Inside Story: Learning Lessons of Love
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I had been assigned to a congregation in Cameroon that was facing a huge crisis.

A man had given the church land on which the congregation built a simple church. But the land transfer had not been completed when the man died, and his widow wanted the land back. She took the church to court, and the judge ruled that the church must buy the land for a huge sum of money or vacate the land within two weeks.

I called the [...]

Thursday: Evaluating for Church Growth
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Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

The very reason why our church exists is the reason why we evaluate. We believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been raised up at this particular time in earth’s history as part of God’s plan to take the gospel to the world. In other words, we exist to win souls for the kingdom.

Read Revelation 14:6-7. How do we understand these verses in relationship to our identity as Seventh-day Adventists? 

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Evaluating how we are doing is [...]

Wednesday: Evaluating for Spiritual Growth
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’”(1 Sam. 16:7, NKJV).

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Previously in this study guide we have noted that any goals set by individuals or churches must be able to be evaluated. While it is relatively easy [...]

Tuesday: What the Lord Asks
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Read the following verses and then, keeping in mind the context of this week (the whole quarter, actually), answer the questions that follow: “ ‘And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which [...]

Monday: Evaluate Kindly
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

While there are many benefits to evaluation, there are some pitfalls that we must be aware of and avoid. If we are overly active in evaluation, and mostly focus on the negatives, there is the potential to create a critical environment that will discourage and decrease your pool of volunteers. To avoid evaluation being perceived as criticism, it must be accompanied by genuine affirmation. Indeed, most often we forget to affirm our workers, particularly those who have served in their [...]

Sunday: Why Evaluate?
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Evaluation will take place whether we realize it or not. Evaluation is being undertaken every Sabbath and at every public meeting. People evaluate the content, clarity, and even the length of the sermon, and those who attend public meetings expect a high level of professionalism. Wherever and whenever people have expectations there will be evaluation. Although we cannot point to a text where formal evaluation was carried out, it is evident that evaluation was a serious part of early church [...]

Sabbath: Evaluating Witnessing and Evangelism
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Read for This Week’s Study:

2 Cor. 13:5-6; Heb. 10:24-25; Deut. 10:12-13; Matt. 23:15; Rev. 14:6-7.

Memory Text:

“To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry” (Proverbs 25:12, NLT).

Key Thought:

It is a mistake to become involved in God’s great task of evangelism without effective evaluation.

Too often we are satisfied with minimal results through evangelism when we could have had greater impact and significantly better success if we had evaluated previous witnessing and evangelistic endeavors and allowed our findings to influence future [...]

Further Study: Let the Church Know
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Reporting Your Ministry

As we have seen this week, others need to know what you are doing. Specific reports such as attendance figures and financial statements are certainly necessary. It is also important that you present reports at church evangelism councils and church boards. While a verbal report may touch briefly on the main points, a written report that contains as much detail as possible should be handed in.

Not only will this information keep people interested in your ministry and make [...]

Inside Story: Loved Into the Church
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Stephanie lives in Denmark, a largely secular country. When Stephanie experienced bullying in her middle school, she transferred to an Adventist school. Although at first she thought it was strange to have so many religion classes in school, Stephanie appreciated the accepting attitude of the teachers and students. She quickly made friends in the school, and several of them invited her to attend church. “I was curious about what Adventists believe,” Stephanie says, “so I went.” She noticed that her [...]

Thursday: Giving Him the Glory
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Some people are hesitant to turn in successful reports because they wonder if it is a form of boasting in human achievement. In reality, however, by faithful reporting God is glorified, and His church is strengthened in the faith and resolve to continue working for Him. While it is true that occasionally someone may report with less than honorable motivation, this should not stop humble believers from sharing what mighty things God has wrought through them as He has empowered [...]