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4. The Ministry That Died And Nobody Noticed

Kameron DeVasher


There was a time in the Seventh-day Adventist Church when every member was expected to be actively engaged in missionary activity, personally winning souls to Christ. This session will examine what happened to Personal Ministries and how you can help revive this vital aspect of local church life.


Kameron DeVasher

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



  • December 29, 2016
    4:00 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 visit us online at W T Y C. Good afternoon everyone. So good to have you here a total member involvement this is session number four. If I'm not mistaken encouraging Lee titled The ministry that died and nobody noticed. OK so we're going to covering some of the principles we've already talked about in the total number involvement sessions this one is going to be we're moving more and more from Fieri to principle. I mean from principle to practical as we go along. So you'll see a transition there but we're going to start with a bit of Bible study so I would encourage you. If you have your but I'm sorry. Since you have your Bibles with you. To take out your Bibles or your digital version of the word and we're going to be doing some Bible studies and seeing that some of the issues that we're facing in the church today are not new. That they were facing the Old Testament time and the New Testament time and the Lord has given us insight into how to cover some of the problems we're seeing already anyway. With that little preface let's just bow has to forward a prayer and let's get going directly Father thank you again for today. Thank you. That we're each one in this room alive for it. And in this time at this moment in this place. We have the opportunity to discuss important issues. Please guide our conversation. Bless this time that we have together and let us be informed. Yes but transformed into the very image of Christ that we can only live like him but work like him and see him come soon very soon for prayed in Jesus' name. Amen. Take out your Bibles please. And let's go to the book of exits. The book of exit is. As to give you a little background I'm going to ask. Oh I was supposed to make this announcement also they're not doing the scanning as you come in they're going to be doing the scanning as you leave and I assume I assume you know what that means I think they're tracking you. I think the government has asked us to do this and we're no I'm just kidding but as you go out they want to scan hard to get you know attendee in Rome and know what I don't know but just do it on the way out go out that door. OK when you're when we're done. And with that being said if we could close the door. So the whole conversation could not believe and be here. I would appreciate it as we have a conversation over there and up there and it gets a little bit you know much. Anyway in the book of exit this obviously exit has come from X. to come out right in your ear. That's the calling out of God's people out of the land of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land and Moses was their visible leader and it's a fascinating study if ever going to is you look at the very first chapter of Exodus and when the people came into it. How did they get down to Egypt in the first place in rumor. There was a famine in the land right and Joseph in the head was told by his brothers in the rest of the family came down and does anybody remember of about how many people came down into Egypt. About seventy about how many people came out of Egypt including the mix multitude close to two million. Now here's the next question How long were they in Egypt. Everybody said the wrong answer. It was not four hundred years. It wasn't four hundred thirty. There is two hundred fifteen. Look up some time study out the four hundred four thirty and you find out that the four hundred those four hundred year time started way back at the call of Abraham and the birth of a son but Joseph didn't get out of Egypt till halfway through that chronology. So they were only in Egypt. So in the span. A couple hundred years. Their numbers went so for instance go to the existential one. This is not exactly on our notes but you know you're getting the live in person bonus material. Good exit chapter one. There's a fascinating statement. One says I'll just read very quickly here exit Chapter one Verse one Now these are the names of the children as Or who came to Egypt each man of his household came with Jacob it lists them off. And it said verse five all those who are descendants of Jacob were seventy persons for Joseph was in Egypt already and Joseph died and his brothers and all that generation to the children of Israel. Now this is the language but the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly multiplied and grew exceedingly Mighty and the land was filled with them. It's almost as if they ran out of words to say they grew a lot right. And so that's what happened in fact they were. The that was the issue they were so much they gave an interview with a game the best land the land of Goshen it was nice because they were just a little family with their little sheep and whatnot and then they just started there was something in the water and boy they just started proliferating and the Egyptians like what are we going to do with all these people we must in slave them to keep in under control and under thumb and that's when the whole persecute but they were in slavery for four hundred years. It was only for the last little bit. There's a whole nother sermon in there but God called this group of people out. He said. Right. Basically used Egypt as an incubator to loot and out comes this large group of people and Moses is tasked with calling them out of Egypt and leading them on to the promised land. Now let's turn over exits Chapter eighteen to continue the story a little later on. Now we're going to go through all the plagues and all of that are crucial to the little section of scripture is going to be in exists after eighteen. As they've come out of the land of Egypt they've crossed the the Red Sea and they're headed on their way to Canaan. And Moses goes to meet his father in law. I encourage you have good report with your father in law. It's a good thing. But the father in law if you skip down to verse thirteen it watches Moses go to work one day. Now that would be an intimidating day. Your father in law comes in just watches you work and critiques you all day. That's what happened and we're going to description says verse thirteen and so it was on the next day that Moses set to judge the people and the people stood before Moses for morning until evening. So when Moses father in law saw all that he did for the people he said What is this thing that you are doing for the people. Why do you alone sit and all the people stand before you from morning until evening. And notice the righteous well intended answer that Moses gives. And Moses said to his father. Well because the people come to me to inquire of God you put it in other words I am their pastor of course they come to me they have questions and I give them answers when they have a difficulty they come to me and I judge between one and another and I make known the statutes of God and His laws. I preach to them and tell them what to do with their dispute and they say next. Next they do it. People don't. So Moses father in law said to him. The thing that you do is not good. Now notice it's not wrong. What he's doing is not immoral it's not an ethical It's just not efficient. It's not a good way to work. He says both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out now. Have you ever noticed that standing in a long line you're not really doing anything and it's exhausting ever been to like the D.M.V. or any place run by the government pretty much you know these are long lines I was at the post office before Christmas and you just might as well give up on buying your stamp you know you're there for and and just. Standing in a line waiting for next next. And you've got that number and your two eighty seven and they're on fourteen and you're like I just start to despise this number in this place in just get in you leap you haven't walked anywhere you've climbed anything you haven't lifted weights but you're exhausted just from being in there. Right. Jethro says what you're doing is this is bad it's not wrong. It's just not good. He explains. You can wear yourself out for this thing is too much for you and you're not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice. I will give you counsel and God will be with you stand before the people so that they may bring the difficulties to God. Now notice verse twenty and you should know before we reverse twenty skip back now to verse sixteen. When Moses gives his explanation for why he is working this way he says when they have a difficulty they come to me and I judge between one and another. And I make known the statutes of God and His laws. So I tell them what the right thing is and I explain why that was the right thing and then I send them on their way notice what's added here in verse twenty and you show teach them the statutes and laws it's like I'm already doing that. That's good. And shows them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Haha. So not only are supposed to preach the principles of God's law but you're supposed to put it in practical terms so they don't have to come back around to get in the back of the line and come back again. You should teach them how to work. That's the element you're missing. Moreover you show select from all the people able men such as fear God when if truth having hating covetousness and placing such over them to be rulers of thousands rulers of hundreds rulers of fifty in rulers of tens. By the way small groups is not a new idea. It's not like a new fangled Church Growth method. It's not even that Apple stolid thing this is an Old Testament from the very first time there was a church. He said you know what you've got this one big mega congregation break it down into smaller groups and have leaders over them and then have that in a smaller group and have a bunch of little leaders doing specific tasks and these these particular areas we come up with are like Oh what a novel thing. It's like it's been an exit this is for a long time. And it says and let them judge between people at all times. So who are the permanent on the ground workers for everybody. It's the small group leaders the individual congregation leaders right. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you. So it is now Moses' unemployed and he just sits back. No but proportionally he's doing the same amount of work as they're doing. He's just doing a different type of work he's doing the greater matters in the way they are issues right. But all the daily stuff they can take care of you see that he's going. Then it will be that every great matter they should bring to you but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you for they will birth bear the burden with you. So no doubt his job as a worker for God is to raise up of their workers for God So you have a whole group of workers and not just one worker with a whole group of watchers and obviously going to see the parallels but I believe in the Seventh Day Adventist Church today. We have a structure and I don't mean the physical brick and mortar structure of the church. I mean an expectation in our minds a picture of how the church operates that you have one man working in one hundred watching. We have to change that we have far too many watchers and not enough workers. This is what God was saying through Jethro to Moses. So will be easier for you for they shall burn the bear the bear the burden with you if you do this thing in God so commands you then you will be able to endure. Be able to endure. He's talking about ministerial burnout. Right. And if you notice the one time that Moses finally cracked it was when he took the burden on himself must we bring water from this rock you. If you do this thing and God so commands you then you will be able to endure and all this people will also go to their place in peace and ever left the D.M.V. but most people are not leaving. So in peace. But everybody gets it. They've got their partners share they've got their shoulder to the work and everybody gets along better when everybody's working together. Verse twenty four So Moses heeded the voice of a spotter in law and did all that he had said and Moses chose Abel men out of all Israel made them heads over the people rulers over thousands rulers of one hundred rulers of fifties and rulers of tens tens even did you notice that Jethro started with the lowest was fifty and here goes down to ten small groups. So they judge the people at all times. The hard cases they brought to Moses but they judged every small case themselves then Moses led his father a lot of part he went on his way in and went his way to his own land. The visit with Jethro is included in scripture. Not because they had a meal together. It's because there was a organization of the work that Moses as God's appointed leader needed to understand as they were going forward. This is before they were given the ten commandments. Before they had to sink for structure. This was one of the very first things when God calls us people out the very first thing he does to start to organize them. Organize them for service. The church is God's appointed agency the salvation man. You've heard that statement before it's nothing has changed. God has the same expectation for his church today as he did thousands of years ago. That every member would be involved. Let's break this down. Notice the responsibilities of Moses' job as church leader was number one to teach the people God statutes in the laws use be it exposes or of the Word of God number to show the people quote the ways in which they must walk in the work they must do so to teach them. You preach to them. The message of God and teach them the work they should do. Number three select leaders and place them in positions of responsibility. Do we still have a selection of leadership process in the locals haven't had a search. Yes it's called but in all the people set a man nominating can gives a bad rap. Sometimes it is a wonderful thing. It is a wonderful thing. And number four let the appointed local leaders quote judge the people at all times while Moses dealt with every great matter you empower them you give them responsibility in the job description say Now go do that. Now let's have some accountability and you can answer back which is by the way what a board is in the church business meeting gets to hear reports about what's going on but this was a local church structure that got himself set up for the first church on earth outside of the family of Eden right after the exits here. Years later however. The Israelites reverted. It seems to be the case that we always kind of want to go to a visible leader. Instead of trusting in an invisible God through His Word. Notice if you go to the right in your Bibles they are to the book of First Samuel. Chapter eight. Here the. Children of Israel. Wanted a change in leadership style. God had set up these judges and rulers to judge the people over hundreds and fifties and you know all the different groups sizes and what not and that had gone for a while but. Verse one chapter eight says now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel so that same judges system was in place and it lists the name of his sons but it says in verse three but his sons did not walk in His ways they turned aside after dishonest again took bribes and Perverted Justice. So let's pause right into the people have some legitimate concerns about the judges. Yes but they should not have abandoned the system of judges. They had to address those particular judges right. But notice what they said instead of having judges at all. Verse four then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel Rama and said to him Look you are old that is just mean by that. Is that we've got couple of problems. First of all you we don't have a problem with you but you're old and you're going to die and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us. Notice what it says like all but like all the nations. Where did they get the idea of having a king from. Most of the other nations. He said were weird we need to settle Pat I mean a king. Like all the other church. I mean all the other nations that. Right. So we're tired of being on. And it's not working out these ones are bad and you're old. So give us a cane just now. Did God allow them to have a king. Yes. Was it his ideal no. And he told them this is what it's going to look like if you do this they did it anyway. Let's skip to the New Testament go to the Book of Acts. Let me show you an interesting drift in the book of Acts Acts chapter two the newly converted believers on the day of Pentecost. Were on fire for the Lord. And the day of Pentecost they were literally on fire for the Lord but in Acts chapter two. There is service there in verse forty after Peter gives his sermon is a powerful sermon twenty six verses thirteen are quoting Scripture by the way. How do I say this the seven demonstrates needs to be more Pentecostal. As the Bible describes Pentecost read accepted how many praise bands you find there are none. I'm not against music I'm just saying was that the power that moved the church know how many faith healing is not. Speaking in tongues was not jibberish it was understandable. It was clear speech the sermon quoted scripture half of the sermon from the day of Pentecost is quoting scripture. And what was the message. It was present through the same Jesus the fifty days ago you were chanting crucify is now Lord and Christ he was preaching a present truth message from the Word of God in plain language without all the other accoutrement we need to be more Pentecostal. You'll say amen later it's OK. But notice in verse forty and with many other words. He testified and exhorted them saying Be safe in this perverse interation then those who gladly received his word were baptized. And that day about three thousand souls were added to them was right there. I just had to add this in here. Notice that baptism doesn't just join you to the idea of Jesus it joined you to the body of Jesus which is the church. The souls were added to them and to the church right. And they continued and said fastly in the Postle doctrine and fellowship in the breaking bread of prayers noticed that after they got baptized they continued to study the doctrine. We call that discipleship. And fellowship too often we see that evangelism in the reste and the gaining of a member through baptism is the end of the process. We all say amen and we sing a song and then what these people continued We need full evangelism which is discipleship is on. In fear this is a fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were done to the Apostles and now all who believe were together and had all things in common and sold the possessions and goods and divide them among all as anyone had need. So there was a spirit of sharing with others and giving what they had there was a genuine community it was beautiful and that's Acts chapter two. Skip over now to actually after four. And you see that the same basic thing from the day of Pentecost repeated the same message was given in a powerful sermon and it says the result verse thirty two now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own but they had all things in common. Sounds almost word for word like the Pentecostal experience and skipped on a verse thirty four. Nor was there any one among them who lacked for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold in verse thirty five as our key and laid them where. At the of. Hostiles feet were the Apostles in need. Why were they giving all this stuff to be apostles for what purpose to distribute to whom to those who had need write and lay them of the Apostles feet and they distributed to each as anyone had need to see a difference. Acts two they saw a need and they gave and they fixed it and acts two they saw a need and they gave to the apostles for them to fix it. Acts Chapter six. Verse one. Now in those days when the number of the disciples was multiplying there rose a what's the word. Complaint or dispute against the hebrews by the homeless because their widows were neglected in the daily distribute who was doing the distributing the Apostles. Says now there and it's a complaint arose I like to joke and say bust we have the first official church. First two then the twelve disciples of the twelve some of the multitude of the disciples and said it is not desirable that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables. Did they say that the work of distributing was beneath them. You know that it was somehow ignoble in. You know it's a great job. It just wasn't their job. But notice that it started it just had become their job. And they quickly realize that if we do this. Are working. Will our forward movement work will stop and we will just be hovering over this congregation and all the maps in the back of the Bible will just have a dot instead of lines where they went out to other place right. So what do they do. How do they really this situation. Therefore brother and seek out from where. From Craigslist from the want ads from Monster dot com No where do they going to find these church workers seek out from the seminary from among you seven men of good reputation as is just anybody there's got to be some qualification of this right. We're looking for men who have the Holy Spirit or of good reputation full of wisdom that we may appoint over this business so that a huge choose from among yourselves and dump that um nominating committee. You think I'm joking and I'm serious. This is a biblical concept. Everybody thinks we made up not make it comes from the Bible. But it says but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the Ministry of the word. Now if we joke that the first official church organization was when they started to complain in the first miracles verse five and the saying please the whole multitude. And then it lists off the men chosen they chose Stephen a man full of faith in the Holy Spirit by the way. Stephen do more than just distribute goods and panned out stuff. Yet he stands for the faith then the next very next chapter becomes the first Christian martyr he was not an ordained minister. He was a local church leader who had a local responsibility but was a defender of the faith. And Philip by the way does Philip get mentioned again. Sure after Stephen's definite. Seven go to act after eight you find about Philip and what's he doing being called to give that testimony and give that Bible study to the Ethiopian eunuch to write the Bible is trying to show is a lay driven movement and the way it lifts off others than if as verse seven was result in the Word of God spread and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. We read the statement last time but as for ministry of healing one forty seven 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 leave to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence they excused themselves from contact with the world and their hearts grow cold. They become self-absorbed and unimpressive 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 in the poor the giving of the Gospel to the lost is not to be left to committees and organize charities. Individual responsibility individual effort personal sacrifice is the requirement of the gospel. God expects that every person who has been a recipient of the Gospel go to work for the Cause of God and you know I mention just because we have Mark Finlay I do an evangelistic campaigns doesn't mean you're not supposed to go when your neighbor. Just because we have adjured doesn't mean you're not supposed to bake bread or go help the community service center right. Just because we have large institutions and institutional leaders. God bless them good as they are that's not to supplant or replace the work you're supposed to do. God expects every member of the seven Davenant's church to be a missionary for him. Period. It's always been the way from the Old Testament to the New Testament and now in the seventh heaven church. Let's flip over if you have this to the other side. And if we have any spare time I'll do so. Open the floor from questions we've had some come up afterwards but if you want Western answer we can do that too but let's walk through a typical seven to church structure now and in previous presentation we saw how the seven habits church movement grew rapidly by the work of local church members who are trained to care for the services in various ministries the local church. Sadly like the Israelites of old in the early church believers we seem to have drifted away from God's ideal. So most Seventh Day Adventist churches function in roughly this way and if you have like I said on your little app there's a little diagram you can see that right. If not I'll just explain it to you. There's basically three parts to the work there's the administrative work of the church which is kind of behind the scenes Labor Day. That's where you have personal spiritual preparation. You have business meetings you have board meetings you have departmental meanings you do various administrative duties like printing the bullets and every week and making sure that paperwork is in order and all this kind of stuff but that's the behind the scenes work of the church administrative and then you have the work of the church which involves the ministry to the church members which we have an open invitation to the community. And we have ministry to the community with an open invitation to the church right. So both are welcome in both things but one is primarily for members the other is primarily for nonmembers OK so when it comes to the ministry to the church or for the church members that we kind of have an open invitation but we fully expect that is ninety nine percent going to be members. In fact we might be shocked if a visitor showed up. Worship services for the most part are not there for visitors there for the members to come and get their blessing. Prayer meeting. People like that's for members members are allowed to go. Yes you're supposed to go to prayer meeting. Sabbath school in those intentionally designed to be an outreach opportunity most of the time it's just you know for the members social events. Oftentimes are just for the members. I mean the farmers and of course you can invite people to come to Sabbath who invite people to come to prayer mean invite people to church invite people to the social but the purpose of it was originally for the church member and if you want to bring somebody along you can then make sense on the other hand we have things specifically designed as what we call them outreach events. Those are the ones that are open to the community expecting to have visitors and we hope that church members will support them by attending as well. Those are things like Bible seminars like you know prophecy campaigns and that kind of stuff and various events group outreach events where you go out and distribute you know you when you go door to door you expect that you're going to the doors of nonmembers and not members that would be weird if you just went knocking on members doors that would be. Maybe you drive some time to see what happens but health seminars you do a Health Expo. It's for the public right. Vacation Bible School. You really want to get it as an outreach you get new kids in their community service center you're fully expecting that most of your clientele are non members but members can come and support in a tent. So you have basically if the church is doing those three activities that the administrative work is going on. Well France of the budget is being kept. The board meetings are regularly happening the positions by the nominating committee are filled the bulletin is regularly printed in is relatively accurate the website is kept up the audiovisual team is doing all those behind the scenes and those structural things are occurring check good. And if you have an ongoing regular worship service and a Sabbath school program and a prayer meeting and you know those types of. Ministries. Are happening then good. And if you couple that with outreach they are also beyond that doing Vacation Bible School and evangelist and campaigns and all of those big things. Will great. Right. That seems very good you got your administrative work done the ministry to the church family and the community to be taken care of you have plenty of activities and programs and even public Angeles and most of us look at that saying that is a church doing it right. Perhaps they even have steady ties. Now the conference will think you're doing it right you know your tie this steady or even increasing. Stable membership they're not all running to the competing seventh Avenue Church down the road. Your budget is healthy. You're not like in the black are always having to dip into the revolving fun just to keep operations going you're on a financial steady plan and having a slow steady trajectory up. All the administrative stuff is taken care of all the church things all the outreach is going on at a good healthy church so what's wrong. Well there's a huge massive gaping black hole in that church. And nobody noticed that it was gone. And that was what we call personal ministries. It used to be called Lay ministries. I'm guessing they change the name for one of two reasons. Either they don't want to continue the unbiblical description between clergy and laity as the workers in the watchers they don't want to continue that. So he's called a person ministries or everybody made the joke they were going to go lay ministries and they were just taking a nap. But one of those two things happened or maybe a combination of both in the change the name from Lay ministries to personal ministries. But personal Ministries is where the purpose of that department is to get everybody in the church doing something personally. That's the point. And there was a to. I'm in the seventh Avenue Church when the personal ministries department was robust it was huge it was replete with lots of resources and training events and all kinds of outreach opportunities and now. I almost guarantee you that in most churches little personal Ministries is a literature rack. It might be a glow tract it might be one of those turning ones that have some sharing books or something. And they might have one person who is the person ministries leader and their job is to tell you about the rock and I just want to remind you we have a rock. It used to be a centerpiece of the church. But somehow over time. I think it goes along with what we had in our previous presentation. We drifted away from every member being involved in the work. And the clergy have taken over the work of the church any church that doesn't have a pastor is deemed understaffed right. And somehow this ministry has died and nobody noticed. So let's reimagine this church as what Sister why talk about a training center church member every church should be a training school for Christian workers. What would that look like well you would still have to do your preparatory work you'd still have all the administrative duties you have to you know personal spiritual preparation business meaning board meetings departmental meanings of ministry all that stuff would be the same. You would still have ministry to the church like the worship service prayer meetings out of school church school and such events social events. You also have ministry the community Bible seminars group outreach events helps them ours and events Vacation Bible School community services centers and on and on and on but what you would have is all of a spit. All those things the administrative in the outreach and reach those are all components of an engine but they have no fuel or oil to run well. And those structures are in place to help you as a member do your work of ministry. But somehow the structure has become the ministry itself so that if those things are in place the church is doing well and success is no longer seen as soul winning by the members success as become defined as we're not closed yet. Have you had church growth No but we have had people die that much. So we're pretty even keel Have you had tithe increase No but it hasn't decreased no apostasy. Good. How's your membership was not going up but we haven't cleared the books either so we've got good numbers like it just becomes we're still here and simply served by leaving has become succeeding. We need to redefine the terms a little bit. We're going to be looking at the church manual not in this particular session but in sessions coming up but you'll notice that the first work of the board is evangelism in all of its phases in the spiritual nurture of all members. The primary work of the board is not to run the finances of the church. It's not even the second third fourth fifth sixth. I'm not kidding it's not even the tenth item on the church board agenda. According to the church manual. It's supposed to be what is the work we've been called to do and how are we doing it well. And who's on the board of the department of leaders whether it's women's ministry or community services or deacons or whatever the group is and there's. Say in your department. How are you feeling the mission and how can we work together more to get that done it should be an organizing body for working every member. I'm sorry. Yes you think you need a special new fangled committee it's called a board. We're going to get to that later document I promise I'll give you the documentation you can look at yourself. OK but that's what is supposed to do. But one other thing that would you make sure that you have in the behind the scenes work is training classes for your members. Training opportunities to train equip and educate to deploy every member in some field the work that's gotten lost sight of classes held for all members to be effective some personal matters all corporate outreach activities including evangelistic campaigns are simply an augmentation for what's already going on in the individual work of the church members so that the reason we have a public evangelist a campaign. Let's take public evangelism. For example. Public evangelists to campaigns were never designed to introduce people to the message does that make sense. They were designed to be reaping events for after the Bible study has been developed and brought they were supposed to culminate with that and in baptisms and people say well why aren't public campaigns yielding as many baptisms. Are you kidding. Let's think about what that expectation is that people straight off the street who have never heard a one word from the president truth message they get a night about the twenty three hundred days check another night of Daniel nine check another night of the sanctuary check another night of the Sabbath by the way. Oh and while you're dealing with that your grandmother is not in heaven. Come back tomorrow night and we'll tell you to stop eating pork like there is a lot like there the that's a lot and then when you get done presenting all that does say like now how many people did you baptize their expecting this entire life transformation in three or four weeks. Public Campaign was supposed to be a capstone to a much larger process right where we for two is the cycle of evangelism. Every church should be built around the evangelist excited. There's a whole nother presentational do but I'll just give you five minutes of this right now. If you let me just go here. Ever notice that Jesus was always talking about plants. Right. He was always harping on this agricultural thing when they were seeds or soil or or rocks or so words and crops and the full grain in the air he was always talking of Agra Now he talked about sheep and coins and nets and things here or there but for the most part he was his default parable was agricultural ever notice that. Let me just share with you. Why I think that's the case if you go to Isaiah Chapter sixty one. This is where Jesus got his mission statement. Now with the words who are about to read you probably are familiar with but not from Isaiah there probably from the Gospel of Luke or where Jesus. You know goes to the home town and preaches is that Matthew. Somebody on that but I stepped up to sixty one. See if these words are familiar verse one the spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has annoyed me to preach good tidings to the poor he has sent me to heal the broken hearted to proclaim liberty the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. That's when Jesus stood up when he was in Nazareth and read from the scroll and said This is me right. So Jesus clearly. So Isaiah sixty one as his personal mission statement right. And oftentimes we stop there. My guess is that he continued the whole chapter they didn't have chapter divisions that point right. But the whole purpose be there. But I want you to go down to verse eleven I say sixty one is only eleven verses long and we usually stop at verses one or two. But notice how is this extent tins. It tells us how the message of the Gospel is going to go to the world says for as the earth brings forth its bud as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth. So now you get the construction the grammatical construction here as this so that you understand. So in the same way that the earth brings forth but in the garden cause of things are going so the Lord will cause righteousness and prays to spring forth before all nations. It's an agricultural metaphor for the giving of the Gospel to the world in the same way that the garden brings up the things that are grown and they become That's the how the Gospel go to the world. Why was Jesus always talking about plants because it was right there in his mission statement and he understood this is the method for the how the world going to works and you go and you notice that. If you put the gospel record together you'll see that Jesus had a mind set of what we call an evangelist excite the cycle of evangelism. This starts with the preparation of the soil which represents the condition of the heart that every person who is going to come to the Gospel has to be touched in the heart. So Jesus gave a parable about the different conditions of the soil. Remember some are rocky some one thorny that there is some good soil too. And the soil represented the heart of the HERE or so to look for good. So I had to take time preparing the saw. Oil and in the local church the some of the soil prep are those outreach of INS. Where we do a Health Expo. We're not you know it didn't sit down to check your blood pressure and while you're here let me tell you about the you know the mark of the beast. That might raise their blood pressure. You know. But what you're doing is you're simply doing the distance wristed benevolence that Jesus himself did he went around preaching teaching and healing and not in that order is actually reverse order healing teaching and preaching. So we start with those practical things like that's what the by the way that's what the medical work is supposed to do that says that disinterested benevolence is supposed to give credibility. Let me say it this way our good works give credibility to our message right. And in turn our message give significance to our good works right. So the purpose of good works is yes to help them out of their immediate thing but to introduce them to the greater help that they didn't even realize they needed. So we work the soil. A lot of churches have gotten hung up over and say that tilling the soil doing those outreach and goodwill events like going to community service center and health expos and doing those social help welfare type of things good things that is our outreach slowdown. That is the first step in the work of outreach. But think about it from an agricultural perspective. Why does a farmer till the soil. The purpose is to plant the seed right. But too often we till the soil look back and say let's do it again and we just keep killing the soil so it's all turned up ready for sea and no one gives them seed planting the seed think about the parable What did Jesus say in the parable the seed is the Word of God and at some point we have to go from preparing the soil to introducing. Into Jesus. Either sharing a personal testimony or some literature or some media or some sort of dropping some sort of something in there. But putting a little seed and watching how grows you can do a little test seed every now and then just say Praise the Lord and see if they respond positively if they get angry. Just look for responses and see just a little bit. Start planting seeds. One way you can do that is you can have like a challenge your church leadership to do a glow with on see how many glow tracks you can give out in a month. You know and that does not mean taking a stack of fifty and setting them on the bathroom stall in a Walmart you know that's not you didn't hand out glow tracks that day you littered right. Distribution means handing that of someone putting in a play strategically that one person will actually get you going to be leaving it for the waitress that kind of thing. But see how many can distribute them and a timer or a promoter sharing book of the month or something like that but have initiatives where you purposefully give either your own testimony or literature or media in some way that introduces people to the Gospel. Seed zone but let's say that someone comes to your Health Expo. And they receive that glow track about the thing that was just really burdening them and they they were interested now like that's fascinating. And then you say would you like to study the Bible with me. Because here's the thing. Every person who becomes a seven to happen just a split. Not everyone goes to vacation bible school community service center or Health Expo. But every seven daven to some point studies the Bible and comes to a knowledge of the truth from the Word of God It's either personally in a one on one Bible study or a small group or a public campaign but at some point they have to see the Gospel they have to understand the Saints read up to understand the prophetic significance of this movement and they have to accept it and say I want to be with that right. This is this third step in the agricultural cycle is the great bottleneck. That's holding up the work in the seven habits or training tilling the soil even in the agricultural cycle if you have a decent sized garden and you can do it in a day sowing the seed you can do that in a day the same thing is true with person church ministries. You can have a soil prep event we have a big Health Expo and you have a big whatever the big things are for the outreach for the community a big cooking club or something and then it's over and you can have your glow if you can hand out all the glow tracks like the leaves of autumn and that can go by but when it comes to the actual work of taking some one step by step through the Word of God introducing the Jesus image and educating them on the points of faith. That is long slow weary work. Often times not rewarded. But it's necessary at some point you've got to sit with that person open up the Bible and share the word of God and. I will challenge you to tell you right now that we need a reformation in the seventh happiness church a Bible study Reformation you're going to go to houses that don't look good. I'm telling you they don't smell good. You're going to work for three months and they won't get past lesson number four. And then they'll cancel on you and you'll drop off you'll be so does what happened. Well you started but they got distracted they were different. So by the way look at the parable where most soils receptive. You know there is more that fell on the hard ground in the rocky soil in the morning but some hit the good soil. So you might be tempted say all evangelists it doesn't work. No. You just found rocky soil and move on do it again and that's going to be a long. There's not a lot of good inspirational promo videos for that. You know there's no T. shirt for that but it's the most necessary work in the seven demonstrating cultivation by the way the same thing is true in agriculture. You can so till the soil. So the seed. But that waiting. That's why I'm not a that's one of many reasons I'm not a farmer but you ever do that thing where you put a seed in the cup and you put little water on it and as a kid. They always give it to you as a project or something and you come back the next day and what do you have dirt in the next day after that dirt. It just keeps me and dirt in fine I'm done with this dirt cup you know I want to see a plant but you've got to have patience and endure and sometimes the crop isn't that great you know it takes time. Got to water you've got to weed it. They're going to ask question when you tell them by the way your grandmother is not in heaven. Do you think they'll have a question or two then yeah it takes a minute. Going to sit there in the kitchen with them and talk. But let's say that they go along through the whole process and then you need to reap what you have sown you know there's a crop and they've got those fresh little you know grape tomatoes a believer's right there in the by you to go pluck them. But if you don't ever like reap they're going to rot on the vine. So you've got to reap right. And that's where evangelists to campaign there. Tended to be the reaping of the work that's already gone before and then finally what do you do with them with the crop. You don't just pluck it and put it on a bucket and admire that. What's going to happen they're going to rot on the shelf. You've got to preserve it. Somebody's got to do something with it. Put it into food put it to work to be bred for the eater and seed for the sower that's a biblical concept to. That's where discipleship comes in. As soon as they go through this to the studies they they've heard one message. On the seventh day sabbath and they're convicted that is true but they don't know how to keep the Sabbath. They need to be. I know the word everybody says is discipled my problem with that is it's not a real word in order to become a disciple you have to go through discipline. They're going to get new habits formed in there like hey you should meet pork Well what do I eat got to teach and study the Bible. How do I do that got to be nurture got to be walked through they need to be mentored discipleship Thus we have the full cycle of Angela a local church must have this concept in mind and have every department every individual playing a part in that we must have a rebel not a revolution a reformation in the church to come back to these biblical principles. I need to have not been watching the time. Good good. We're just about to land. On a share with you a couple of statements here from Christian service. This was written. I believe to a minister who is doing the work of evangelism. As all ministers should. But this council was given. You can find in a Christian service page one twenty one your work may accomplish more real good than the more extensive meetings if they lack in personal effort. So they can have these big extensive meetings but if they lack and personal effort you can do more work and the local stage in the big meetings can if those big meetings don't have the personal work going with it. She explains. When both are combined with the blessing of God a more perfect and thorough work maybe rot. But then notice but if we can have one but one part done. Let it be the individual labor of opening the Scriptures and households making personal appeals and talking familiarly with the members of the family not about the things of little importance but about the great themes of redemption. Notice that she's not saying we should be done with public evangelism and just do personal ministry. That's not what she's saying she's saying. Ideally what would we have both combined working together the personal will be kept up by the public but she says if we have to choose one or the other which is the one we should emphasize the personal ministry and in most churches personal Ministries is a rock right. This has to be the new life blood of the church going to talk about that in subsequent seminars. But this is the ministry this died and nobody noticed. We're all looking the big events the big programs the big names and what we really need are individual members going door to door giving Bible studies to their neighbors. That's when he she says if you were to have one of the two the one you should focus on is the personal labor. That's going to yield the best results and finally Christian service page twelve the real character of the church is measured not by the high profession she makes. You know I see a lot of churches say they're going to say they're giving the three angels message of the world to great slogan but if it's just a profession doesn't mean a thing. Not by the high profession she makes and not by the names and rolled up on the church book but by what she is actually doing for the Master by the number of her perseverance faithful workers personal interest and vigilant individual effort will accomplish more for the cause of Christ and can be wrought by sermons or creeds and we think about that pastor in a church now that has three hundred seventy seven people on the books about one hundred sixty come to church right now but anyway I've been it's the same thing. And people say well we don't want to audit the books. So make it look like we're a smaller church where you are a smaller church. We should be honest about that it doesn't by the way is it helping those other hundred fifty hundred eighty people because by having their There is a mentality by having the names in the book means that they're also written in the books of heaven we must be honest with our members with ourselves. What is the Ministry for what is my work in the church. What is our task here on Earth. So it's not about the profession is not about the membership but that those actually doing the work of our time has run out. But let me ask again has a presentation in clear we're making sense today. All right. Do we have any time at all. We have three minutes left. I thought I thought hand yes ma'am. And I'm going to repeat the question back for the audio recording so I'm not just echoing you I'm doing it on purpose. Go ahead. Yes. How do you go about reaching out to those people. So the question is how do you go about reclaiming those who might have their names in the book but they're not active in attendance or participation. OK. There's probably several answers to give. Number one that's a very hard task because many people who have been in the church are often the hardest to reclaim. I mean I guess you can only reclaim that that which was once claimed but. The approach that I've taken at the church manual outlines the that you cannot remove someone from membership just for nonattendance OK but odds are if they've been away from the church for five or ten years. There are some apostasy going on whether it's Sabbath breaking or inappropriate relationship or some sort of wandering from the faith and some lifestyle something. So the way that you typically go about doing that. I think is probably the best we've got is to seek out the information the last contact information and try to talk to him call him on the phone visit him and just physically reach out and say Hi how are you. And it's great. Especially if you the new pastor or if you're new to the church or new since their time you say you know I've only been a member here for this long and I notice I don't think we've met yet and I just want to introduce myself how you been. Are you. You come to church this week. And they're probably tell you a story of what happened. Nine times out of ten. It's about sister so and so a brother who is and what's not. You know but at least they're talking get them talking don't just take their name to the church business session like these people have been here they're probably in apostasy. Don't do that but a personal visit the personal touch the direct contact. In the process of doing this. I have seen members come back. I've also seen members say I really appreciate you asking I want my name dropped. I'm sorry that's your decision by at least appreciate the honesty that we have. By the way high. Supposed to treat former members of the church according to Jesus. Like tax collectors right and sinners. How do we treat tax collectors and sinners which try to win them back. So the very next thing I would do is invite him to the very next evangelist a campaign. Let's start over. I don't know what your experience has been let's get another shot but just be real with them be people with them. I don't know that help but that's what I got any other questions. Yes or. The church families that I have been pastor in for the last few years have had different have a bearing results and I can tell you that the church that is most responded to. I'm going to church now so I'm not going to say anything about whether they're doing a well or not because this is being recorded. But now I know that I think that there is definitely a core who are very interested in being more outreach monitor more Banjul istic more personal ministries and we'll talk about some of that in subsequent meetings but the let me tell you about one church in particular. I'll use it by name because it's a good report the Muskegon church. I was just there for the last four years and I've been one year in Kalamazoo. And I'm skipping church. We had about. We had about ten to twelve people or so go to a ten day a manual training session and they came back we're going to do it and they just started doing stuff and they started going to do an outreach three out of four Sabbath afternoons and the success. The ultimate success of these principals was when I was gone I left in June of last year to June to go. I guess I'm a good at math but anyway it was. I got a report from six months later I got a report from the Treasury so I just want to let you know that this year we've had our great tide returns our budget is doing this we purchase. These things we've held to evangelise to campaign since you've been gone and things are going great and it first. I was like I did such good work. Then I was like wait a minute I've been gone and they're doing fine without me and they went over another. They went over a year without a pastor and in that time they had two or three evangelists to campaigns and I and by the way the new pastor the Muskegon church is the evening presenter Jason's like are. OK he's really excited because they will last campaign that they had he arrived as a pastor he was a former Africa evangelist. But they said we've got this you're just new just get settled in. We'll take care of it and he was like show he attended. But he didn't preach it. He was like This is the coolest thing ever and. They come up and they have had seven baptisms from these lay people giving and they've got about another ten to fifteen who are in the works to get baptized. Laman late Ministry. Now I'm not saying that we should have no pastors. I'm saying that we should focus our pastoral work instead of doting on the members who are here training equipping them and expanding them or right into new areas because there's new territories even in Michigan. That's the longest confit longest. Most crowded we say that the earliest conference in The Seven Habits church was Michigan we predated the General Conference. The only conference to do that. They all idea of having a general conference because Michigan's doing that. Let's have other ones do it. Let's call a General Conference and we've been around for that long but there's still a whole lot of dark areas that don't have this message. There's still a lot of communities that don't have a church there's still a lot of places that haven't been reached right here in the longest held denominational outpost we have so I would say that there's still work to do and we must go about redeeming the time or any other questions which I know we're running out on our time. Yes ma'am. I did mention small groups in the beginning. Yes. Personal ministries. Yes personal histories. But personal ministries can be done in small groups right the personal work what I mean by personal Ministries is the work of the membership in all the facets of church work. Yes in the internal support particularly outreach in a banjo and giving person a Bible study like. So what we can talk about the functional structures that we're going to talk about this more as we go on. I kind of have to cut this off but I would launch into a tirade and we don't have time for it. OK let's quickly barges forward appear as we dismiss Thank you. Hedley Father thank you so much again for our time. Thank you for the great responsibility that you can trust us with please. By your Grace bring us up to the level we need to be help each one of us to feel the burden of loss and to be sharing our Let our churches to be training centers so that every member can be a missionary case in the coming of Jesus prayed in Jesus. Thank you all this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be 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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