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Personal Ministries & Team Evangelism - Part 1

Jim Howard


  • June 12, 2016
    9:30 AM


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Father in heaven her so grateful for Kant meeting we are promised that when we gather here together as a body of believers that Jesus will meet with us here and we have already seen him and heard his voice and today Lord we're praying that his spirit would pervade this campground and especially now this seminar as we look at the greatest work that we have to do the work of soul winning so please father we ask your blessing now on their time together and may each one receive a blessing is my prayer in Jesus' name amen. OK So Good morning Mom. That's my mother just walked in. I was about to chastise you for being late I saw my mother and so I did it. Anyway. We have we have a lot to share but I want you to know that what I'm going to be talking to you about is still what I would call a living document you know what that means it's very changeable it's a change from the moment I started and that sort of thing. This is really in case you don't know what seminar you're in and you always give that opportunity it is Monday morning. I'm Jim Howard and I'm the evangelism corner and the person ministries director for the conference and this is a personal ministries and evangelism seminar for two days is going to be Monday and Tuesday I'll talk to you about some other seminars that are going to be happening that are similar or in a similar vein anyway but this particular one is two days and I'm going to spend some time talking to the beleaguered in terms. Of vandalism in your churches I'm assuming that that's who I have here if you're not here to somebody who's interested then I'm happy to have you too but I really wanted some time with those who are really at the forefront of needing to understand how things are working so that you know. What to do at the local church level and what's coming. I give you fair warning you're going to know more than the pastors OK so don't go to your pastor and say why are we not doing this and why are we not doing that. The truth is let me just give you a little bit of. A little bit of history here. You know we had a lock revelation going on in the end of March in April and while everybody was you know full throttle on lock revelation. My brain was. Looking ahead OK yeah because you always have to stay ahead that's and as a person ministers leaders I mean I almost did a leadership want to one seminar here but I did it in November when no it was November whatever it was I did it when we were at Camp A SAGAL with a lot of the coordinators there and I thought I have a lot of same people here so I won't do that again but one of the keys of leadership is looking ahead and being ahead of the people OK. Because if we just did a big unlock revelation celebration here and we made that what campaigning was all about and you know we had testimony after testimony and then it was all over and everybody went back home and kind of be like OK what do we do now you know and I wanted to be sure that we had some some direction even though we might not have all the details lined out all the T.'s crossed as Dot of that sort of thing we want to have some direction so I'd started going down that path in my own mind for some time for several months and. And then I asked for a meeting with the administration basically and we sat down and I shared with them what I was considering and then we tweaked it a bit but they were very excited and supportive and said We'd like you to share this with the. Executive Committee so the executive committee the conference we sat down I shared some of the things that I'm going to be sharing with you with probably a little less detail than what I'll share with you. And then with the district superintendents because you know in the mission of conference all of our past oral. Work Force is organized in different regions so I used to be a disk superintendent in Detroit which meant that I would call together the pastors for a monthly meeting that were in that area and I would kind of be an in-between between a conference and the local pastor of course so we met with the district superintendent we shared it with them they were excited and really hadn't shared it with the pastors. And I knew that we were going to be sharing it can't meeting so what we did was we we went ahead and during camp pitch I had a devotional and I shared an overview like a fifteen minute overview OK so that's what you're pastors have is whatever their disks are intended to share with them plus the fifteen over minute overview that I gave with them so that they at least wouldn't be totally blindsided. And you know that's the best we could do so now I'm meeting with the person ministries leaders and vandalism leaders and evangelism interested people and we're going to give opportunity for you to see what we're looking at to ask questions. To try to understand a little bit better and we're really on the front end of this so don't be worried it's not like we have to be in a hurry I'll give you a timeline as to what we're looking at doing and this be an opportunity for you to be ahead of the game because I have a heart for the personal ministry people you are my people I've been waiting for this seminar. So I could feel like you know everyone's. Going to shut the door anyway I'll leave it. You know Elder gala more he'll sit in. Executive Committee and I'll see him just get all relaxed you know any kind I can tell he's among his people there you know this is Committee Well you know that's what my personal ministry minded people are before I was and I think I told you this last year if you came a seminar but before I ever pastored I was a person ministries leader in the local church for many years so I know what it's like to call people to training and have three people show I know what it's like to try to figure out what to do people are people want to know about the carpet they want to know about the rough they want to know about all that but they don't want to hear about what I know all of those trials and tribulations so I've great sympathy for my people but anyway so I'm going to give you as I have a great sympathy for prayer meeting people to you know the people who come to prayer meeting so I always try to and when I pastored I would give you know real juicy information at prayer meeting you know you want to them to be the first to know they deserve it for their dedication and so I feel the same about you and you're getting the juicy information at Camp Meeting All right so anyway with all that in mind I'm going to share with you a couple of things. This is something that I'm going to pass out to everyone at. On Sabbath morning so Sabbath morning worship service so let me tell you something else and this might be the downside of being part of my people and that is that you hear the same thing over and over again. So repetition is good though so what's going to happen is you're going to get it in detail here and then. You know when I when I presented this plan to district superintendents and to the executive committee It took me about an hour in each case OK well I can't me. Ating they give me like seven minutes lots in the evening you know. And then they give me a slot on Saturday morning I said instead of a seven minute slot on South morning can I have a twelve to fifteen minute slot on South morning and I pleaded and persuaded and so I about twelve minutes on south of morning and I have seven minutes lots in the evening I don't want to neglect the testimonies Volokh revelations so we've been doing that but once we get to Tuesday evening I'm going to start talking about this with a little seven minute slots and then on Sabbath morning I'm going to have this handed out so that people can look at it and I'm going to give an overview so you're going to hear all these things again but you're going to hear them an overview form whereas in here you're going to hear in detail OK so I'm going to have this passed out and any Let's see you know just passing back this way there it's about. Welcome Candy we're glad you're here is what I meant to say. All right if you just take one pass and back there you know I might need. Pass and back. To here. And one here and two here today for being late I've got an assignment for you later I'll talk to that class. OK. Now this at the front you see it says Mr Converse of those master plan a vandal isn't. What I'd like you to do is turn to the middle where the staples are. And the first thing I know that's not the first thing I want to do first I want to do is the first page let's go to the over the first page page one. And I just want to share with you a little bit about the. The philosophy first of this plan. First of all we are part of a world church and so we don't want to ignore the world churches plan OK and we fit just perfectly our plans fit perfectly in the world churches plan if you have listened at all to what's coming out of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists the emphasis is placed on total member involvement day as personal ministries leaders you should learn that language total member involvement in fact it's the personal ministry department's responsibility and they kind of have shaved this out of the church manual a little bit and saddened me deeply but but it's you know you go back couple iterations and you can find it there where it says that the personal ministries department in part its job is to involve every member in active soul winning service for God OK So that person ministers Department provides training and resources that enable that every member to become an active soldier so because that is just part and parcel of what your responsibilities who are involved a person Ministries is you want to remember this total member involvement so the first part our philosophy is involving every member in soling service and that's in harmony with the General Conference plan of total member involvement by the way if you have been keeping your ears to the news a little bit you'll know that they just baptized nearly ninety eight thousand people in Rwanda it was the single greatest or highest baptism toll we've ever had and if you go. And look at the rationale behind it or you know what were some of the reasons for that it was because of their comprehensive plan of total member involvement they had a day and if you look across the board at the growth in the seventh Avenue Church where we're growing the greatest It is because of total member involvement. The places where they have the most pastors grow the least the places where there are less pastors per church grow the most Now granted there are other factors OK that's not the only factor but we do know from the Spirit of Prophecy that it was never the intent of God that the pastors would hover over the churches use that language all the time do a little search sometime about hovering over the churches and so in the mission conference we know that we were in a little bit different environment we've inherited what we've inherited all those things but we want that principle to be alive and well in our conference as well and that is a principle of training center churches where you get total member among the laity and in some places they have one pastor perceptual churches the pastor is not there preaching every week even the members of the elders are like pastors I mean to a great degree but they are also full time workers within various fields but they have a great responsibility and the church is active I wish and will get back to this later in the plan but I wish that we could have something like they have in many of the Hispanic areas and that sort of thing where look on Sabbath they're there all day and there's activity there's I mean the church is alive and somehow we've lost a little bit of that and we need to try to regain it but ultimately we're glad that the church is still seeing fruit from total memory Volman and we want to catch that spirit here in Michigan so that is part of floss. Told my revolver a second part there is that evangelism is a culture and what that means is that it needs to become sort of part of the the local church and what I mean by that you know when people come on Sabbath morning it's evident that there's an active soul winning emphasis Thank you have you all met my secretary. She's pretty isn't she. This is my wife Sagna who is also my secretary and is helping me out with copies this morning all right. Anyway so we've talked about that to a great degree there are ways that the personal ministries Department can can really try to transform Kalter we don't we're not going to talk a lot about this right now but you know you want people when they are in your church to know that you have a burden for souls that need to be evangelistic In other words you know literature it looks evangelists Dick appeals are Vangelis tick the way that you minister to visitors is evangelists tick everybody senses that this church is out for the winning of people and has a warm atmosphere so anyway there needs to be a culture of evangelism that happens from the leadership on down it happens at the board level you know church boards should be evangelistic strategy boards not merely what you want to say. OK mechanical a capital improvement board's that sort of thing and you have to deal with all those things but you have to be intentional about being focused on a vengeance and strategy it's sort of like evangelism personal Ministries is sort of like your garden. You know you have to plant flowers if you want to see flowers but if you don't plant flowers you know have tried all or the weeds to come up. You do not have to try at all to talk about capital improvement on Richard board it will happen naturally you don't have to try to talk about all the various mechanical aspects of the church but you have to be intentional deliberate and put effort into keeping evangelist extract a G. at the forefront of of the churches who are in. Various leadership committees so anyway and he's become a culture that starts at the top and it moves throughout the whole church and that's the second part of the philosophy the third part and by the way I put like you need conference there because the Lake Union theme is commission culture a great commission culture if you heard Don let's say speak that's his emphasis and so we fit right in with that as well in Michigan we've had the moniker grow Michigan right because we've been emphasizing the fact that evangelism is not an event but it's a process and if I could tack something onto that that we don't talk a lot about evangelism is cumulative. What's that mean what's the word cumulative mean. It's adding onto itself so so the difference when an event and something is cumulative is some people look at evangelism and they say OK how many did we get from this event but what actually happens is you you get you get one here to there then three here then whatever and there's a you're constantly building like a snowball what's happening if you stay with it if you stay active you stay consistent and that's how churches become a Vangelis it doesn't all happen at once there's there's just a culture that begins to shape it and it begins to happen more and. More than a grows and it snowballs so evangelism is a process but it's also cumulative and you know we look at this you know we've laid out the five steps of the evangelistic process and grow Michigan right repairing the soil planting the seed that's the word that's literature that's you know well the back up area soil is friendship and service and compassion and those things that build trust and then comes planting the seed with literature and your personal testimony and invitations to church advance and things like that that's what I call testing the soil and then when people respond positively then you get them involved in cultivating that new spiritual interest through bible study and as the cultivation state and then once you've gone through a long process of call to vacation then they finally come ready for the harvest that's when you get decisions for Christ and for the remnant church and they're baptized and then you continue studying with them and developing them into Saul winners who make other disciples and that's the discipleship process of preservation OK You all know that right but what we need to remember is that the church is always doing every part of the process this is not a. System very delineated linear. Chronological I mean it is but you've got different people at all times who are in different places in the queue you know San so. So you can have. You know Bible study reformation going on and be actively cultivating but at the same time you need to be preparing the soil with some type of relationship building event and at the same time you can be disciple ing people who have already been to so it's based on people all not necessarily on your calendar although it is helpful especially for your members and what have you for you to have somewhat of a. A process in your calendar that patterns after this but also I just want you to understand that you're never it's never cut and dry like as not black and white it's very overlapping at all times and if you and if you're care if you're not careful and you try to make it totally linear here's what will happen you prepare you plant OK now we're going to Bible study OK now we're going to have endless meeting OK now we're going to baptize OK now we're going to cycle OK now we're going to start over you start over that's a. Process right in the you but you say you will not have the cumulative effect if you try to make it all linear and sometimes we do that we have an evangelistic meeting we spend all our time focusing on those interests who are really ripe interests and we're focused on we take you know three to six months and that's all we're thinking about are these interest in seeing if we can get them there we're losing time we're losing time because we've got to get other interests in the queue so that when these are done we'll have to see what I'm saying it's very problematic if we're so narrow that we make this a totally linear thing so evangelism is a process and it's cumulative and we must always be thinking about the entire Q OK yes. I'm. One. That's right. Yeah. And there's very can is very as a cycle for sure and it's also very contagious so you have you know evangelism breeds evangelism you're I'm saying I mean your best you know your best way to get interests is to get interests before them so you know you get interests and then you start working with them and you really. To get the thing moving and all of a sudden interest come from those interests and then interest come from those interests and it's just there's a contagiousness to evangelism So absolutely it's a cycle and it's also contagious but also really wanted to emphasize that it is a process the thing that we've been also emphasizing here in Michigan that really has been a blessing to us is number four on here and that is that team evangelism unites us it's been a real you know we we did something like this in the oh i'm so I think you know it may have been something did something like this in Detroit and in Grand Rapids and what have you doing this state wide what we did with a lock revelation there is a clear sense of. Common commonality between churches that didn't exist before if you know what I mean you can talk to people from another churches out like we're doing our thing and you're doing your thing and we don't really have anything in common this commonality has made it build relationships across churches it really has I seen it I've seen it over and over people told me about it so it's just been a huge blessing and so we don't want to lose the momentum of the concept of team evangelism Yes. This is. I think. The monkeys. On the storm. Just. Working to want it was no longer what. For instance is was the song I know that. There was something that is right at this point. And what it is that. We saw we did. Well. People were fundraisers and just wasn't credible right then he'd. Left us to honestly so is it working. But that's right. Now and these people. Are probably all I'm absolutely growing we you know. Amen yes. The church that Jim is talking about is the former South Lyon church that was company for well it's still a company but it was floating for years and years and recently had to move over to Brighton and when I was passing there we were beginning to raise money for building and what have you but there wasn't a lot there compared to what the prices are in that area. So anyway they got the Lord gave them a steal of a deal on a church in Brighton It was only the Lord and yeah center of the city half a million dollars. Which for a church that I mean is a nice church very cheap and then they had a fundraiser called surrounding churches and from that fundraiser put them over the edge and where they were able to secure the building so anyway so. Blessing blessing and we do see the evidence of the team a man who has an approach All right yes yes now I like to there's a quote in here that says evangelism inspiration but I have the full quote here I want to read you the full quote. This is the inspiration for this plan OK. We have no time to lose the end is near the passage from place to place to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left everything will be placed to obstruct the way of the Lord's messengers so that they will not be able to do that which it is possible for them to do now we must look at our work fairly in the face in advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare from the light given me of God I know that the powers of darkness are working with intense energy from the need and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep as a wolf taking his prey We have warnings now which we may give a work now which we may do but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine God help us to keep in the channel of light to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our leader and patiently perseverance only press on to gain the victory so. I believe that evangelism needs to be aggressive and that word has negative connotations so you know you understand what I mean it needs to advance as fast as possible and this quote puts it in its true light the reason for that is because we will not always be able to do what we are able to do right now. I mean you can see it everywhere it's coming I'm telling you our freedom to. To do things without being perceived in a certain way. Is limited I mean you know about the Orlando shooting that just took place and when you know it happened in a gay nightclub now. What I see in that the sides the horrific reality of it and compassion we need to have for the families and all those who lost their lives is the way that the devil seems to use. Extreme people who have views that at least are in a similar camp to ours in the sense that we do not condone the homosexual lifestyle. To begin to paint people in the same vein as the people who did those things you understand what I'm saying it's not going to be long before the devil is going to work in all of these ways to get the perceptions to be so skewed that we will not be able to publicly and freely make the impact that we can still make today so we must look at our work fairly in the face in advance as fast as possible so that's that's why this is a bit of an aggressive plan and it's why we're moving in the way that we are now I want to share those two things with you know how many ask you to turn a page seven and I want to. I what I really I want to bore you is what I want to do. It's my it's not my intent to bore you but I just know what happens when I do and I'm going to do to some people and yet I must do it I did it with the desert superintendence I did in the executive committee and I'm going to do it you I'm going to read to you this is Uncle Jim Story Hour and I'll tell you that I serve as the chair of the training center Church Committee. This committee is still very active we have kind of taken our pro-choice as developing resources for developing training center churches within Michigan and many of you have utilized the discipleship handbook that the Chinese or Church Committee developed and you may not be aware but we're in the middle of developing another handbook is called The Bible study handbook the Bible study handbook is going to be a resource to aid Seventh Day Adventist Church members in giving Bible studies OK And that's because we have a burden for the need for Lay given Bible studies and this is becoming the heart of the master plan of evangelism for two thousand six hundred seventeen in the mission conference so before I share the plan with you I want to share a little inspiration with you this is a draft version but it's pretty close probably to the first chapter of the Bible study handbook. Now it's Sabbath morning first Sabbath school. We've got I'm sort of the interim Sabbath school director I don't know what I was going to have with that I think I'm going to end up having Sabbath school in the mission conference person minister sab school evangelism person ministers a Sabbath school go together very well. But I was kind of looking for an associate. Before that So now I really you know. One of the SO see it and so the discussion is that once the budget turns us a little bit we are tied needs to come up just a little bit but that will have an associate in our department that will then be able to you know really say OK now Jim Howard is the director of Sabbath school adults have a school have you but I neglect. Tried not to say that because I'm not doing any seminars I'm not going to any church as a TA grass Abas school the only thing I did was say I will line up camp meeting satis cool but I've got too much already to take Sabbath school on top of it so I'll do that but then sad school is going to kind of lay dormant in terms of conference department until we get an associate and that's kind of where it is but that doesn't mean that I have responsibility or came in sat a school so that's why I let out the panel on Sabbath and this coming Sabbath what we're doing is and we did this both Sabbath we have a world mission feature and then a panel and that's how it's been historically at at Camp meeting but panels are nice but to me they can go too long and I'm not I'm not a huge panel guy I like panels but you know they can roll so I don't like an hour hour and five minutes of a panel So what we have is a world mission feature and then a forty five minute panel and then a Michigan mission feature and for the Michigan mission feature this coming Sabbath since I'm going to be giving everybody this and since we're going to be giving an overview in Sabbath of the plan I am going to preach this. I'm not going to tell them even though they have it in their hands that I'm that it's coming from here are they'll think I'm reading to them Don't tell them. This is my script and I'm going to preach it and then I'm going to say turn the page seven and you have the script in case you'd like to read this when you get home but. Or you because you're dedicated and you are disciplined and your you know my people your personal ministries people I think I can read it to you. Are you alright with that without a dark address OK Bible studies the heart of evangelism methods of evangelism have always been a hot topic among Christians as culture changes innovative new methods of church growth are on a high demand a typical evangelism summit will be spent exploring how to do things differently we do of course want different and better results yet because of the hunger for all things new an evangelist I'm the mention of giving more bible studies hardly gets anyone excited Why should we be excited about the church growth potential of simple old tried and true Bible studies to answer this question we must first review how evangelism works the evangelism process Jesus use the growth process of a plant or tree to describe the process of winning souls to Christ and growing the kingdom of God He spoke of sowing seed of laboring for the harvest he used illustrations of a mustard seed that start small and grows into a large tree and a fig tree that needs to be fertilized in order to bear fruit the Apostle Paul picked up on these teachings of Jesus explaining that those are so bountifully will reap bountifully and that while we are called to plant and water only God can cause something to grow. These consistent illustrations from nature's growth process should impress us with the realization that there are no short cuts and evangelism So when it is a process not an event the soil of the heart must be prepared with friendship and service the seed of the word must be planted to test the soil spiritual interest must be cultivated with ongoing Bible study decisions to follow Christ in the terms of the Bible must be harvested and the harvest must be preserved with ongoing discipleship of new members all of this may seem straightforward and simple but it is frequently forgotten when a value. Adding methods of church growth we often hear that new and different methods are needed to reach the current generation creative ideas that assure better than average results are presented all while drawing attention and funding from church leaders who are more than ready to reward innovation and evangelism but the question we should be asking those with new methods of evangelism is this what phase of evangelism is the new method intended to prepare the soil of the heart or is it a new method of planting the word is it a new method of cultivating spiritual growth or of harvesting decisions to follow the truth or is it a method of preserving new members we need to understand which phase of the evangelism process the new method proposes to accomplish because it rarely if ever will accomplish them all. The Indispensable method most new methods of evangelism focused on the focus on the first one or two phases of the evangelism process look up and tell me what are the first one and two phases of the evangelism process. Repairing the soil. And planting seeds OK. This is important to understand because new methods of preparing the soil will never replace the need for cultivating and harvesting with Bible studies even so many churches today hardly mention the need for members to give Bible studies and they stop holding full scale of Angelus at meetings long ago their evangelism focus has shifted almost entirely to random acts of kindness community service projects family friendly social events to establish belonging and community or perhaps we can lectures covering contemporary topics is there anything wrong with any of these ministries absolutely not the truth is we need these and a thousand more like them the problem is not with these methods but with the idea that they can EVER. Grow a church without Bible studies or evangelist meetings not only do new methods of preparing the soil or planting seeds not replace the need for bible studies they actually increase that need by finding and developing more people who are open to hear the truth we posit second I was reading from the North American division sent out this best practices on a vandalism newsletter the e-mail that I received and it was talking about a church that was being planted and how all of their success and it described its growth process like this is that we wanted to do something different that wasn't program focused it was community focused and so we we began to grow this church through random acts of kindness of Angela's I'm now let me pause for a moment and tell you something and I'd just read it but I'm going to reestablish it in your hearts. You cannot grow a church through random acts of kindness unless it's a very very shallow church that baptizes people before they know the truth. Which some do. And they become pseudo non-denominational But understand something a Seventh Day Adventist Church will never grow from random acts of kindness you know what Random Acts of Kindness do. They're wonderful right although I would argue that we should have more intentional acts of kindness than random acts of kindness but. I believe that acts of kindness are a very important part of the evangelism process they help prepare the soil of the heart to receive the truth right but the intentional way in which many leave out. Bible studies or evangelistic meetings in their description of using new methods it's almost as if we've determined that instead of doing that we're going to do this no no you cannot replace Bible studies with any good soil preparation event you can you can do a wonderful event for your community and win their hearts to you it doesn't replace Bible study if anything it increases the need for bible studies because you've now increased the interest that might exist hey we're not against soil preparation we need more of it but be careful because there are many people who are redefining evangelism as simply those first one or two phases of evangelism and they are not incorporating Bible study All right yes. I understand. Merging church and a whole lot of other. Kindred perspectives and it's not merely outside of Adventism it is very prevalent within Adventism. So we want to get back to something here and I'm going to pick up in the next paragraph the reality is Bible studies are timeless and indispensable and they will always be at the heart of Seventh Day Adventist evangelism someone may become a member of the church without ever being the recipient of a random act of kindness or felt need ministry or without ever attending a health event church social or vacation by. School but no one becomes a Seventh Day Adventist without Bible studies they may be personal bible studies or small group Bible studies maybe in the form of a one month Banjul is it Series or last year or more they may be video Bible studies online bible studies or correspondence Bible studies but one way or another every seventh day adventist goes through bible studies before baptism here is where the truth grips the hearts and decisions are made to believe and practice in harmony with the seventh Avenue Church now comes the problem the Bible study bottleneck. Jesus gave the secret to church growth when he said the harvest truly is great but the laborers are few These kids are wonderful but I wonder. But I wonder. If we could just. We love you we know that this is not intentional or not against kids but. Alright. Alright back to the Bible said about. Jesus gave the secret to church growth when he said the harvest truly is great but the laborers are few element affirms all over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light for grace for the Holy Spirit many are on the verge of the kingdom waiting only to be gathered in in these passages which reveal the good news of multitudes of souls hungering for truth and lie we also discover a sobering reality the reason a great harvest is not realized is that the laborers are few the reason men and women all over the world are not flooding into the church is that they are quote waiting only need to be gathered in there are a great number of people in our world in whom the Lord has already prepared the soil of the heart through life experiences the workings of Providence or our own friendship in Labors they have become open to the truth yet the sad reality taught by Jesus and affirmed in the inspired counsel of Ellen White is that the number of those open to receiving Bible studies is greater than the number of those willing to give them is that true from the text the harvest is great the labors are few there are many looking wistfully to heaven there waiting only to be gathered in there waiting right that means there is a shortage this is highly important and if you are here I hope you are here on Sabbath morning to hear elder boons for his sermon on Sabbath morning it was powerful I mean it put the the cherry on top to everything we've been trying to communicate here in the mission conference you cannot pick the green berries and think that that is going to what we need to do is find locate identify those who are already over. Into the truth there out there OK that doesn't mean we're not at the same time winning friendship and confidence and trying to turn those green fruit ripe OK but that's not the primary time component of our evangelistic work we are focused on the harvest we're focused on where there is ripe fruit because they're out there and if we don't get to them then they die on the vine and we have problems so here is the reality there are more people open to receiving Bible studies out there than there are people willing to give them we might call this condition of things a Bible study bottleneck now you her Mrs before going to hear again in manufacturing a bottleneck is the part of the production process of the slowest rate of output companies invest significant time and money attempting to improve the bottleneck because they know that the only way to increase total output is to increase the rate of output in that particular area in the evangelism process the bottleneck is usually Bible studies while many church members volunteer to serve in a wide variety of soil preparation ministries only a small percentage are generally involved in cultivating and harvesting with Bible studies this means that we can keep increasing our labors in every other area but as long as only a few are giving regular bible studies we will never see a significant increase in church membership that's right the secret to growth in the Seventh Day Adventist Church is simple old tried and true Bible studies when great numbers in our churches begin to take hold of this vital ministry it will open the bottleneck in our growth will be exponential Now I worked in the Ohio conference for a while and I have a lot of people I deeply respect there and wonderful colleagues there but there was a a bit of a process direction in terms of evangelistic effort that seemed to be going down a path I wasn't comfortable with and I'm not the only one and I hope that I'm not spilling the beans when I say that and I'm sure. Really not attempting to denigrate anyone because there were a lot of godly people that I deeply respect but one of the things that I found was that the. The quote by Ellen White in which she describes how Christ's method alone will give true success and reaching the people was used liberally now it was very strange to me because the amount of confidence and and emphasis placed on the importance of the Spirit of Prophecy in the rock concert that time was not very high. OK And yet this quote was regularly pulled out to be used and the reason was because there was a sense in which this particular idea of Christ's method alone was not inclusive of evangelistic meetings Bible studies those types of things that Jesus method was totally a relational. When your heart and then you'll just you know come on in kind of thing so this next section addresses that very issue OK. Bible studies in Christ method in the ministry of healing page one forty three Ellen White pointed to Jesus as the model soul winner Christ method alone will give true success in reaching the people the Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good he showed his sympathy for them ministered to their needs and won their confidence then he bade them follow me. While nothing about sharing Bible truth is specifically mentioned in this off quoted passage a closer look at the context reveals that this was nevertheless the ultimate goal of Christ's ministry in the paragraphs that follow the description of Christ's method Ellen White writes We should ever remember that the object of the medical missionary work is to pull. Since sick men and women to the man of Calvary and personal ministry often what's that word prepares the way for this as an example of Christ method Ellen White tells us of the medical missionary who prepares the way for the Gospel she goes on to say missionary nurses who care for the sick and relieve the distress of the poor will find many opportunities to pray with them to read to them from God's word and to speak of the Savior many have no faith in God and have lost confidence in man but they appreciate acts of sympathy and helpfulness they see that God cares for them and they are prepared to us to listen as his word is opened do you notice what's happening here yes there was the main going yes there was the winning the confidence but in every case it was to open the heart and prepare the way to listen as the word is open. We find from the context of the well known passage about Christ method alone that the eventual goal of medical missionary work or any Saul preparation ministry is to point since sick men and women to the man of Calvary Ellen White explains in another place when properly conducted the health work is an entering wedge making a way for other truths to reach the heart repairing the soil with compassionate ministry as vital as this component may be is still only the first part of the evangelism process the entering wedge making a way for other truths to reach the heart what must follow is the often labor intensive phase of pointing people to Christ as revealed in the truth of the Bible and leading them to accept and follow Him In other words what must follow our Bible studies now let us consider one more description of Christ method of winning souls from Christ methods of labor we may learn many valuable lessons. He did not follow merely one method in various ways he sought to gain the attention of the multitude and then he proclaimed to them the truth of the Gospel here we discover that Christ used various methods in order to prepare the soil or to gain the attention of the people once the attention was gained However the next step in Christ method of soul winning was always the same it simply says that Jesus proclaimed to them the truth of the Gospel Jesus method evangelism doesn't exist without this vital component because there is no substitute for sharing the truth are you following what Jesus did I love this particular passage because it says he didn't follow one method he had many ways of. Gaining the attention of the people of this thousand different methods of of you know preparing the soil but it doesn't then it doesn't give a bunch of different methods just says and then he shared the gospel with them so he was there many people they come from different backgrounds they have different their different ages they come from different cultures and so they need to be their attention is be gained often times there are different means or different words or different conversation but all of that is just to get to the ultimate goal and the ultimate goal always comes down to sharing Bible truth right. The Bible truth that God has given and it is what I loved about Pastor boosters message on MORNING. If you look Jesus comes in Revelation Chapter fourteen in verse fourteen one like the Son of Man coming in the circle to reap the harvest of the are prior to that are the three angels messages right. Here God of your glory to Him for the hour his judgment is come. Worship him a. Heaven and earth the sea and springs of water a call to the Sabbath Babylon is fallen is fallen a call to restore the truths that were buried during the Dark Ages. And then a warning not to receive the mark of the beast a specific call to understand who the beast is what the mark of the beast is and to not receive it those three messages are right there before the coming of Christ in verse fourteen The point is this this is not the Seventh Day Adventist message per se this is what God said needs to be shared with people living just before he comes in verse fourteen. So no matter how you slice it if we're going to be obedient to Scripture we simply have to share that message and so it is that we may have different ways of reaching the hearts of grabbing the attention but we will always share the everlasting Gospel in the context of the three angles messages when it comes down to the ultimate goal of gripping the heart and preparing people for heaven which brings us to our last section the message matters. It must always be remembered that soul winning power does not lie in US but in the Spirit of God working through the message intrusted to us building friendships gaining trust and being compassionate will always be vitally important yet the ultimate goal is not merely for people to trust us or to love us or even be blessed by us in the end we want them to be hold Christ here and accept the message of the Gospel and be gripped by the truth of his word only Jesus through God's Word can convert hearts they must be and I quote from scripture born again through the Word of God and sanctified to repair. Since faith and obedience to the truth it is often asserted that actions speak louder than words and when dealing only with humanity this is true yet we should always remember that our actions do not speak louder than God's words herein lies the real reason that Bible studies will always be at the heart of Seventh Day Adventist evangelism because the only thing powerful enough to persuade someone to become and to remain a Seventh Day Adventist Christian to follow a path that is contrary to culture contrary to mainstream Christianity contrary to ease and convenience and often contrary to friends and family is the overwhelmingly clear and compelling power of the message itself revealed in the Bible and written on our hearts by the Spirit of God. You agree with that that's because you're my people your personal ministries people of course you do and I'm so happy. To be part of a conference that supports this concept of the message itself being at the heart of evangelism our our actions are an important greedy and to evangelism but the message the power the creative power to to convert the soul is in the word and therefore it must be at the forefront of our evangelism and with all that in mind I'd like to start kind of walking through a little bit of this plane and we have about fifteen twenty minutes right we go to what Temple OK. Are in this plan likely. All right I have a plan up here on the screen so I'm going to that you got your it in front of you but I thought I put it on the screen to get past all the stuff we recovered OK now the let me back up here's the thing give you a little overview of what's in here. Really what we're looking at with our talk about the vans and philosophy it was an inspiration now we're going to talk about evangelism initiatives and we're going to be looking at initiatives in each of the five phases of evangelism then there are some initiatives that don't really they're not really phase like if we want to emphasize prayer which phase you but that I mean it's. Saying so it's multi-phase So there's a few different multi-phase initiatives that we are going to be recommending to the churches and then there are some things important about forwarding the work that have to deal strictly with administration how you administer the church so we're going to suggest and recommend some things related to having an advantage a list equate of administering a church they were going to look at a sample of bands and calendar and then evangelism goals sound good all right good because that's what we're doing OK phase one preparing a soil the emphasis this next time around here on preparing the soil is on compassionate service projects and we would like to recommend that every church have at least one community felt need project that mobilizes the entire church now here's here's what that means how many of you have. Community service center in your church we have a few with community service center. And what percentage of the people volunteer to work at the community service center. OK well good beef Bob attend some of it's very rare it could be twenty one. Three three percent OK well you're all three people three people that's right. OK So when we talk about a community felt need Project we're not talking about a project for those three people. You understand this is not saying we want you to do some Q. what we're saying is it would sure be good and let me. I should probably stop recording but I won't. OK. We really are glad to be part of North American division and we have great respect for our leaders in order to Vision American vision of rejection of Jackson and his team. The emphasis that they place is very strong on compassionate service OK and we. Sometimes our emphasis as you just read is on message related but that does not mean that we should not get serious about being known in our communities and I I think that sometimes we can get off balance off kilter I was so blessed and anybody go to the early morning meeting this morning with Pastor the nation what a blessing that was to be reminded of the disinterested benevolence of Christ and that we need that in our churches and one way we can do that and in which we are recommending that churches do is have a church wide mobilizing the entire church community outreach compassionate service project OK now what am I going to do well there are some to just give you an idea Cedar Lake and Lansing and I believe over in Troy they did something to although it wasn't. Looking wasn't quite as involved but did a pathways to health and you heard about pathways to health here and there and everywhere OK now you know that the big one in San Antonio and they had they just had one out in L.A. and what have you these pathways to health they have they bring in all kinds of dentists and optometrists and I have to give dental care there are some you know minor surgical things that are done and they have some medical that are done I mean these things are in credible I mean I'm not kidding they are fantastic and I'm. One hundred percent in support of them I think it's I think it's an ingenious idea it people know about us in the community it's free it's a compassionate service thing we're volunteering it we're sacrificing to do it and I just think it's powerful. That's right that's right so it's a team effort it's just fantastic in Michigan you know at some point we'll do a big one in Detroit but what we decided was why can't we do those not and I San Antonio you know size or whatever where you're helping three thousand people or whatever but we've done these in Lansing and in. In Cedar Lake and say let's not a big place that we're in right now but they let people know around the area as much as they could and each of them serviced I think two hundred people on both of those pathways health programs and the whole church is involved here they had the kids academy kids were helping them it's a big orchestration it's not a small thing and so some might have something like that pathways to health kind of thing but you get the idea everybody is involved they've got greeters they've got people who are helping to to to register they've got people who are ushering people they've got people who are bringing water they've got people who are just Minister in wherever ministry is needed and one of the things that the North American division recommends and they've got a website compassion movement compassion movement dot org. One of these they recommend that I would recommend as well not every one of you is going to have a pathways to health that's just an example probably only a few of those will happen in the course of the year but you can go to your local Mer. Your local fire chief your local police chief introduce yourself as a representative of the Seventh Day Adventist church and say we're wanting to do a. Church wide mobilization to just. Ministered to community in some way and we just are curious if there are particular needs in the community that maybe we aren't even aware of that we could be a blessing maybe just talk to them about what the needs are in the community and let them tell you and then you can take that back to the church board you can begin to fashion an idea and develop something that mobilizes the entire church OK so you understand the concept this is not just a you know run of the mill whatever when it comes to repairing the soil we want to do this in addition to other community and help out reach that you have A-K. but where encouraging every church to do something like this it would be great if we all did it on the same day but something like this is probably going to need to fit within the calendar and that sort of thing so it will of the community and what have you so we're just recommending that. You might not have time to do it in the fall two thousand and sixteen Still you might have too much going on but the recommendation will be that in the summer of two thousand and seventeen July August whatever that you tried doing something like this you could go in and you could have a homeless meeting type of thing you could do a Habitat for Humanity type of thing you could there's a variety of different things in your local civic leaders will help you with that So anyway. This is the North America because by the way here's a North American thing because actions speak louder than words which is true with humanity. So I made a point but we don't want this to be the the soul. When I'm telling you is that there is a lot of emphasis on the idea of social activism as being evangelism and in the seventh Them Honest her church the message that God gave us in Scripture is still the heart of our. All right now Phase two we're going to go crazy some more glow What do you think. We are really excited Camille Metz. Is our literature ministries director and he the guy is I don't know what to say about him other than he's a little nuts but he is quite ingenious and driven I mean he's a worker I mean you wouldn't believe anyway. One of the things they've been doing that has caught a lot of. Momentum is they're going into cities and doing a four day blitz of a million tracks David pano is the associate in literature ministry department and he's kind of coronating most of that he's overseeing glow and they've mobilized youth to do this now they did it at the Super Bowl they had a glow track that said. Sunday is for football Saturday is for blank. And they passed out at the Super Bowl. Now when I saw you know you first hear about you like these kids a profit a great time you noticed about these good tracks and went around and passed a mound number known this thing was an organized machine I mean you know how the Ellie's are organized for summer Maggy book programs or whatever where they you know they've got you're with this man you have this leader you have this goal this is your map this is what I mean it's like that it is incredibly organized these kids learn really quick and they have goals that they've got to hit and I mean it's incredible the amount of steps they take in a day and what have you I mean it was incredible but they got out a million go and. And they would like to continue this are getting ready to do one in Chicago and I said you're getting closer Camille but Michigan is a little bit over this way anyway so when we get closer to. Our now. Next collaborative evangelistic effort right before that they're going to do a one million glow blitz and you heard me mention it the other day we're going to do that in the fall of two thousand seventeen. So anyway in between times they're going to have some others they're going to do but they might not be as big. Or you can't measure it. Yeah yeah you can't measure that but all I know is he who sells bountifully will rebound to plan. So I'm glad about that now he also has got plans for a dark County Youth blitz so we've got some dark counties in Michigan and we've got we're going to start trying to some orchestrating there's a lot of planes go in that. Every year we'd like to we'd like to see every church in Michigan. Re stoke the flame of glow and have a glow a thon and you're familiar with that terminology. We'd like to do that in April two thousand and seventeen because in that same month it will be a major literature reawakening month for the church the Gaut on will happen in April and also there's a missionary book blitz I don't know if you know that there's a world missionary book every year in the world church and we've not always participated in that but have talked Camille we would like to be a part of that you know when it comes to the General Conference initiatives. You know the rest of the world church is very involved in I'm in the north America we kind of lose sight of it you know on the inner but we are a part of the world church and we really like this idea especially this year they've got the to seventeen world missionary book is called Story of Hope and it's an abridged version of the story of redemption and any of you ever read or seen the story of redemption it's a powerful and this is an abridged version and we're going to have an outreach Sabbath across the conference in April where we are going to distribute just the missionary world. Missionary book it's April seventeenth is the day. But then we'll do glow for that entire month so just be a literature emphasis month in April two thousand and seventeen and then we're also planting seeds through strong tower radio and so we're going to. Continue working to try and get Detroit and Grand Rapids up and running Grand Rapids is almost there we have close to four hundred thousand dollars but maybe three hundred seventy five thousand yet to raise it needs to be raised by the end of July right then of June. And in June. So scrape it up anyway. But it started at one point five million so we know the Lord's going to provide but the Grand Rapids is going to be up we're going to get strong Tarrega going Grand Rapids and then we still are actively looking in Detroit and I say we were just you know observers this is a late lead ministry and we're thankful for all they do but we're strong supporters that's why we say we because in the mission conference this is a team. Anyway so that will be the continuation of that now I have four minutes left and I've come to the best part. And I'm trying to figure out should I even start. Or should I say that because the cultivate phase is the Bible say Reformation that's at the heart of our evangelistic plans for. Two thousand and seventeen I would just tell you that it's going to be really good this can be really good and you're going to be really excited about it and it's going to help you in your efforts as person ministries leaders because it's going to put some pressure on all of us. To get involved in giving Bible studies So anyway I'll give the details next time I think where I can start fresh with the cultivate section and we'll lay out the rest of plan you're going to read about it when you go anyway but I'm going to show you a little bit and give you some details that are necessarily written in there that help you understand how it's going to operate Yes. We can do business cards I just had a conversation with someone just the other day about business cards. And or something like it because one thing that I've been and it got me thinking this was a member from you know when I was a male. And I don't know that what she was suggesting is what I started thinking but you know that's how ideas come so anyway we have a lot of places that have three A.B.N. they have amazing facts. On radio and T.V.. We have various different ministries that exist we have strong terror radio what have you it seems like maybe we should have some This is kind of off topic but maybe we should have some regional. Advertisers. That have every Adventist you know ministry on radio or T.V. or whatever on a nice professional looking glossy card or whatever so that if you're in the Detroit area you know you're going crazy this year up north you can use this view or whatever that we should just identify all of the ministries that are going on that are media ministries within the conference so that we can make sure that our members are resourced with things that help them locally Now those are the kinds of things that. You can do locally you know what I'm. But I've not seen it so when I don't see it I figure well I can do it. Why did you do that you could send it. To him to get it and he'll use it what the. Hell. They have it but he said. We. We're. Not We're going to have a state wide but don't worry yeah the state wide is going to be the primary way that we. Have that you know he understands that but what I'm talking about is that there's also aside from that those local ministries that are not really you know you're not really collecting Bible studies by pointing someone to three B.N. but it's still valuable to point to it because if they go there they'll eventually find their way you know so anyway two separate things but they're both important All right so thank you no questions from today right clear it was crystal clear right. All right fantastic Now if you missed tomorrow if you were going to miss a day today was a day. Star. That's what I say after my first evangelistic meeting every time you're going to miss a meeting this was a meeting but now you've really got to go. So yes tomorrow is the day where we're going to really talk about it and I want to you know make sure that if you have questions or whatever about the real heart of this you have opportunity so I hope you would join us not through more OK let's close for prayer Father heaven thank you so much for the time we've had we believe that your hand is moving us we sense that Lord we steal the the way that you speak to each heart individually and yet you combine us all together for even greater synergy and even greater collective. Our in our ministry and we just know that power comes from you and we're totally depend upon you and we pray Father that you would give us every blessing of having that we might be able to carry out the assignment you've given us we ask your blessing on each person here as they continue to enjoy campaigning today in Jesus name is. 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