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Evangelism Continues Even as Revelation Speaks Peace Meetings End »
The final message from Shawn Boonstra was given, not at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House as you might expect, but at various churches in the area as Boonstra met at strategic locations around Denver. Several joked that they would have to go through withdrawals after investing so many nights at the Revelation Speaks Peace meetings throughout the whole of January and into February.
Decisions for baptism reached 150 with many more expected over the next year as interested people continue to study. “There are as many as 600 interests per church to follow up on,” commented Eric Nelson, RMC vice-president for administration and Revelation Speaks Peace RMC coordinator.
“We had so many good interests," said Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director, "which the pastors are following up. It was a great harvest.”
During a Denver-metro pastors meeting on Monday, pastors expressed their desire to do outreach as a team on an annual or biennial basis.
DeeAnn Bragaw met with nearly 35 prayer warriors, some of whom arrived each evening 45 minutes before the meetings began to pray over every aspect of the event, walking the venue to pray for the people who would be attending that night, covering the sound, the speaker, the children’s area, the volunteers in every capacity, the baptistery, those making decisions, and prayer requests turned in through the prayer box.
“Often, we would all pray over each request,” said Bragaw, “and as person after person prayed, the name on the request became very precious to us, as if they were honestly members of our own family. Sometimes, we cried over these dear people as we prayed Scripture over them and pled with the Lord for their salvation and for their needs. It was a sweet and sacred privilege.”
The Newday Parker Church plant in downtown Denver opened just before the Revelation Speaks Peace meetings began, hoping to attract people from the meetings and give them a place to worship. Although that hope did not materialize, the plant is involved in numerous outreach projects to bless the marginalized people in their area.
RSP coordinators and VOP staff held a final meeting this week with Ellie Caulkins Opera House facility ushers who again expressed their sadness over the end of the series. “I’m going to cry when you leave,” one said.
Each usher was given a DVD set of the meetings along with a packet of Bible studies. “They held them to their chests as though they were holding treasure,” said Nelson. They want us to come back next year, he added. One Ellie Caulkins usher said her husband had been a counselor at Glacier View Ranch as a young man.
“The stage hands were extremely attentive,” Nelson explained. “Their foreman went so far as to change the water in the baptistery every night,” an unnecessary, yet much-appreciated act, according to Nelson.
“Many young people were involved in a volunteer capacity at the meetings, helping with various things like parking and children’s ministry,” said Steve Hamilton, RMC youth ministries director, “but not a lot of young people attended the meetings, probably because almost every night the meetings were held was a school night.”
"We have to keep in mind that we are developing ministries for target groups," Hamilton said. The youth department hosted the Teen Prayer Summit on a weekend in January with a capacity crowd at Glacier View Ranch, attended by a number of young people outside the church. There are also plans, he says, to hold a variety of outreach events for churched and un-churched young people in the spring. “When we target a young audience, we need to keep in mind culture and music and their schedules,” said Hamilton.
Follow-up meetings around Denver with Shawn Boonstra drew 75 individuals to the Denver South Hispanic Church, 125 to Chapel Haven, and 243 to the Denver South Church where Boonstra again shared the gospel message, lifting up God’s love for His children.
Commenting on the Denver-metro outreach, Shawn Boonstra said, "Seldom have I seen such high levels of conviction. It was strong in the beginning, but especially so about halfway through the final week. The strong response to the appeal on the final Saturday night took me by surprise—and it’s hard to surprise me.”
“Some of the stories developing have moved me deeply,” Boonstra continued. “Based on past experience, I expect we may see as many as 200-300 decisions here when the dust settles. But more
importantly, we have seen a lot of church members rediscover that public evangelism is as effective and powerful as ever," he added.
Baptisms for 2017 were up considerably from 2016 as a result of Denver-metro area churches focusing on evangelism in preparation for the Revelation Speaks Peace meetings. While baptisms were at
356 in 2016, the year 2017 saw 423 new members joining through baptism.
During the final meeting, Rocky Mountain Conference president Ed Barnett presented speaker Shawn Boonstra with a large basket of socks, a nod to his practice of speaking in stocking feet. BoonBaptisms for 2017 were up considerably from 2016 as a result of Denver-metro area churches focusing on evangelism in preparation for the Revelation Speaks Peace meetings. While baptisms were at 356 in 2016, the year 2017 saw 423 new members joining through baptism. stra was also given a pair of cowboy boots, a style of shoe he enjoys wearing. Although these boots had the soles cut out, Barnett did give him a certificate to buy a new pair at a western store in the area. The audience loved this gesture, alternately laughing and clapping during the presentation.
-- Carol Bolden; photo by Palmer Halvorsen