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Why #GChaystack Was A Success

Why #GChaystack Was a Success

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Biggest. Potluck. Ever.

…well, not quite.

Last week there were about 70,000 Seventh-day Adventists in San Antonio for our church’s 60th General Conference Session.  We needed 1,276 of those Adventists to show up at our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest potluck.  We got around 1,100 (the official final count is still being processed by Guinness officials).  So we failed, right?  Wrong.  Let me tell you why we at The Haystack are not even slightly bummed by the turnout.

1,100 people showed up to a party we threw.

Ok, so it’s not 70,000–or even 1,276–but it’s still a lot of people.  On Thursday, as I was standing in the midst of the crowd of attendees, I thought to myself, “My goodness….this is a lot of hungry Adventists.”  And we fed them all!  And not only did we feed them all, we had a ton of food left over, which brings me to my next point…

We were able to donate that ton of leftover food to a local food bank.

We made arrangements weeks before to give all the leftovers to the Salvation Army.  So just by throwing this event we (and you, if you brought food) were able to feed lots of hungry people in the San Antonio area.  It wasn’t just haystack-loving Adventists who got fed, but lots of people who might not have otherwise had access to a good meal.

We brought fellowship and unity to many people who were feeling discouraged by a divisive and polarizing vote on women’s ordination.

As silly as this whole event may have seemed, silly may have just been what many people needed to recover from the day before.  We got people focused on a common goal, we made it fun, and it got people’s minds off of the fact that not everyone there agreed on a hot topic in SDA policy.  People from all over the world, many who believed women should be ordained, many who believed women should not be ordained, many who had never even eaten a haystack before (as crazy as that sounds!), showed up to make something great happen.  That’s called unity.  We hope our world record attempt can be a mini version of what we can accomplish as a world church:  Instead of unity in potluck, despite our differences of opinions on tough issues, let us find unity in Christ and in mission and in evangelism, despite those same differences.

So because we fostered Christian unity, because we fed the hungry, because we had a huge party with loads of positive vibes, we can’t see our world record attempt as a failure.  In our eyes, it was a massive success.  Not to mention the follow up conversations and ideas it has yielded (more details to come, but keep your eyes peeled for The Haystack coming to a campus near you).

Once again, thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible and successful!  We could not have done it by ourselves and we appreciate each and every one of you who attended and contributed to our cause.  Join us as we continue to strive for Christian unity in the Adventist church.  Just like in a potluck, everyone has to bring something to the table in order for our work to be successful.  What will you bring to the table?


Roger Hernandez

Roger Hernandez is the Ministerial and Evangelism Director for the Southern Union. He has served in the ministry for over 20 years. He is a motivational speaker and has spoken at division, union and conference events as well as at SEEDS, the church planting conference run by NADEI (North American Division Evangelism Institute) in Berrien Springs, Michigan, as well as camp-meeting, leadership conventions, and trainings. Pastor Hernandez is fully bi-lingual and has presented to many groups as well as done evangelism training and crusades. He is the author of 5 books, his most recent Epic Fail. He was born in Cuba and is married with four children. He also blogs regularly at

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. You forgot one benefit of the haystack potluck record attempt: I suspect I’m not the only person who learned of because of that event!

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