What if every congregation in the World Church would participate together in “Global Total Member Involvement?”
Jim Howard, General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director, posed this question during the October 9th afternoon program. Bookended by stories of how churches around the world were able to yield incredible results from their unified evangelism methods, Howard proceeded to introduce a new framework for evangelism and discipleship that has been further developed since the Executive Committee first received a report on the initiative that planned to revive global disciple-making and evangelism.
The Global Total Member Involvement initiative, which can serve as the foundation of a local church’s evangelism planning, is a multi-faceted approach that aims to foster a universal culture of evangelism and disciple-making.
Howard further elaborated on the initiative, called “Global Total Member Involvement” (Global TMI), during the October 9 business session. He explained it as a “call for every church and every member to become actively involved in making disciples using Christ’s method.”
The first step of the framework is to “prepare the soil of the heart.” For this step, implementation is best done through health and friendship-building ministries. “Health and friendship-building ministries are a necessity in the local church discipleship plan,” Howard said. The second step of the framework is to “plant seeds of truth.” Literature, media, and invitation ministries fall into this category. “Then, we need to invite people to consider spiritual truth by giving them literature, sharing media with them, and inviting them to Sabbath School, church, and spiritual events.”
The third step goes deeper, seeking to “cultivate spiritual interests.” Bible study ministry is the root of this step. Next, the fourth and penultimate step, “[to] harvest decisions for Christ,” is supported by evangelistic meetings. “Whether you do it in a traditional format, or in a seminar, or in a small group, there has to be an intentional effort to lead and appeal to people to make decisions once they’ve heard Bible truth,” Howard explained.
The fifth and final step, “preserve the harvest,” is facilitated through new membership discipleship training. “After they’re baptized, we need to make sure we preserve that harvest by nurturing and training these newly baptized members using new membership discipleship training.”
While laying out the five-step framework, Howard explained that evangelism training for church members is necessary to achieve total member involvement. He read from page 149 of The Ministry of Healing, which says: “Many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin. They need to be instructed and encouraged. Every church must be a training school for Christian workers.”
It’s not multiple activities, Howard said, but rather, a single, active ongoing discipleship plan that has “perfect coherent synergy.”
“We want to make a big splash,” he said. Howard says they hope to see the most baptisms over the next two years through this plan. “If every church around the world has evangelistic reaping meetings, imagine the growth that we could have.”
But, he emphasized, active, ongoing, and culture-changing ministry at the local church level that will not stop, is needed. Rather than coordinating evangelism around a single event, Howard again implored those listening to have an active ongoing ministry that happens continually. “We can’t forget that Christ’s method alone brings true success.”
Global TMI is set to be implemented throughout the World Church in 2024 and 2025. Resources are available at www.globaltmi.org.