Visiting people and understanding their needs is a way of showing affection, attention and care in favorable and unfavorable situations [Photo Courtesy of the South American Division]

General Conference

Church Strengthens Member Visitation and Instigates Deep Commitment to God

Seeking First the Kingdom shows the importance of concern for others and how this shows heavenly love

Brazil | Jefferson Paradello

Genuine concern for others, shown mainly when people visit others to offer support or advice, is one of several caring attitudes found throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament, for example, the prophet Elijah went to the house of the widow of Zarephath, for which he interceded with God for food and for her son who died (1 Kings 17:8-18). In the New Testament, Christ Himself was with Peter's mother-in-law, who was sick (Luke 4:38 and 39).

To reinforce the importance of member visitation and emphasize the need for deep fellowship with God, the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Christian Stewardship Ministry, for eight South American countries, is kicking off the “Seeking the Kingdom First” revival week on August 15th, with daily broadcasts in Portuguese and Spanish on its official YouTube and Facebook channel.

In the messages that will be presented each night at 7:30 pm, the main invitation will be for internet users to prioritize what is a priority for God, as emphasized in Matthew 6:33. “We are often led not to do this in terms of our time, resources, and talents. The invitation to seek the Kingdom first is a call to turn to the things of the eternal Kingdom of God, which we believe is very close”, stresses Pastor Josanan Alves, Director of the Christian Stewardship Department for Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

He will be one of the speakers at the meeting, which will also be attended by Pastors Stanley Arco, President of the Adventist Church for South America; and Marcos Bomfim, World Director of the Christian Stewardship Department.

Visitation: port for connection

If in biblical times the act of visiting was seen as a form of care, what about today, when a pandemic still affects the world and requires a series of precautions, such as isolation and social distancing? Visitation is a way of bringing people together and taking care of those who may have needs that virtual meetings do not allow us to meet, reflects Alves.

“We have two main challenges,” he says. “The first is to connect people through visitation. We still need, in some places, to do this through virtual means, which is a challenge. However, we believe that contact, even by phone call or video call, is better than not establishing any [contact].”

It is also necessary to involve local church leaders in this process. Biblically, he points out, everyone should take care of people. This involves elders, deacons, and those who are in charge of ministries, especially in meeting the needs of members and friends in each congregation.

Fortification

To accompany the broadcasts, local churches will open their doors where possible and will follow the appropriate security protocols of each region. However, the entire program can be seen live via the internet. But, in addition to this week of revival, the project will take place throughout the month of August, having as support material the book Primeira o Reino, written by Alves and released by the Brazilian Publishing House.

The work brings the biblical story of the widow who took two coins to the temple, which corresponded to everything she owned (Mark 12:41-44). The proposal is to show, through different angles, the biblical principles of fidelity and commitment to the cause of God. Each of the 21 chapters in the book concludes with a reader response to the content, as well as QR codes that point to a specific video linked to the topic. To read the book review, click here.

“My wish is that at the end of the reading, each person decides or reaffirms their desire to make Christ the first, main and best in their lives”, reinforces Pastor Josanan Alves. For more details about the project, visit adv.st/primeirooreino

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site

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