Unconventional Evangelism Transforms Bangkok Restaurant into Temporary Worship Space

The facility became one of the venues for the Christ for Thailand evangelistic initiative.

Edward Rodriguez, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
<strong>Unconventional Evangelism Transforms Bangkok Restaurant into Temporary Worship Space</strong>
A vegetarian restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, became one of the locations for evangelistic meetings in early March as part of the Christ for Thailand initiative. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]

A group of Seventh-day Adventists from the Trinity Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bangkok, Thailand, recently launched a unique style of evangelistic series. The group held a series not inside a church building but in a restaurant located in the busy Patrunam district in that populous city.

The restaurant management allowed the Adventist church-member group to hold a weeklong meeting on the premises. The evening meetings were part of the 2023 Christ for Thailand evangelistic series, which took place in more than 30 locations across that Southeast Asian nation.

Church members planned the program each night, showcasing songs, health advice, and spiritual messages to people going in and out of the restaurant. The series took place March 1-6.

“We want to reach people where they are and show them the love of Jesus,” Nelson Paulo, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific region, said. “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 has been transformed into a temporary worship space, with tables and chairs set up in a way that allows for social distancing. The group has also implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces.

Daily evening meetings drew area residents and visitors to the restaurant for singing, health advice, and spiritual messages. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]

The owner of the restaurant is receptive to the idea as it not only brings people into his business but also encourages a good relationship between the restaurant and the community.

The meetings have already drawn the interest of residents and visitors to the area.

“I was just passing by, and I heard the singing,” a local resident who attended the meeting said. “It was so beautiful and inspiring. I had to come in and see what was happening.”

The unique approach to evangelism has 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,” Roger Caderma, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Adventist Church, which includes Thailand. “I hope more churches will follow their example and find new ways to engage with people in their communities.”

Trinity Adventist church members said they 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 news site.

Edward Rodriguez, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review