your mission,
09:29 you've been here for 75 years on this corner
09:32 you're probably gonna make a hundred years
09:34 what have you done in this community?
09:38 Well, one of my elders--
09:39 What have you done lately for Christ?
09:40 Yeah I mean, one of my elders came to me
09:43 and say well we've been witnessing.
09:46 What-- how did you witness in the community?
09:48 Well, we knocked on doors.
09:50 Well, after you knocked on the doors then what?
09:54 Well, we expect that the people to come to the little church.
09:57 That's not how you actually have evangelism.
10:01 Evangelism is not knocking on doors.
10:03 Evangelism is about sitting inside someone's home
10:07 and talking and relating good things about Christ.
10:12 Most people that witness would say bad things.
10:14 The world is going to ruins, things are terrible,
10:18 people are killing people.
10:20 Why can't I say something like did you not know
10:24 that Christ died for you in order to save you?
10:30 Yes, yes much more interesting. Oh, of course.
10:33 But you know it seems like there is a gap
10:34 between people having good intensions
10:37 and really excited about the Lord
10:39 and wanted to share their faith
10:40 and then really having knowledge of a focus.
10:45 I mean something happen, I mean I think there are lot of people
10:48 who are listen to this program really love the Lord
10:50 and who really would really like to see
10:53 their churches grow, their group,
10:55 a Bible studies to grow.
10:56 But, obviously something happens specially
10:58 do you train the folk there?
11:00 Okay, what happen I trained my local members.
11:06 Wednesday night was a time
11:09 that we would come and have prayer meeting.
11:12 I changed it from an evangelistic training school.
11:18 So, every Wednesday night with a few people in our church
11:23 we would talk about evangelism.
11:26 What does the bible say about it?
11:28 What can we do about it?
11:30 And then we instituted type of community programs
11:34 that people will be aware
11:36 of what is taking place in our homes.
11:40 So, we would take our children to the park
11:42 and invite others to the park.
11:44 We would go on a street corner and we would handout literature
11:50 dealing with drug abuse and alcohol abuse.
11:53 We would go to a community service
11:56 that is does not even belong to us,
11:58 to the salvation army and say what can we do to help?
12:02 So, we were lending our hands in the community.
12:05 So, people in the community got to know was we got to know them
12:09 and then is a where is your church?
12:11 Well that church is around the corner,
12:12 it's been there for 75 years.
12:15 And so, we would call people on the telephone,
12:18 we would tell the senior citizens can't do a lot,
12:22 but they can call, they can talk,
12:24 they can even send religious journals
12:27 if they want to in the community.
12:29 You have to make sure that people in your community
12:32 know that you exist and that you are present
12:35 in the community, that's number one.
12:37 Number two, is now what do you do about it?
12:40 How do you get people to understand
12:43 about your way of thinking, about what does the Bible says?
12:48 That means you have to create an interest.
12:51 You might want to start a Bible school.
12:54 Now, a Bible school can be started in two ways.
12:56 Number one, you can have a Bible school
12:59 in your church every Sunday night for the community
13:03 or you can have a Bible correspondence school.
13:06 So, you can send out 25-50,000 pieces of cards
13:11 that people can send into discover a Bible school
13:15 and from the Bible school they will study the Bible
13:18 and then these cards will comeback to you in your church
13:21 then you would go out and seek them,
13:23 and that's how evangelism works.
13:25 It is giving, it is taking.
13:27 It is sowing the seeds and the seeds
13:30 now are being nurtured to the Word of God
13:32 and the Holy Spirit will impress that person
13:35 to seek out and find you.
13:38 You know, makes me think when you said
13:41 that there are Bible correspondence school
13:43 or actually opening the community on Sunday
13:45 or whatever day you know
13:47 that's gonna be a drawl of the community.
13:48 You know the internet is getting real popular.
13:50 Oh, definitely.
13:51 People have been asking my husband and I
13:53 for materials for to go into the internet
13:56 but that's something that a local church
13:59 could get involved in this as far as Bible studies go.
14:02 A lot of churches across America are investing,
14:06 not a lot of money but just a few dollars
14:09 in building their own website.
14:12 They can have sermons on their websites,
14:14 they can have audio feed on their websites,
14:16 they can have Bible studies on their websites,
14:19 they can have announce the type of programs
14:21 that the church offers on that website.
14:24 I even went to Vancouver, Canada
14:27 and a small Church was forming
14:29 and I said do you want a witness to lot of people?
14:32 They say, yes.
14:33 Why don't you develop some business cards
14:36 give them to every member?
14:38 Now, this Church only had about 30 people
14:40 so they wanted to reach 50,000 of specific group
14:43 within their community.
14:44 They were targeting a specific group in that community.
14:47 And so to develop the cards with a nice logo,
14:50 put the times of the church your programs put your website
14:54 and tell them to log on and get a free gift.
14:57 And he said, well, how long is this going to take?
14:59 I said, wait a minute you said 50,000,
15:01 you got 30 people each one get a box of 500 cards
15:05 you got a year to delivery how many you have there?
15:08 That's great. I mean, I think that goes to--
15:12 You know, I think the Lord has given you some special gift
15:15 you know, those who work in this program you may went,
15:17 why do we have a marketing representative
15:19 come here from Review and Herald?
15:21 Do you know, that there is a science to soul winning.
15:23 I know you gonna talk to us about that in another program.
15:26 But I mean it takes time and thought to develop products
15:32 that we buy, that we wear and that we drive
15:34 and certainly it takes time and thought
15:36 to do the Lord's work in an excellent way
15:40 because there are people who want to hear this message
15:42 and who are looking for somebody
15:43 come please tell me about it.
15:46 Well, there was another program we develop in Canada.
15:51 It's called the institute,
15:53 Maranatha Institute of Evangelism.
15:57 Okay, Maranatha means our Lord commieth.
16:00 So Maranatha Institute of Evangelism.
16:03 Now was this a conference developing?
16:05 It was a conference program.
16:06 Or was it started at the local church?
16:08 Well, what it-- what happened is
16:09 they had a small group of lay people
16:12 that would go around to the different churches
16:15 and teach principles of evangelism.
16:18 So they asked me to be their--
16:21 state director their conference director.
16:23 So I said okay.
16:25 So I left the little church and went to a home office
16:28 and I said now, if you running to different churches
16:33 why don't you ask them to come to you?
16:36 They say well, we can do that
16:38 and we tried that but it didn't work.
16:40 I said, oh yes, it's easy. How long you been in existence?
16:43 About 10 years.
16:45 How many then coming every year?
16:46 Well, about a 100, 120, 130.
16:50 I said where are you going where we are going
16:52 to this camp two and half hours away.
16:54 I said, well, why don't you bring it to the city?
16:57 We have no facility.
16:58 Oh, yes there are praying facilities in the city.
17:00 Where all the Church's and we don't have any space.
17:04 Yes, you do. Where?
17:06 We gonna take it to convention center or hotel.
17:10 We had marketed this program
17:13 to a lot of Church's in the entire state.
17:16 And we had for the first time in the history of Canada
17:23 a largest evangelism convention with 710 paid delegates
17:30 in seven different languages.
17:33 And so we trained people in different languages
17:36 to reach language groups.
17:39 And we had a full curriculum
17:42 from Friday all the way through Sunday with a credential
17:47 that you now become a lay Bible minister.
17:52 And now your job within 12 months is the come back
17:57 and evaluate what you've done in a year
17:59 and win at least one soul.
18:02 We had another convention 12 month's later
18:04 with over a thousand delegates and do you not know,
18:08 that when they filled out the report's
18:11 we had over 1,000 baptized new member's.
18:16 Praise the Lord.
18:18 Training people for ministry is essential.
18:22 It starts at the local church and then it spreads.
18:27 Wow, now what happens
18:30 if the church doesn't have a pastor?
18:32 I mean, you had advantage, your church the one
18:34 that was in the corner for 75 years they were just--
18:38 it sounds like they had a dynamic pastor with you.
18:40 What if they don't have a-- may be they are
18:43 in a multiple church district kind of situation?
18:46 In fact-- Yeah, multiple church district.
18:48 I had a multiple church district.
18:50 In fact, I had two churches. Okay.
18:53 And so the lay people of that local church must take charge.
18:58 A lay person has the same capability as a minister
19:02 the difference is one who is trained exclusively
19:05 from minister-- to be a minister
19:08 the other is the one who understands ministry.
19:12 And so the lay Pastor now can do the same exactly thing
19:15 by training the local people in their church
19:19 how to aggressively go out
19:21 door to door from shore to shore
19:24 to reach people and find them the seek,
19:27 the lost sheep and train them to baptize.
19:33 It's very easy.
19:34 Willing people will do the work of the Lord.
19:38 People who are unable can do something else.
19:41 Individuals who are senior citizens
19:43 can correct Bible lessons,
19:45 young people can do the foot work.
19:47 They can develop websites too.
19:49 Yes, there are many talented-- Sure, they can do.
19:52 Skilled young people who can develop a website
19:55 and take charge of it.
19:56 For example, when I pastored in Montreal
19:58 I had large church and a group of young people
20:01 came to me and said pastor,
20:03 the sin news they just want to takeover the church
20:06 and they don't want us to do anything.
20:08 I said develop your talents, pray to God
20:10 and allow Him to lead you.
20:12 Today, they have developed a website
20:14 it is the leading gospel website in the world.
20:18 Out of the 20 million website's
20:20 five young people with their skills
20:23 and their educational training
20:25 developed a website called gospelcity.com
20:29 and that website is reaching million's of people
20:33 who are un-churched.
20:36 Praise the Lord. Five young people.
20:39 Now, that church is big cathedral in Montreal
20:41 it's been therefore 25-30 years.
20:44 In fact the first pastor was H. M. S. Richards
20:48 the founder of the Voice of Prophecy.
20:52 The first pastor but now after all of these years
20:56 did you reach a million people?
20:58 Five young people develop the website
21:01 that are reaching millions of young people per month.
21:09 That's Evangelism.
21:11 You know, that's a son little becomes mature
21:14 when we place in the Masters hand.
21:15 That's Right, that's why a small church
21:20 can develop evangelism if they think outside of that box,
21:27 that little box there must come out of that box
21:30 and follow what the Lord said, "Go Get Out."
21:36 Once you are out of that box
21:38 you began to think like people in your community.
21:42 Now, okay let's say somebody is watching the program
21:45 and they say I've heard the whole presentation
21:48 or what I think is most of it
21:50 and it sounds really convincing,
21:52 it sounds like something I want to do but you know,
21:55 I know the people in my church and I know people in my group
21:58 they just its half of them makes changes.
22:01 What might be some first steps some preparation may be
22:05 that needs to be done before a group can launch off
22:09 and do this wonderful work?
22:11 I mean five people reaching millions
22:13 and all of the testimonies
22:15 that you gave have just been outstanding
22:17 but spiritually are there some steps that they need to do--
22:21 First of all there must be committed
22:23 to evangelism, step number one.
22:24 Step number two, now they must be committed
22:26 to be trained to do evangelism.
22:29 And what I'm asking 100% of the church members to do this.
22:32 Well, I'm asking for people
22:33 who are willing to be involved in Evangelism.
22:36 So if you have a church of 30 may be six might get involved.
22:39 But six can turn into 12 and 12 turn into 30
22:42 and 30 can turn into 40.
22:43 So you're not looking at 100% participation
22:46 like a lot of people are thinking.
22:48 It's very difficult to do that in a local church
22:50 but at least you have somebody who want's to begin.
22:54 Stand up and say we need to begin
22:57 the process of thinking outside of our box.
23:01 Marketing our church to the community
23:06 so that the community knows what we are about
23:09 and then we can go and share.
23:13 If you can get five people to do that
23:15 or two people that's sharing the gospel.
23:18 So you don't need a big number
23:19 you could within your small group.
23:22 All you need is two committed people put it that way.
23:26 Just two.
23:27 Two will make four, four will make six,
23:30 six will make eight.
23:31 I even have a little format I want to share with you.
23:33 Can I do that? Please do that.
23:35 First I have to make sure I have it
23:37 but it's a very nice little form that I--
23:42 that I've been sharing to number of young people
23:45 and it deals with you can wrap the Church, here it is,
23:50 you can wrap the church or you can built the church.
23:56 Ten little church members came to worship all on time.
24:00 One fell out with the pastor and then there were nine.
24:03 Nine little members stayed up late
24:05 one over sleep and then were eight.
24:08 Eight church members on their way to heaven
24:11 one took the low road and now they are seven.
24:15 Seven church members are trooping like jerks.
24:18 One didn't like the gospel music, now there are six.
24:21 Six church members seem very much alive
24:24 but one got trapped where light is and this left five.
24:28 Five church members pulling for heaven
24:30 sure one got tired got descrambled
24:34 so I'm the church board and this left four.
24:38 Four church members busy as can be
24:41 but one got his feeling hurt and now there are three.
24:45 Three church members and the story is almost done
24:48 for two of them got weary and this left one.
24:53 Now, everybody knows that one can't do much
24:56 but one brought a friend last month
24:58 and then there were two.
25:00 Two Church members each one,
25:02 one more now don't you see Karen,
25:05 two plus two equals four.
25:07 Four church members were early and late
25:09 each brought one and now there are eight.
25:18 Have you got the message, point it and true
25:22 come on Church members we got a job to do.
25:26 So if you see if eight church members double as before
25:29 just in seven weeks there will be 1,024.
25:36 Well, Lord helps us to do we can do.
25:38 I mean, be willing to just open up our hearts,
25:41 open up our minds, and just get out as you said.
25:46 Get out. Go do that commission.
25:47 You know that lot of times people may want to know
25:51 well, okay, where can I get my materials
25:53 and that kind of the thing.
25:54 I like to pick the website out there,
25:56 that you have first of all there is Review and Herald.
25:59 Yes. That ReviewandHerald.com is that is?
26:02 .org. .org.
26:04 Okay, and then there is
26:07 we mention Insight Magazine to young people.
26:09 Yes. That's www.insightmagazine.org.
26:14 That's right.
26:15 And for those that are targeting groups of people
26:18 who just want to have that message out.
26:19 Yes. www.messagemagazine.org.
26:24 And if you like to order your materials
26:25 for your church specifically from the Review and Herald.
26:28 That is ReviewandHerald-- It's really rhpa.org.
26:34 Okay, and then if you will offer me,
26:36 this is research program today, folks.
26:39 If 3ABN has a wealth of materials as well.
26:42 Sure, definitely.
26:43 They have one for covering books for children,
26:46 they have videos--
26:48 Just check in and ask for a video catalogue as well.
26:51 So dial the 800 number that you see on your screen
26:53 or in your computer
26:55 and their website is www.3abn.org.
27:00 But the bottom line is wherever you go to get your materials
27:03 or if you don't even have the money to get materials
27:06 or may you're looking at this from another country
27:08 where its just not available to you
27:11 I think that Pastor McCracken here mentioned
27:13 the whole lot of things that we can do that cost no money.
27:17 Right. It's a matter of personal commitment.
27:18 That's right, personal commitment.
27:20 And when we make a decision for Christ
27:23 it's more than just for ourselves and for our family.
27:26 It is actually coming out of ourselves
27:28 and going into the community to share
27:33 a testimony of what God has done in our lives and for us.
27:36 So that's really what our program was about today
27:39 and if you have any questions feel free to contact us
27:43 and onto the next program we're gonna be praying for you
27:46 that you get out, that you go and make disciples
27:50 as the Lord Jesus Christ has given that commission.
27:53 And until next time may God richly bless you,
27:56 we pray for you.
27:57 Have a great day.