June 9, 2010

Glow: A Simple Outreach Program with Big Results

2010 1516 page15 capIVING LIGHT TO OUR WORLD—GLOW—IS A NEW INNOVATIVE INITIATIVE THAT emerged from a multimillion-dollar evangelism offering that Central California Conference (CCC) camp meeting attendees gave in the summer of 2007. Looking to the Lord for guidance, conference leaders—including Nelson Ernst, who was then CCC’s assistant director of the Literature Ministries Department—began brainstorming ways to best utilize the funds to share God’s message of love and hope in local communities. GLOW is one of the programs they developed.
“The idea was to start a program that would equip and train church members to do literature outreach,” Ernst says. “I began reading The Publishing Ministry by Ellen White for counsel on how we should do this. So the blueprints for the GLOW program actually were developed through the reading of the Bible and Ellen White’s writings, combined with prayer.”
The project, however, is not about literature sales; rather, it’s based on the simple concept of church members carrying Adventist literature with them wherever they go and handing it out—free of charge—at every opportunity.
2010 1516 page15“Eventually, a church or two caught wind about what we were doing and asked us ?to start the program in their church,” Ernst says. “From there, it was all we could do to keep up with the demand for GLOW literature in many churches across our conference.”
In North America 11 conferences in four unions—Pacific, North Pacific, Lake, and Southern—have become involved in the initiative. Pacific Press Publishing Association (PPPA) in Nampa, Idaho, and Color Press in Walla Walla, Washington, are printing the GLOW tracts—7.8 million so far. The literature is being translated and printed in about half a dozen ?languages, and Adventist churches in Europe are beginning to express interest in the program, as well.
“GLOW is one of the best programs the church has started in the past few years,” PPPA president Dale Galusha says. “Church members are using literature to share their faith at levels we haven’t seen in decades—and it’s involving young and old alike.”
“We have many stories of children to retirees who are passing out GLOW literature,” Ernst adds. “The divine orchestration in the stories people are sharing with us is quite amazing.”
How Does It Work?
A young man involved in the GLOW program one day tossed a couple pieces of literature into a department store shopping cart. A few hours later a man named Ruffy pulled into the parking lot and then grabbed a cart as he was entering the store. He noticed what he first thought to be trash in his cart, but as he picked it up to throw it away the title on the tract—“A Day to Remember”—caught his attention. He later said he believed that the tract was an answer to prayer.
Just days earlier, Ruffy had sent his son to a Vacation Bible School program where the boy learned about the Ten Commandments. Ruffy’s son came home and asked his parents why they weren’t keeping Saturday holy. Ruffy and his wife began to pray for the Lord to show them the truth about the Sabbath, and soon after, Ruffy found the tract in the shopping cart. Ruffy and his family then began taking Bible studies to learn more about the Lord of the Sabbath.
Future Stories
Each month the Adventist Review will feature one or two short GLOW stories as examples of how the Lord can use simple methods—such as leaving a piece of literature in a shopping cart—to share His Word with others. Please watch for these story nuggets, provided by CCC GLOW director Nelson Ernst, in upcoming issues.
Find out more about GLOW.
This article was published June 10, 2010.