BANGKOK, Thailand — A group of members from the Trinity Seventh-day Adventist Church started a unique style of evangelistic campaigning by holding a series, not inside a church, but in a restaurant located at the center of the busy Pratunam district in Bangkok.
Surprisingly, the restaurant management permitted the group to hold a weeklong meeting inside their establishment. The group’s nightly meetings were held in support of the Christ for Thailand initiative simultaneously occurring in more than 30 locations nationwide.
The church members planned the program each night, showcasing various songs, health advice, and inspirational messages to people going in and out of the restaurant. The series was held on March 1–6, 2023.
“We want to reach people where they are and show them the love of Jesus,” said Pastor Nelson Paulo, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific region. “Many people are hesitant to come to church, but by holding the meetings in a restaurant, we hope to create a welcoming environment where people can feel comfortable and connect with others in the community.”
The restaurant was transformed into a temporary worship space, with tables and chairs set up in a way that allowed for social distancing. The group also implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces.
The owner of the restaurant was also receptive to the idea as it not only brought people into his business but also encouraged a good relationship between the restaurant and the community. The meetings drew the interest of local residents and visitors to the area.
“I was just passing by and I heard the singing,” shared a local resident who attended the meeting. “It was so beautiful and inspiring. I had to come in and see what was happening.”
The unique approach to evangelism also garnered attention from the wider Adventist community, with some commending the church members for their creativity and willingness to reach out to people in unconventional ways.
“This is a wonderful initiative that shows the power of creativity and innovation in spreading the gospel,” said Pastor Roger Caderma, president of the Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific region. “I hope more churches will follow their example and find new ways to engage with people in their communities.”
The Trinity Seventh-day Adventist Church members hope their efforts will not only lead to more people learning about Jesus but also inspire other churches to think outside the box when it comes to evangelism.
The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.