Think About It: Stumps, Tracts, Videos
In the old days, a country speaker might mount a stump. The stump was an open platform for anyone who wanted to get a message out; anybody could try to gather a crowd, and a stump preacher might reach those who never attended church. Similarly, tracts and pamphlets allowed any writer to attempt to get wide attention for his ideas. Today, “stumps” and “tracts” have moved online, if we want an audience for our message beyond our existing community, we must learn to use digitally native media like videos and podcasts as our “stumps.” Of course, videos and podcasts can’t replace church gatherings or personal relationships, but then, neither could stump preaching or tract distribution.
Encouragement for Former Jehovah’s Witnesses
In late August we released David Bercot’s story of why he left the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s one of our more popular episodes with almost 4000 views on YouTube alone. Recently we got an email from someone else who left the Watchtower group:
“We watched with great interest your interview with David Bercot on his JW history. We too are ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses and your video seems providential!…We have received several inquiries from the USA about support groups for ex-JWs; one last month from a pastor in Pennsylvania, who is looking for help in reaching the JW community…Your channel seems an invaluable resource — especially as most of these ex-JWs are already sympathetic to Anabaptist stances (war, voting, etc), and are also so deeply antagonistic toward the mainstream churches, for some of the same reasons that Anabaptists have reservations….We also watched your interview with David on the American Revolution. Your approach to this subject, and American history and culture as a whole, would be of great help to persons leaving the web of the Watchtower.”
If anyone knows of a Christian support group for those leaving the Watchtower, feel free to contact us and we’ll let this couple know. David described in the episode how many who become disillusioned with the JW’s lose all interest in any form of Christianity. Thankfully, there are some who embrace Christ and his kingdom.
Connecting Seekers Near and Far
A family from the Netherlands who self-identifies as Anabaptist recently contacted us through email to say that they are “impressed with the rich resources you have been making. Keep up God’s good ministry!” They also asked, “I wonder if you could put me in contact with any other Anabaptist seekers in the Netherlands? I am looking for more Anabaptists here in the Netherlands, in the hope that I can raise my children in a more inspiring environment.” While we did not have contacts there, we were able to get them in contact with Peter Hoover who does know sincere disciples in the Netherlands. Let’s pray that God grows his church in that region.
Samantha Trenkamp’s testimony, published in early 2018, continues to receive audience engagement. Last week someone asked on YouTube, “So one can convert to Anabaptist? I’m 32 and was always drawn to this.” We responded that our ambition is to live with Jesus as king, and, if she shares this vision, many Anabaptist people and churches would welcome her company. Since she had trouble finding an Anabaptist church in her area, we directed her toward several nearby Mennonite churches.
Mennonite Nazis and Other History
Reagan was able to film some interviews with Chester Weaver, who is one of our board members. Chester is an avid student of history. These episodes cover various parts of Anabaptist history, exploring things such as fundamentalism and the apostasy of the Mennonite church during the last generation. We were also able to film his lecture at Terre Hill High School on the Mennonite Nazis and the lessons we can learn from this dark part of our history.
Prayer and Praise
- Thank God that our episodes continue to reach people.
- Thank God that we can be a resource to connect seekers with churches.
- Pray for the ex-JW couple that emailed us about Christian resources and support groups.
- Pray that God uses David Bercot’s testimony to encourage those disillusioned with the Watchtower Society to follow Christ.
- Thank God that we have been able to film enough episodes to finish season two (June 2019-May 2020)
- Pray for funds and energy to prepare for Season Three.
We are grateful for our donors and Patrons. We are also thankful for an institutional sponsor for a number of episodes. We will run a short clip with those episodes promoting our sponsor’s work. While we might run other sponsors in the future, they will never replace the contributions of our donors and patrons. At this point we have the better part of the funds needed to finish editing and distributing episodes for Season Two. As funds come in we can move ahead with filming more episodes for Season Three. Thank you for putting your money where your mouth is and making our work possible!
Supporting Anabaptist Perspectives
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