There is a phenomenon that is sometimes difficult to explain but can best be described as “circular influence.” Concerning harmony and involvement, circular influence goes like this: by getting people involved you promote harmony, which in turn encourages people to become involved, which in turn promotes harmony. You can see the circular influence principle at work. It is clearly demonstrated in the old saying that those who are pulling on the oars don’t have time to rock the boat.
“Mel, I’m going to throw these bossy lesson guides into the trash. They aren’t helping me a bit!”
“What? That’s a ridiculous thing for a Sabbath school teacher to say. I think these lessons are great.”
“But they’re written like a set of management lessons to give to managers at work.”
“Except the work is on a higher level. Stewart, these lessons were written to help us do a better job [...]
Spiritual growth comes only as we connect with Jesus. It cannot be produced by human beings simply performing specific tasks, even witnessing and evangelism tasks. A church cannot “program” spirituality into its members. However, it is a great truth that as believers respond to God’s call to be disciples, their personal walk with the Lord deepens and strengthens. Although we should not engage in witnessing and evangelism solely in an attempt to grow spiritually, when undertaken with a genuine love [...]
Key Thought : All church members have a field of labor where they may utilize their spiritual gifts in ministry.
[Teaching Plan for Releasing Into Ministry May 28, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Matthew 7:17-20.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What kind of fruit is talked about here? Our actions, attitudes, and lifestyle, or winning souls?
C. Personal Application: How do we distinguish between good and bad fruit?
When people show an interest in learning more about God and His church, we must choose carefully the ones who will be given this witnessing task. In a multicultural society, we would do well to assign someone of the same nationality and language as the inquirer and possibly someone of a similar age group. Furthermore, we would consider the spiritual maturity, biblical knowledge, communication skills, and salvation experience of the worker. In other words, we should take seriously the matching [...]
Members of Seventh-day Adventist churches have tremendous ministry potential. Many are enthusiastic about involvement in their church’s evangelism strategies, however those in leadership are sometimes reticent to let them get involved. Behind this “only professionals can do it” mind-set is the fear that church members may do or say something wrong, causing people to turn away from Christ and His church. Sadly this resistance to member involvement is so ingrained that it prevails even [...]
Many a dedicated church leader has cut short, or at best diminished, his or her effectiveness by unwillingness to share the ministry load with others. This is not a new problem generated by our fast-paced modern world. Even the great Old Testament leader Moses needed some help in seeing the big picture of shared leadership. We can learn much from his experience and the good advice received from his father-in-law, Jethro.
Carefully read Exodus 18:13–26. What significance [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
Exod. 18:13–26; Matt. 7:17-18; Acts 6:1–8; John 4:36; Acts 15:36–40.
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (Romans 10:15, NKJV).
It is not enough for people to be trained for evangelism and witnessing work; they must actively work for souls.
Many church members lament the fact that although they are prepared to attend witnessing and evangelism [...]
Formulate Evangelistic Strategies
As your church seeks to do its part in outreach, keep the following points in mind:
At the very least, involve all of the witnessing or evangelism team in the strategic planning process. Ideally the whole congregation will be involved in the church’s setting of goals and direction.
Initially plan for the next church year. A twelve month strategy is long enough to start with. Later, you can add more plans and strategies that will continue on beyond the initial [...]
I found a job and was doing well, but I wasn’t satisfied. I sensed that God had something else in mind for me. A friend called and offered me my dream job. It was everything I wanted, and the pay was excellent. I could rise quickly to the top of my field. It seemed perfect! I agreed to interview for the job.
That same week an Adventist evangelist came to hold meetings in our town. His wife would hold training sessions [...]