There is a group of, by some estimates, over 60 million people who need the Gospel, yet are evangelistically neglected. They are among the most difficult to reach, and “traditional” methods tend not to work well with this group. Ellen White describes the situation:
We talk and write much of the neglected poor; should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Many look upon this class as hopeless…Thousands of wealthy men have gone to their graves unwarned because they have been judged by appearance and passed by as hopeless subjects. But, indifferent as they may appear, I have been shown that most of this class are soul-burdened. There are thousands of rich men who are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church, for they feel that they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Shall we make no personal effort in their behalf? (6T 78.3)
At GYC 2013, I presented a seminar entitled “Witnessing to the Wealthy, Worldly, and Well-Educated (W3s),” based on my experiences sharing Christ with MBAs, PhDs, JDs, and other highly successful professionals by engaging in spiritual conversations on a daily basis, some of which turned into personal Bible studies.
I was surprised and gratified by the groundswell of interest that people had in witnessing to this neglected group. It seemed that many of us have W3s in our lives, yet find it very difficult and even intimidating to talk with them about spiritual things.
In response to this need, a small group of us started the Nicodemus Society. We are a fellowship of committed Seventh-day Adventists who have a heart for reaching the W3s in our lives. We take our inspiration from Christ’s example of conversing with and ministering to Nicodemus, “a ruler of the Jews” and member of the Sanhedrin, who first came to Him by night.
Like W3s in our modern society, Nicodemus felt a need for what Jesus had, but was initially ashamed to approach him openly. Yet, Jesus ministered to him personally, and Nicodemus ultimately boldly came forward to bear the expenses of His burial and became a pillar of the early church, exerting his considerable means and influence to help spread the Gospel.
We are just getting started. Our intent is to build a community of SDAs who share this passion, and develop resources, programs, and opportunities to fellowship, learn, and become equipped to be powerful soul winners in the W3 community.
If you also have a heart for winning the Wealthy, Worldly, and Well-Educated, sign up for email updates at our website, visit our booth at GYC this year, and pray for God’s blessing and leading as we develop this ministry.
Nicodemus started out coming to Jesus in secret, but was transformed into a leader of the early church. It is our prayer that we would see this transformation in our own lives, and in the lives of the W3s around us.