Action Groups Revive Doubting Elder and Dying Church
A local elder in Spain attended a seminar for area pastors, elders, and lay members. When the leader presented the topic of Sabbath School action groups, a local elder spoke out against it and said, “We have tried many things in our church, and nothing seems to work. Now you come with a new idea for us to try, and it won’t work! We’re not doing this in my church.” The leader tried to reason with the man, but he wouldn’t hear of it.
The elder returned home after the seminar, and his church pastor talked with him. He said, “Our church is slowly dying as it is. Why don’t we just try the action groups? It doesn’t cost anything. If it doesn’t work, we haven’t lost anything. But if it does, then that would be great! We have nothing to lose. Let’s just give it a try.”
The church elder finally agreed and the church members started meeting in their small groups. They met Sabbath mornings, and again during the week, at a home or somewhere away from the church. Members started getting excited about the groups, and invited neighbors to join them. Church attendance increased, and visitors were becoming interested in their church.
Before long, the church elder admitted, “This time, I think I was wrong. . . These action groups really seem to be working!” The elder realized the negative influence he had on all the others attending the seminar where the idea was presented, and he decided to visit the churches, one by one. He met with them and confessed that he had been wrong, and shared what difference the action groups were making in his church. He said, “The worship service and atmosphere at my church has completely changed! Attendance is up, and people are interested in our church.” He said, “I don’t want to tell you what to do, but this was our experience, and you might want to try it in your church!” God can turn even the most skeptical critic into an ambassador for Him.