“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NIV
The problem of how the church should relate to the world has existed from the beginning and has continuously struggled for resolution. Two conflicting viewpoints are illustrative regarding this tension. On the one hand, the [...]
“All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” Mark 4:28, NIV
An old story tells of a passerby admiring another man’s beautiful garden. Looking over the beautiful blooms, he remarked that God had certainly produced a wonderful garden, blessed with so many beautiful flowers. The gardener, who had been toiling for much of the day in the hot sun and apparently feeling that the admirer did not understand how much [...]
Discover (or organize) local training opportunities.
If you have decided upon an area of witnessing and evangelism and have discussed it with your pastor and evangelism leaders, it is time to consider your readiness for the task. You will want the best possible chance of influencing people for Jesus; thus, training is important. Remember, working as a team rather than individually will ensure encouragement, support, and success. The following are this week’s key areas of focus.
In consultation with your pastor and [...]
Spiritual gifts are not discovered just to satisfy our curiosity but rather to indicate what the Lord would have us do and to show where we fit into the church body. This, of course, brings great responsibility as we seek to fulfill that for which God has especially equipped us.1
Compare Romans 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, and Ephesians 4:16. What do these verses say about spiritual gifts and the body?
It is significant that the three main chapters that list spiritual gifts all do so [...]
Once upon a time, in the land of Gifted, lived some very miserable people. They trudged through the streets of Gifted every day carrying huge burdens on their backs. A visitor to Gifted once asked why the people of Gifted carried these heavy burdens with them day after day. The answer was surprising. The visitor was told that the townspeople were not carrying burdens but gifts from their King.
The visitor was shocked by this answer. He had to know more, [...]
When we think of spiritual gifts and witnessing and evangelism, we tend mostly to focus on the gifts of evangelism, preaching, and teaching. Though not all gifts are overtly evangelistic, if ministered within the church body they will have varying degrees of impact upon the church’s evangelistic mission.1
Read Acts 6:1–4 again. People were given similar responsibilities to those we would expect of deacons today. What reasons did the disciples give for not wanting to do this work? How are we to understand the principle being revealed [...]
Key Thought : The Holy Spirit has given us spiritual gifts to use in witnessing and ministry. He calls us to share these gifts.
[Teaching plan for "Spiritual Gifts for Evangelism & Witnessing" April 16, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:11-14.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What are some of the reasons for having spiritual gifts in the church? What does it mean to edify the [...]
Discovering our gifts is not difficult. You will be able to recognize quickly the gifted ministry areas of your pastor and other key leaders in your church. All you have to do is observe what they are doing and notice how people respond to their ministry. However, it is another matter when it comes to considering what one’s own spiritual gifts might be.1
The process of discovering an individual’s spiritual gifts has sometimes been presented as rather simplistic: fill out an [...]
To a certain extent a person’s spiritual gifts define his or her place in the local church. In other words, to discover spiritual gifts is to discover where the Lord wants you to function in the body. Have you ever been asked to be involved in an area for which you just had no passion or interest? Do you know people who have accepted church positions only to resign partway through the church year because they feel that they are [...]
If you asked the members of your church, many of them would have to think long and hard before they could conclude that they had any spiritual gift that the Bible lists, even though many of these people have probably already been exercising a spiritual gift. They have just not consciously recognized it as such. A number of people who have not formally sought to discover their giftedness do expert ministry in areas to which they feel called, and their [...]