Our church is dying. We’re stagnant. We’re not growing. We need revival.
These statements reflect the sentiments of numerous church members in the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as cries for evangelism and church growth are plenteous. While total numerical membership in North America has steadily grown, the per capita number of new baptisms in recent years has not risen in proportion to this overall growth.
What are some of the reasons for this decline? Why has the Seventh-day Adventist Church become ineffective relative to evangelism in the United States? Do we understand the context to which we minister? Are we implementing evangelistic methodologies that are appropriate and relevant to the changing technological and socioeconomic conditions of American society in our postmodern world? Or are we merely performing “Eight Track Ministry in an MP3 Society?”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church must continue to develop and embrace effective methods of reaching the unsaved. These contemporary approaches should demonstrate the relevance of our message to the issues of today and still adhere to the fundamental tenets of our faith.
Dr. Carlton P. Byrd is in a unique position to explore the topic of contemporary evangelism. The attendance at his current church, Atlanta-Berean, quadrupled in a few short months after his arrival. His ground-breaking approach to worship and evangelism together has been a catalyst for growth and change.
In this book, Contemporary Evangelism for the 21st Century, Dr. Byrd has done just that. He carefully outlines the historical successes of evangelistic efforts of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He goes on to provide a thoughtful, tested means of adapting the key elements of our prior successes to our highly secularized, socially diverse, and economically dissimulated culture.