by Kathy Marson
No one was sleeping in the church pews that day when Valley Adventist Church Pastor Byron Corbett emphatically said, “You will not know you are saved until you give testimony to what you believe. …There is no such thing as a non-witnessing Christian, you’re either in or out.”
Corbett asked two important questions that day. The first, “Are you willing to do anything God asks you to do?” and the second, “Are you willing to do it, whenever God asks you to do it?” He warned the congregation that if they answer affirmatively, “God is going to mess up your life, you are going to be terrified of the things God asks you to do. But I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through you. You are going to watch Him work miracles.”
Two hundred people came forward even after Pastor Corbett told them to stay in the pew “unless you are dead serious!” In the ensuing weeks these people were formed into outreach leadership teams. Jess Chervenak and Carol Bryan, Bible Worker Coordinators, are mobilizing these teams.
What is visible to see three months later? Many members are going door-to-door with Bible worker coordinators giving Bible studies; a new weekly event called “Light the Fire” where members and community friends gather around a camp fire pit to sing, roast marshmallows and fellowship; another group prepares box lunches for a local hospital emergency room staff; members are praying for God’s vision for their church; lay evangelists are holding a series for three weekends beginning in July; and weekly canning and food preserving workshops are beginning this summer. This is the tip of the iceberg. These activities were conceived during a time when a majority of the church was involved with their third annual “Journey to the Cross.”
Spokane Valley Adventist Church members are encouraged by their pastoral team to think outside the box and to let the Holy Spirit lead them as they become more involved in winning people to Jesus.
"It is truly exciting to see what can begin to happen when the members of our church mobilize to take hold of the mission Jesus gave us to be outward-focused and bring lost people to Him," says Corbett. "Although we're just beginning this journey, and we have a long way to go, I'm so proud of the people of my congregation and also of Carol and Jess for the way they are leading out even though this is territory they've never been in before and is way out of their comfort zone. I believe our lay members are the sleeping giant of the church, and it is so rewarding to see that giant beginning to wake up."