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3. It’s Time To Eat Grandpa

Kameron DeVasher


In its early years, the Seventh-day Adventist Church grew exceedingly fast and in many areas of the world such growth continues today. This session will explore one of the main reasons why church growth has slowed in some places and demonstrate the need for every member to be a missionary for Jesus Christ.


Kameron DeVasher

Director of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church



  • December 29, 2016
    2:45 PM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W T Y C. When it's not officially starting yet I'm just talking to the people in the room. First of all to check the mike and to confirm that it's very loud. So that's good. The other thing is we don't apparently we live in a paperless society and I had handouts for you to be physically hand held and we're not doing that what you have if it is an app that U.I.C. app has all the resources on it right now so I'm going to do the weirdest thing that is encourage you to pull out your smartphones. Go get that if you have not already gotten the G. Y.C. app. Go ahead and get that and you can go to the session the seminar series total number involvement you go to this session is time to Grandpa click on that and it'll say View session resource and it'll have all the notes for what we're about to present right there in your hand. So I want to make sure that you know because I'm going to go through a whole lot of quotes. And I don't want to we're not going to slow down. So where is that from Can I write it down. No no we're past paper if you're still using paper apparently you're old fashioned and soon to be outdated. But where we are now is all about the digital revolution so. If you are unfortunate enough to have a smartphone I really don't know what to do for you because the whole thing is predicated on your going to bring your smartphones right which I'm sure there's a guess connect there because we encourage people to be off of social media and a disconnect from the digital age but the same time in order to be a part of the seminar you have to have your smartphone out so take that up with somebody else of higher authority with me but and. To be clear they did make a room switch and for whoever's doing the recording of this. This is not on the recording right now we're just talking in a room not for publication right. But they did make a room switch so this three seventy one is the new three sixty one. Right. We used to be in three sixty one. Now we're in three seventy one. If you're expecting someone else besides me. I'm sorry but they are somewhere else. Now I think in three sixty one. I think it's just been an even switch. Say I'm doing total number involvement My name is Cameron dovey sure and that's me. If you're looking for a seminar on music or relationships or. Some US I'm sure we can talk about that but I haven't prepared a thing in regards that I'm here for total member involvement and that's it. So the session we're going to be doing is it's time to eat grandpa And speaking of time I see that it's two forty seven for seven other starts at two forty five. So I don't know if everybody else is wrong in the hall or if there is no everybody else but this is it earlier. I was with Elder Wilson or any of you there with Elder Wilson. OK We were in a big room with Wilson now you're in a small room with just me. OK that's what we get but with that I'm going to just be my own sound guy here too for just second. Is it too loud for you. Is it too quiet. I feel like I'm holding back because I usually project more and I don't want to hurt you. Fair. All right we'll make it like this. And if it's bad make a gesture or something. Let me know. OK So with all that preliminary out of the way. And these are being filmed. Yes. That's new awesome Do you want me to stand still. Are you good with me moving around. Or you if you want to check out and just set it on a pedestal that's fine but I'm probably going to move around. I'm going to be just generally Roman up here ish. OK Thank you. OK I think we have all of the introductory detritus out of the way and we're ready to go to the actual meat and potatoes of our session. So let's begin the recording and say good afternoon everyone. That was good good good I'm glad that you can be here continuing the seminar series total number involvement elder Wilson was our primary speaker earlier in the session talking about the general conferences involvement initiative where it came from and taking some questions and answers from argue I see young people but now we're going to get more rolling up the sleeves in the nuts and bolts of some of the principles he addressed in passing. We're going to dive into and study more exhaustedly we have a limited amount of time and a lot of material. So I'm going to ask that we will do very simply as I mentioned if you have your app you can open it up go to total number involvement and this session is it's time to eat grandpa and if you would click on that it will tell you there's a little line that says view. Symon our resource you can click that on and all the notes that we're going to be covering now. So don't worry about having to write down anything or remember take studious notes it's already taken down there for you and you can look it up later and build on it and share however you'd like. So with all of that being said well you're going to bow our heads and they're going to open our eyes and go to work OK so let's have a word of prayer daringly Father thank you so much for this absolutely beautiful day that you've given us thank you for the the occasion of G Y C. And thank you for this particular topic about total member involvement and everyone in the room wants to be involved help us understand what involvement even means help us to understand what our part as either a lay member or a pastor or worker administrator whatever our responsibility is Lord help us to understand what it is and to do it through your strength for your glory for prayer in Jesus' name amen. All right. I want to start in the title itself is a little bit odd. And I kind of designed it that way because I like it it's time to eat grandpa there's a big difference. You know but. Queen is time to grandpa and well I for instance you could leave every word of that sentence exactly as it is and change its meaning drastically by simply adding one piece of punctuation What is that a comma where would you put it it's time to eat comma Grampa right and that comma is the difference between. It's time to eat grandpa versus. It's time to eat grandpa every word is exactly the same but a comma makes a big difference. Now why in the world we talk about this. Let me explain. If you are a seven day having us. Evangelists or you're giving a Bible study on the state of the dead or whatever. Either in a personal or small group in a church setting or a big campaign if you're preaching about the state of the Dead at some point you have to deal with Luke twenty three forty three. You're aware of Luke twenty three forty three. I assume right that if you were to take Luke twenty three verse forty three and we can look it up. We if not every single word of everything. We're going to do is written down so if you have your Bible you can take it out and see it. I don't care what version you have you have the same problem. Luke twenty three. Jesus is on the cross in his final moments of life and the thief on the cross turns to him and I have this conversation. And it says in Jesus said to him and I'm going to read it exactly as the punctuation demands. Assuredly I say to you today you will be with me in paradise. Now my question for you. Friends. Is this Bible text accurate. Sounds like heresy even to ask the question are the words fine. Sure but the way the punctuation is inserted it changes the meaning of the text right. So what gives us the audacity to say that's what it says but that's not what he meant. How do we have the audacity to do that. Well we know because we know what the whole Bible teaches a. The truth of the state of the dead. We also know that Jesus didn't go to paradise that day. Right. Even after his resurrection He said Don't cling to me I have yet to send my father you know you put these together and you just keep reading the broader context you know that's not what Jesus myth. Also you don't have to change a single word and you can still have the meaning there you just slide that comma over assuredly I say to you today. You will be with me in paradise the assumption the importance is on the assurance and not the timing. Right. We understand that but every time you present the truth about the state of the dead to have somebody who has that misconception you have to walk through and say this is what this really means and this is how we know it. Seven Habits are very familiar with that problem. Comma what I want to bring to your attention is there's another problem comma in the New Testament. That I think needs to be addressed. Turn to the right in your Bibles to the Book of Ephesians If Chapter four efficient chapter four. Starting with verse eleven the Apostle Paul is writing to the believers and FS is about spiritual gifts and responsibilities and leadership positions in the church that God Himself Jesus Christ himself has set up in verse eleven we godless what version you have Verse eleven is almost exactly the same in every translation. It says and he himself. This is Paul saying that Jesus Himself gave some to be apostles some profits some of Angeles and some pastors and teachers. Will clearly has God called everyone to be a pastor or teacher an evangelist No the text is very clear. Some are that means that others. In fact if only some are that means that most what art. Only some are some are Pastor some are teacher some eventual some prophets and so you know you get this point. So he's outlining the responsibility on these leadership positions in the early church. It's in verse twelve that we have a challenge now in the King. James Version. If you were to read the job description of these some church leaders. If you read the job description this is what you find and I'm going to read it to you as the punctuation demands and this is from the King James Version. Didn't we have a King James version by with him today. OK Look closely and make sure I'm I'm saying a right OK for the perfecting of the saints comma for the work of ministry come a for the edifying of Body of Christ. So pastors teachers of Angelus Apostles they have how many job description how many job responsibilities. According to the text. Three The first one is to do what perfect the Saints. Then they're also supposed to do the work of ministry and finally they're supposed to edify or build up the body of Christ. That's a lot for those some to do. Now if you have the King James Version this is not a this is not a seminar on Bible translations I'm not certainly not going to go there but is there anyone has a new King James Version of the room. OK And anyone who's got an app you know you've got like one hundred versions OK but look at the King James Version. Notice the difference the wording is almost identical but the punctuation changes the meaning a notice for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry comma for the edifying of the Body of Christ. Now is there a difference there. Even though the words are almost exactly the same that little punctuation shift taking out that one little problem comma only now all the sudden those leadership those some in leadership with their responsibilities the equip the a saint. So that they'll do the work of ministry. And then to build up the body of Christ. Of all the bible translations that are out there. I'm not advocating this is your study bible let me be clear. Here. But I think for this particular passage the New International Version actually gets it. Most accurately. And that's being recorded and I'm going to get emails about that. But listen to how it renders this passage to equip his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. Do you notice that we've gone from three jobs to two jobs and now they have one job to equip the people so that they'll do work and in turn the church is built up. That's a big difference difference. It's the difference between it's time to eat grandpa and it's time to grandpa and in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I believe by what do you think the punctuation of punctuation was put in later in the DR translations. You know it's not like the Apostle Paul wrote with commas and periods and exclamation points. Why in Luke twenty three forty three when they put the comma where they did. When it comes to the State of the dead. It will go along with what their preconceived notion of death was right. Why do you think the commas were put in a fusion for like they are because they had a picture of clergy work that went better with those comma placements right. But how do we know that that's not what the intent was with the same thing we do with Luke twenty three. We just keep reading. We read the context if you have efficient for Take a look at this. Efficient for continue saying after says for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body crisis says to we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men and cunning calf craftiness of deceitful plotting. But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into him who is the head Christ now the key is here in verse sixteen from whom. That is from Christ the. Whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies. According to the effect of working by which every part does its share causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself and love. Notice that according to the context of the passage. The apostle Paul clearly meant that the work of the leadership was to get the membership to go to work and thus build up the church. We're seeing that from Scripture. Good good good good good good. Now. The apostle Paul let's go to second Timothy let me give you just a couple examples of this if you look at the life of the Apostle Paul in particular in other church leaders as well but the Apostle Paul of course was the most prolific author in the New Testament. Paul had this he not only traveled and visited places and built up the work there. But then he would also always seem to have an apprentice with him or a mentor you think of Timothy you think of Titus and he was travelling companion who would learn from him and then go about his business and. One of his letters to this time to Timothy we're going to second Timothy Chapter four. This is where you get the charge Paul's charge to Timothy and you've probably heard this passage a lot have any of you ever been to an ordination service to the gospel ministry in the seven history. Usually happens it can't meaning they started there was some places in local churches but I guarantee that this passage of the were mentioned or preached from or printed on the bulletin itself. OK this is the quintessential pastor passage second to the chapter for starting with work first one the apostle Paul says it's iffy. I charge you therefore before God in the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and dead at his appearing in his kingdom preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season can view three convince rebuke exhort with all longsuffering in teaching for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but according to their own desires because they have bitching ears they will heap up for them. So. Of teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables but you be watchful in all things. Endure afflictions Now notice this next line do the work of what and eventually list fulfill your ministry and I know when people are dissatisfied with their pastor Sometimes that happens that they'll read that they say that's what we need somebody is going to preach the word and come preach the word to us. Well look at the passage again. He told Timothy to be to preach the Word and in so doing do the work of an evangelist on this question Who to evangelise preach to. Members or nonmembers their goal is to win new souls to Christ to present the message to them who have not yet heard. And the apostle Paul us and here's what your ministry is preach the word to everybody and do the work of an evangelist. Let me tell you there's a lot of Seven Devils pastors who have never even put on an evangelist campaign. They're not doing the work of evangelist who's doing the work of interest or you know the paid evangelists. We've said made it is segmented even farther and specialize it in a special little niche ministry that a few can do. Just a thought we need to see that the biblical concept is different. By the way this is a perfect time to throw in the statement is from the upward look page to sixty four. And for those of you just joining us. All of the notes we're going to be going over a lot of material here all of the notes are available on the G. Y.C. app under total number involvement under it's time to Grandpa go to View. Szymon our resource and you will have all the notes in your hand you can follow along. If you'd like but. Upward look page two sixty four. My brother and sisters. There is something more for you to do than to sit in your churches Sabbath after Sabbath and to listen to the preaching of the word. You have. Work to do for friends and neighbors God requires What was the word require He didn't suggest he doesn't recommend he doesn't sit there and hope God requires that you visit these families and seek to create an interest in the truth for this time you are not laboring together with God If you neglect the work of helping others to take hold upon eternal realities our ministers are not to be encouraged to hover about the churches to repeat to the believers week after week the same truth. Now I ask you in two thousand and sixteen. What makes a good pastor most people are going to say he's there every week and he preaches good messages. Go to the book of Titus Titus another princes. Working with the Apostle Paul we can take away from the context of this passage that Titus had been travelling companion with Paul and this letter is written after Paul I don't want to say abandoned him but leave him behind right. I kind of chuckle to myself as I read this imagining that Titus got this letter waking up one day when Paul had left without telling him you know but it says in verse five for this reason I left you in Crete. But what was the reason Paul leaves and so it already from that statement. We know that they've been travelling because Crete is not they create is a special location they've been and now we know that Titus has been left behind and Paul has gone on and Paul says why he did that. For this reason I left you in Crete that you should set in order the things that are lacking. So the work was not finished in Crete therefore he left Titus behind. To set an order of things that are lacking and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you. Was Titus being left behind because now that they have built up a church you. Going to be the pastor of the church in Crete No he was going to be supervising all the churches in Crete. And he was going to be setting in order the things that are lacking namely appointing elders over every congregation to give them in working order. So he was not noticed the Paul was not the subtle pastor. Neither was Titus but what was supposed to be happening was that they would start to work get new believers get them into a community together organize them to go to work and then they would move on. This was the biblical concept of ministry in the New Testament church. Now we're going to go over some administration and we're going to make this front area here a living timeline if you will. So this is old and over there is now Are we good. OK now. This is from eighteen eighty six. This is Elder G. B. star the work of the seven habits church after the initial coming you know an eight hundred forty S. and early fifty's they started getting their identity together theologically and then they started doing that and started planting churches and growing organisation in eight hundred sixty S. really took off and that helped and by the eight hundred eighty S. Things were just going gangbusters as far as church growth was concerned and it got the attention of even non-Christian or not administers individuals and the Indiana plains deal or any in a star dealer I think it was the name of the Plain Dealer. Ask him this question by what means. Have you carried forward your work so rapidly. He said. How is it possible your church is growing this quickly and this was the response given well in the first place. We have no settled pastors. To. First thing I can think of to let you know why we're growing so quickly as we don't have settled pastors. Now clearly note they did have pastors they just weren't what was the term he used settled. We don't have several pastors our churches are taught to take care of themselves. While nearly all of our ministers work as evangelists in new fields. This was eight hundred eighty six. Why is the church growing quickly because the few that are doing the administrative or past or work are out on the front lines doing evangelism and the churches are taking care of themselves. That was a key to church growth. Now let's fast forward in one nine hundred twelve. Eiji Daniels was the General Conference president of the time in Los Angeles California. He gave an address where he said this. And see if you notice we're going to be noticing a trending shift in the seventh heaven a search. This is one thousand and twelve right. President says we have not settled on our ministers over churches as pastors to any large extent. Now is that different. Yes that means that there are some now. Now without looking ahead without cheating where do you think the several pastors went to. Big churches or small churches. Big churches around admin's institutions that had like hospitals or schools or printing presses was a big church you got to have a pastor. Well let him go. Honestly in some of the very large churches we have elected pastors but as a rule. We have held ourselves ready for field service evangelists to work in our brothers and sisters have held themselves ready to maintain their church services and carry forward their church work without settle pastors. So on the few places where they had a settled pastor it was only in the large churches and I was in a rare occasion. No most of the rule of thumb was. If your church. You don't have a settled. This was one nine hundred twelve goes on. Now he's not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but I do think he was particularly insightful and what he said next. He says and I hope this will never cease to be the order of affairs in this nomination. For when we cease our forward movement work and begin to settle over our churches to stay by them and do their thinking and their praying and their work that is to be done. Then our churches will begin to weaken and to lose their life and spirit and become paralyzed and fossilised in our work will be on a retreat one nine hundred twelve. He said We have some subtle past a few but if that goes across that a nomination. It's the end of us. Fast forward one nine hundred fifty seven. H.M.'s Richard SR. Speaking to a a ministerial Institute I believe it was at the Washington state at the time said the time of too many of our preachers. Instead of being occupied with carrying the message into new fields is taken up in settling church difficulties and laboring for men and women who should be towers of strength. Instead of subjects for labor. When I was baptized and later became a young preacher. We looked upon churches that is other denominations here who had to have several pastors over every flock as being decadent most of our preachers were on the firing line holding meetings winning men to Christ and raising up new churches. Then every few months. They would come around and visit the churches that had already been established that keep that framework by the way every few months he said this was what normal was when I first came into the work and where they come up this idea he said this seemed to be according to our view of it. The plan of the Apostolate church where did they get this plan. And of organization. In the Bible they just read what the early church leaders are we should do that too and lo and behold it works move forward one nine hundred ninety four. This comes from the Seventh Heaven as elders handbook. It's a green edition. Just so you know they color code every new edition so you can spot it it's the Greenman. It's from page twenty three during the middle ages. The clergy largely took over the work of the church the Seventh Day Adventist Church still struggles to overcome that medieval tradition. And seeks to restore the biblical concept that all believers are ministers. So by one thousand nine hundred four and the elders handbook we ever wrote that I don't know who wrote it but caught what we've been saying here and said there was a in all Christian them there was a clergy take over of the day of the laity is work and even if taken root in the seventh heaven as church is said members in general and elders in particular need a greater vision of their significance and responsibility in the church and its work that was one thousand nine hundred four. Someone started paying attention. Hey we've drifted here. Now I want to give this particular presentation at one of our universities. And I usually like to bring the actual documents with me you know the church manual and the elders handbook and this time I travel and I forgot my elders handbook. What I'm going to do. Oh that's easy. I'll just run over the A.B.C. and pick up another book and I went there and I looked for my green Ehlers handbook and it didn't exist and more it had become blue. Now I don't have any issue with the color blue it's fine but not only had the cover changed but the content had changed. There had been a rewrite of the elders handbook. So I looked for page twenty three and they did have a page twenty three but that statement wasn't there anymore. On page twenty eight. However I found. This statement and see if you can notice a seismic shift. The seven devils church is growing rapidly and many churches are understaffed. Had to think what does it mean to be understaffed church. Well it explains it in the next sentence in such situations there may be large multi choice districts where pastors are shared among several church or pastors shared among several churches and is able to visit each church only once every two or three months. It is the faithful service of local elders that help keep these churches strong and growing. It seems to have a strong implication that elders do their work whenever the Church is you know not properly staffed. And in those poor multi church districts they might only see their pastor only every few months. In that what researchers said that was kind of the ideal that's what we used to think was good but now we do it your way. The goal the the thinking is and I know you heard it in this ordination debate. We need more people out preaching the word we got to get the gospel to the world that means we need more ordained ministers. Boss. What we need is more consecrated lay members who don't care about either ordination or recognition or certification or documentation they're just going to open their Bible and when a soul to Jesus. We need a reformation in the methodology of sharing the three angels message from individual members. That's why I'm so excited about the general conferences total member involvement initiative. Now we've gone through a brief overview of scripture. We have looked at. The historical documents of them to have a church and now I want to give you some counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy and what I want to share with you now is probably more Spirit of Prophecy quotes in one presentation than you've heard in a long time. I'm not apologizing for that I'm just saying hang on. But all of them like I said if you go to the app the notes are available you can look them up for yourself. Make sure I'm not taking them out of context. Look at all the pages that are next to it and get the full sense of what she was trying to say but I believe as we go through here you're going to see a pretty CLIST crystal clear picture of what Mrs White understood the biblical concept of ministry in the work of ministers to be and it's probably in stark contrast to what you've seen in most of your churches. And I'm not laying blame on administrators or conference leaders or pastors or laymen but I'm just saying we're all in this together. Let's have a little self diagnosis shall we. If we go. This one comes from evangelism page three eighty one. If the proper instruction were given. If the proper methods were followed every church member would do his work as a member of the body. He would do Christian missionary work but the churches are dying and they want to minister to preach to them. Now listen very closely they should be taught that unless they can stand alone without a minister. They need to be converted a new and baptized a new job or think of Pastor dependency as a and as a grounds for re baptism. Well often say if you drifted away from the church for twenty years you've been caught up in a sinful lifestyle you've been smoking drinking carousing whatever it is you do in those things need to be repented of and you need to have a fresh walk with Christ but she casts classified dependency on a pastor as grounds for reconversion and re baptism. And I don't know if she was being hyperbolic or she literally meant you need to go into the baptistery and be bathed again. But she took it. Right. She said they need to be born again. Here's one from the Ministry of healing page one forty nine every church should be a training school for Christian workers its members should be taught how to give bible readings what we would call now Bible studies how to conduct and teach Sabbath school classes how best to help the poor and care for the sick how to work for the unconverted that first line every church should be a training school church should be school. You see the equivalence there. The church exists to train equip and deploy its membership in the mission. Of the church every church should be a training school. You should have the expectation that you're not going to church just for inspiration you're going there for information. You're going there for a purpose of receiving not just a blessing but a mandate in equipment and training so that you can be put to use for Christ and we mentioned this earlier but there's we have got to get past mere faithfulness we need a generation who wants to be useful for Christ to write testimonies for the church volume seven pages one thousand and twenty. The greatest help they be given our people is to teach them to work for God and depend on him. Not on the ministers let the minister devote more of his time to educating them to preaching. I happen to think by the way because I do. Pastor a church. Have other responsibilities. The people do have come to have come to expect a sermon every Sabbath when they shouldn't but it's the fact of the matter but you've got a pulpit start teaching instead of preaching. I mean call it a sermon but you're really given him some instruction right. Just start teaching we need. Masters teach people that the members of a minister devote more of his time to educating than to preaching let him teach the people how to give to others the knowledge they have received This is from the Pacific Union recorder April twenty fourth one thousand nine hundred two. She says Oh what a work there is before us our ministers are not to hover over those who have received the message just as soon as the Church is organized let the minister set the members to work the newly formed churches will need to be educated. The minister should devote more of his time to educating them to preaching he should teach the people how to extend the knowledge of the truth. So notice there was an evangelist role to make them believers in the first place and then there's an education role to train them to make other believers in their turn. That is seems to be the work of the ministry was exactly like the Bible and talked about it. Your job is to make as a minister and I'm thinking myself here I'm a pastor too by public and personal soul winning to braise up new believers and then train equip and set them to work in an organized way so that they can be workers for Christ and then move on and do it again. That seems to be the model the Atlantic union leader she skipped to another ocean January eighth one thousand no to. There should not be a call to have settled pastors over our churches but let the life giving power of the truth impress the individual members to act leading them to labor interestedly to carry on efficient missionary work in each locality. As the hand of God The church is to be educated and trained to do effective service. It's a members are to be the Lords devoted Christian workers. Review and herald October twenty two eighteen eighty nine. If church members are educated to be silent and useless members. Let me be clear this is not my words. This is the messenger of the Lord but I will read it to you. If church members are educated to be silent and useless members. Instead of benefiting the church they will be a hindrance to its advancement and growth. If they're educated to lean upon the minister they will become only inefficient inefficient and the more allies members and the church will be powerless. Instead of active and efficient. Now I know that sounds pretty harsh but I think that's one of the most hopeful statements in the whole lot. Notice what she said again if church members are educated to be silent and useless members. What does that imply they don't come by unnaturally to be a silent and useless member takes training right. I don't know if anyone in the room is a brand new seven DAVUS. Just curious if any new converts in the room. OK well if you ever meet a new convert. You'll notice something about them if they're truly converted they can't shut up. Have you noticed that. They are some talking folk right. I mean and it doesn't matter. And they don't know how to say it right. They don't know exactly how to articulate it they can recall this up but they're excited about the fire hose they just drank from right. And they want to spoil it out to everybody so they up at the water. You know a water cooler on their work and the guys like him out How about the game last week and I forgot about the game of demo the market beast brother and they just really you know shock and awe preaching. First six weeks in there on fire. Six months later I mean there's still a flame but it's on a kind of a low or more steady burn. Six years later if they're still here at all. They have found their place. They've got their little niche their little Q. their little spot their little routine. And they've stopped being a missionary and they've just become another member. If church members are educated. You know I used to think it was such a powerful thing to say friends look. Every church should be a training center a training school. And then as I read that statement. It dawned on me. Every church already is a training center. I've never seen is church that put in the bulletin come next week for our special how to be a useless and lifeless church member. No one's ever intentionally put on that seminar if they have quickly talk to your conference leadership right. But how does the training happen. To slowly over time week after week. You learn biassed mostly become conformed to the status quo and no one tells the new member Hey stop talking about the three engines messages. Yes don't show up to stuff and stay away from the church business mean you never say that. But they go to church they go to the big evangelist a campaign to be two hundred people they go to church. There's one hundred people there they go to prayer meeting there's twenty people there they go to business mean there's fifteen people there and I go. And they're being trained. We have churches full of teachers. We need to check our lesson plan a little bit better be more intentional about what we're teaching. Let's move on Ministry of healing page one forty seven. Every where there is a tendency to substitute the work of organisations for individual effort have you ever noticed this ever been in a room and we all decide on some big idea let's say we can do it and then we all leave and nobody does it. Most of the things that we do don't get done. Right. At some point we have to become mean. But she says here everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of organizations for individual effort. Human wisdom tends to consolidation to centralization to the building up of great churches and institutions. Multitudes lead to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence that is the doing of good for others they excuse themselves from contact with the world in their hearts. And they become self absorbed in unimpressive all love for God and man dies out of the soul. Christ commits to his followers an individual work a work that cannot be done by proxy ministry to the sick and the poor the giving of the Gospel to the lost is not to be left to committees or organized charities individual responsibility individual effort personal sacrifice is the requirement of the Gospel but have you ever noticed that she's talking about the work of benevolence and giving the Gospel to the poor all of it in the same thing to the Gospel to the world that all of that doing good that we're supposed to do it one point fell on the individual and then we grow up. Oh good. Now there's a bunch of us together we can do it used to be like man I had to go get bread to my neighbor but good now we have Loma Linda. Now we have address. So instead of helping my own neighbor I'll just give a dollar to the group right now I want to be clear there's nothing wrong with giving to those worthy causes those institutions are very helpful organization praise the lord for them but that does not mean that you now are excused from your work. We have to understand that the structure of the church is not to be in the place of the individual but to equip the individual so that their work can be more effective. Does that make sense. Evangelism page three eighty two. If you love this will one of my favorites. If the ministers would get out of the way if they would go forth in the new fields the members would be obliged to bear responsibilities and their capabilities would increase by use. If the ministers would get out of the way it almost gets the picture that is members out there trying to share their faith and close track of the pastor like stop stop. So. That's not how it works right. But what she means is that when you have the minister there and he's doing all this work. It's good to attend and hear report on how he's doing. That's what church is she says move on just one Sabbath don't be there. What happened to the members would get out of the way they would be obliged they would have to by necessity use their kit and she says their capabilities would increase by what was the word they use. Has anybody ever had a injury arm or a leg break or a tendon thing that had to be in a cast or some sort of like device for a certain amount of time. If you were in the you know a leg brace cast thing. For six weeks couple months or something when they take it off. Do you notice the difference between the two legs. Sure. This one is all like Frale it actually feed in a may see a bit and probably has a smell to it. You need to wash it. It's not describing church members per say but. But if you were to hop out of bed say oh good I'm glad to have this leg free again and you were just to start walking like normal what would happen if all of you have a problem and you would say all this leg doesn't work that well. Any good physical therapist. No good. I should say that no good physical therapist would come in look at that situation and say oh my look at that leg or that is bad. I hate to break it to you but I think. I think the best thing for you is bed rest just stay off or if you really want to go all in just. It's just amputate. Because apparently walking just isn't your gift and how many people look at sharing their faith in this day you know I tried that one time I went door to door and I wasn't any good at. So it must not be my gift. All of the pastor or the evangelist of the Bible work or the programming whatever the thing is right this is why I says let the minister get out of the way let the church members take up some work and they're probably going to be bad at it it's good form. Now they get biblical therapist is going to say what the first thing we do is strip. Probably to a little bit of weight in some limited exercise she's not going to go run a marathon right. But she's not going to say bed rest she's going to give you a steady diet of little bit by little bit by little bit and your capabilities would increase by use many people are not sharing the faith not because they're not good at it or I'll even say this many people who do try to share their faith aren't that good at it but is being bad at something indication that you should stop doing it now it's an indication that you need to do it all the more. You've got to get better. But we have somehow and by a a philosophy or theology of spiritual gifts that is unbiblical Mark finally said it best witnessing is not a spiritual gift. No Look at all the New Testament gift of prophecy that's a spiritual. Healing tongues those are spiritual gifts but open your mouth and sharing with your neighbor the truth of the Bible that should be standard equipment for the born again Christian but we've specializes in that's the work of the clergy with evangelist of this of us now I'm just a member. We have to fix that. Let's go on. Review and herald one thousand July sixteenth one thousand eight. There are many who have never heard from the word the reasons for our faith and yet some of our ministers feel a burden to hover over little companies of believers in an effort to hold them together. The best way to hold them together is to induce them to maintain a living connection with God and to exit and to exert their influence in seeking to draw others to him the best way to hold a church together is put it to use Have you ever been in a church where were some bickering and stuff but then you had a big evangelist a campaign. If you've ever noticed that whenever the church is working together. Everybody's cool with the carpet color. That only lasts for a little while as soon as the banners come down. They're going to notice the carpet again or whatever the but while you're working together side by side shoulder to shoulder you're focused on something besides your own inadequacy or the other person's shortcomings you start working as a mission right. The experience in the church changes. Life comes back into the church because you're not just being there. You're working you have a purpose. You have a mission. Gospel workers page one ninety seven. She gives a little parable. She says in some respects the pastor occupies a position similar to that of the foreman of a gang of laboring men or the captain of a ship's crew. They're expected to see that the men over whom they are set do the work assigned to them correctly and promptly and only in case of emergency. Are they to execute in detail then she gives the parable. The owner of a large mill once found his superintendent in a wheel pit making some simple repairs while a half dozen were. In the line. We're standing by looking on. So there's the owner the superintendent and the workman the owner comes in superintendent is down in a wheel pit and the workers are watchers the proprietor that is the owner. After learning the facts so as to be sure that no injustice was done call the foreman to his office and handed him his discharge with full pay handed him his discharge with what's another term for that fired. You can imagine the scene. He walks by sees this guy working he said hey when you're done with that come up to my office because I hang on just I've got to finish the job either in a minute because a sweat and. What's up. I have a minute there to fall apart down there. I've got to go down and do this work. What is it I can help you with he's like Yeah real quick. You're fired. What I mean I'm fired. I'm working my self to death. In fact I'm the only one down there work and you're going to fire the only worker you've got he said that's my point. You're the only one working. He She goes on explained. The parable continues in surprise. The foreman asked for an explanation. It was given in these words I employed you to keep six minute work. I found the six idle in you doing the work but one. Your notice this and apply it to the pastor member relationship your work could have been done just as well by any one of the six. It doesn't take a special like a special grace from the Lord. It doesn't take some sort of met miraculous magical and by the way some people in our friends in the Catholic Church understand ordination to be a thing where you get a special dispensation from God And now you have a power that other members don't have we do not hold that in the seven demister church every member is supposed to be a missionary for Jesus Christ period. So that your work had been well done just as well by any one of the six and she goes on to say I cannot afford to pay the wages of seven for you to teach the six How to be idle. Noticed they weren't just being idle they were being taught idleness itself by the superintendent's hard work. The hard work of the superintendent wasn't just bad it was teaching idleness. Goes on this incident may be a political in some cases and in others not. But many pastors fail in not knowing how or not trying to get the full membership of the church actively engaged in the various departments of church work if pastors would give more attention to getting and keeping their flock actively engaged at work they would accomplish more good have more time for study for religious visiting and also avoid many causes of friction. Look at the clock. We have ten minutes is that right. How much time we have anybody know. All right. Yeah OK I'm just going through these very quickly so far been speaking slowly here we go. If you don't hear logs twenty six one hundred two our ministers are to go forth to proclaim the message of present truth to those who have not heard it in our churches should not feel jealous and neglected they do not receive ministerial labor. They should themselves take up the burden and labor earnestly for souls believers are to have root in themselves striking firm root in Christ if they may bear fruit to His glory. As one man they are to strive to attain one object the salvation of souls. It is not God's purpose that minister should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the gospel ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do upset acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their neighbors and friends they could do a great work for the master God is no respecter of persons he will use the humbled. Devoted Christians who have the love of the truth in their hearts let such one thing gage in service for him by doing house to house work sitting by the fireside such men if humble discreet and godly can do more to meet the real needs of families than Could a minister. You realize that in our churches we have you as an individual member have far more access to other people than the minister does you rub shoulders with them in a way that we don't or you are the frontline workers in ministry and we seal off that avenue work killing our work. Finally got workers three fifty two the work of God in the earth can never be finished. By the way speaking of punctuation I'm so glad there's not a period there. Maybe the most discouraging statement. The work of God on the earth can ever be finished. As a bear has for prayer but that's not what she's saying she's saying the work of God can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership are rallied to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers. I've mentioned in the opening introduction here that I was a pastor for at least fifteen years before I finally figured out what my job description is and it's very easy and I know this is being recorded. But it's very easy to flow along a pretty decent sermon to a few visits just got to be the personal happy guy. And no one has a clue. You're being a bad pastor because they think you're being a good pastor The issue isn't with the pastors the issue isn't with the lay people issue isn't with the conference. The issue is all of us we have lost sight of the biblical purpose for the church. It does not exist to serve the members but to train the members to be of service to others. We finish with this thought in recent years many advantages in training schools a popped up all over. The country. I mean knows that you know I could name a you pretty much any four or five letters you can put together you've got an acronym and you've got a school right. From a pastor's perspective we tell you my personal perspective on these schools. First of all I am thrilled that these schools exist. But I'm also embarrassed that they have to exist. As a pastor part of my job is to support such fantastic institutions and at the same time to do everything in my power to run them right out of business. How is it possible you can be a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church for ten twenty thirty years and have to go pay somebody to teach you how to get a Bible study. Where have we gone friends and how in the world do we get back. Statistically though perhaps counterintuitively territories with fewer pastors almost always grow faster. You can look it up on the statistics in archives page of the seven church they keep pretty good statistics on the stuff and that's how you how many pastors there and how he church congregations how many members there are in all this kind of stuff and you can see what's the ratio of church to church pastor now many pastors does each How many how many churches does each pastor have. And the territories that have fewer pastors. Are always growing faster. Now I could make a Ratigan argument could be made and I want to be clear I'm not making that argument that pastors killed church growth that's not true. I am one and I'm planning on keeping my job. But I am saying that poor expectations of pastors by pastors by members by Conference leaders by everybody. And you say it this way pastors aren't doing a bad job. Oftentimes they're simply doing the wrong job very well most instances pastors are doing your job. And you are doing basically nothing was different. Ok I'm almost done. You know. Inspiration is warned and history has demonstrated that several pastors lead to settled elders and settled deacons and. Settled members and we all just kind of settle in. Right here in a world that is not our home. In the seventh Day Adventist church member should mean missionary we have to get back to that. Jesus said it this way. Matthew Chapter nine but when he saw the multitudes he was moved to compassion for them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. Then he said to the cycles the harvest truly is plentiful but the what the laborers are few therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. It does not say pray that the work will slow down so the pastors can keep up. It in say decrease the harvest he says increase the laborers. We need an increase of the laborers in the seventh administration today. Let me ask you question. Has our presentation day been clear good. Now I want to be clear this is not running down pastors or conference administrators. I totally respect them. I do. But every one of us has a part in this drift. It's time we wake up go back to the Word of God in the spirit of props say Lord here in my sin me train me help me out. Now with a few minutes we have left. I want to tell you about some resources that are real. There are lots of good resources out there one I happen to be have a special affinity for is audio verse and I have worked with them from time to time on different things and we're going to say that that works that work. This is Allister Wong from audio verse and they've have an exciting training opportunity available if you speak on it for about a minute and a half. Yes. Sorry I'm taped up here so I have to stand as you know problem. I'm not trying to upstage the speaker here has Go ahead. Elevated But Cameron is a pastor in the Michigan conference and he also works with the manual Institute of evangelism Have you heard of manual astute A.Q. for plugging that you should look into the Emanuel Institute of evangelism. Yeah. And so they employ him but he's also trying to run them out of business at the same time. And we have partnered with them already versus partner with Emanuel Institute to create an online training program for the very things that we've been talking about in this session. How do we utilize our gifts as laypeople to share the gospel. And because a lot of us we don't have the resources or the time the ability to take four months off to fly to a different place to go to Bickel training program we're bringing that to you. So Cameron as well as pass Mark Howard who's also doing a seminar here and a couple other presenters and teachers from Michigan conference all experience of endless We'll teach you in the comfort of your own home on your computer online wherever in the world you are at your own pace and so in the back I'm going to give you a little flyer like this has more information it has a booth number and I'll just let you know the courses that are available are available for a special G. Y.C. discount here and we'll ask the throw in a nice T. shirt like what I'm wearing. If you sign up here. So I won't give you all the spiel but Personal Evangelism public evangelism how to reinvigorate your church and infuse it with a culture of evangelism those courses are already online and available for you. So get one of these on the way out and come by our booth human and as this as this seminar series goes on we're going to be highlighting some of the things that you briefly mentioned the manual institute we're going to give you some more information about the man you list to audio verse. It's got great resource just for listening to sermons but it was training the audio verse advance. There's a thing called the discipleship handbook I'm part of the training center Church Committee of the Michigan conference going to talk about that a little bit and there's this other little document called the so. Church manual. OK. There's an entire session entitled mining the manual. It's one of the most radical laid driven documents in the seven demonstrate and it's what we're supposed to be doing anyway it's completely free of charge. You can download it. So I'll tell you the appeal for that sermon will be that download the church manual and read it and go put it to work. You know in church but our time is up for this time so I'm going to ask that we just quickly by our heads forward a prayer and then we'll break. And we father again we thank you so much that you and your infinite wisdom. Have entrusted us not only with the gift of salvation for ourselves but with the responsibility of being agents of salvation for others. Lord please breathe life into the local Seventh Day Adventist Church. Stir within each one of us member or minister. Regardless. To be soul winners for you help us to see those divine opportunities you lay and help us to increase our capabilities by Use train is with us and send us your mission he may not be good at it but Lord make is better than old because more like Jesus prayed in this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas. I see a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to the Bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web where Gene.


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