Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
takes many shapes and forms. In this section we shall focus
on One-to-One Bible Study, Small Group Evangelism, Seminar
Style Evangelism and finally the importance of Disciplining
A. ONE-TO-ONE BIBLE STUDY
the most satisfying spiritual ministries is that of giving
personal Bible studies. It takes time and energy, but you
will find it one of the most rewarding and challenging
experiences of life.
one-to-one Bible studies, it is important to keep in mind
that people don’t care how much you know until they
see how much you care!
of reaching the heart is a sacred privilege. Angels will
attend you as you visit with those who are looking for
a better life. By visiting with the people and praying
with them, you will reach the heart and lead that person
more than personal charisma, brilliant logic, or clever
articulation to be successful in sharing Bible truth. You
must have genuine love for the Lord and the student.
gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory,
but as a living force to change the life. God desires
that the receivers of His grace shall be witness to
its power. . . . He would have His servants bear testimony
to the fact that through His grace men may possess
Christ-likeness of character, and may rejoice in the
assurance of His great love. . . . The wonderful love
of Christ will melt and subdue hearts, when the mere
reiteration of doctrines would accomplish nothing.” Desire
of Ages, p. 826.
Bible studies is an important work. It is a sacred responsibility
to love, nurture, and encourage the student in your charge
along the Christian pathway. Because of the joy you have
found in following Jesus Christ, you want to share that
joy and to make it a growing experience.
1:28 (NRSV) we see the goal of those who minister for Christ. “It
is He whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone
in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in
world filled with hatred and violence and suffering, God,
in His Word, expressed His love and we are free to choose
His way. God doesn’t want us to die. His gift is
eternal life. If we can show Christ’s love for us,
hearts will respond to that love and want to follow as
pray for others, through the influence of the Holy Spirit,
God grants us wisdom to reach them. But remember, God respects
human freedom. He gives us the opportunity to choose to
serve Him or to reject Him. We can, however, become channels
of influence, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Keep in mind that the Word of God contains life-changing power. The same Holy
Spirit which inspired the Bible will accompany you as you present its precious
truths to others. The Spirit of God will richly reward you as you share God’s
Word with others. And God has promised fruit for your labor, souls in the kingdom
of God as a direct result of your ministry.
serious member of the church should learn the principles
of giving Bible studies through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Even if a person feels that God has not called him or her
to give personal Bible studies, each has been called to
witness in some way, and if we will learn the principles
of studying the Bible with others, God can use us more
effectively in whatever method of witnessing He has chosen
for us. To become equipped so that we can explain our faith
to anyone to whom the Lord directs us is our privilege
one-to-one Bible study is one of the main methods of witnessing
to which God has called Christians. This is explained so
beautifully in Christ’s Object Lessons, page 229:
Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought
home to every soul. To a great degree this must be
accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s
method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews.
He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience.
Through that one soul the message was often extended
to thousands. We are not to wait for souls to come
to us; we must seek them out where they are.”
a person find someone with whom to study the Bible? These
people may be receptive relatives, neighbors, contacts
in the community, the workplace, or a friend who has been
watching your life and seeing that you have a peace and
joy they would like to have. It may be a matter of simply
asking them if they would like to study the Bible with
you. Among many today, community and work-place Bible fellowship
groups are enjoyed. Your pastor may have interest cards
that have been mailed to the church from programs such
as Voice of Prophecy, It Is Written, Breath of Life or
from outreach health programs and others.
plan, as the Lord sent out disciples, is the best way to
give Bible studies. That way one can encourage the other,
and you can counsel, pray, and search the Bible together.
Not only will giving Bible studies two-by-two produce the
best results, but if an emergency arises, causing one of
the Bible instructors to miss a session, the study can
still continue with the other instructor.
one should be the instructor at a particular Bible study.
This will help to prevent the student from feeling overpowered.
One can be sending up silent prayers as the other talks.
One may have an answer the other overlooks. You can give
courage to each other too. The principle Bible instructor
should sit where she can face the student, and comfortably
close enough to be heard and to have a friendly atmosphere.
work and pray as though you were the only individual who
will ever contact that person with the good news of Jesus’ love
for him or her. God will help you. To you, as to the disciples
of old, Jesus says, “Follow Me, and I will make you
fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19).
Effective Bible Study
Bible studies is not as hard as most imagine, and one does
not have to be a Bible scholar to be successful. The number
one secret of effective Bible study is prayer. Pray before
the Bible study, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide in the
study. Pray as you give the study, constantly asking the
Holy Spirit to give you the right and loving words.
you can teach others, it is also helpful to have some materials
yourself. Helpful source materials for one-to-one Bible
studies include a Bible, a Bible concordance, and Bible
guides. Study guides help to keep the Bible study focused
and moving, therefore keeping the interest of the Bible
student and keeping on the subject.
helpful if you can meet regularly so that your student
can look forward to your visit. Try to make the study time
as clear as possible. And it is also helpful if you can
schedule the study for the same time, once each week. Don’t
make the study long—no more than one hour— minimize
the amount of information that is given, giving time for
application. Most people can’t concentrate for longer
than that. Don’t give the student an excuse to decide
that he or she doesn’t have the time to study because
it takes too much time.
also important for you to arrive at the scheduled hour,
that you take a few minutes to get better acquainted with
your student at each study hour and that you take time
for prayer before introducing the subject of study. After
the study of the lesson, it is important to invite a commitment
and have a commitment prayer.
a commitment at each Bible study. Help your student to
have the assurance of salvation, based on faith in Christ
and the promises of the Word of God. The commitment may
be in the form of a prayer of response to the subject of
your personal testimony, briefly, by telling your experience
before you met Christ, how you met Christ, and the joy
you have found since you met Christ. Keep your personal
testimony brief—from two to four minutes. Be prepared
to tell humbly but courageously, “I am a Christian.” Briefly
tell about your life before surrendering to Christ, how
you came to be a Christian and something about your life
since becoming a Christian—the change, joy and blessings.
Use phrases such as: I needed help; I found it in Jesus.
I found the Bible to be the voice of God to my soul.
or the student have always been a Christian, share how
being an Adventist has added a special dimension of meaning
and purpose to your life. Then share a favorite scripture.
As you take time to get acquainted, your student will become your friend. This
will help your student to relax and be more comfortable with you. The prayer
time will help your student to realize the presence of God. Following the prayer,
introduce the lesson, so that your student knows the purpose of the study.
At the end, if possible, supply books for the student to read on the subject
of your study.
support and acceptance are an important part of the study
and fellowship. For improvement and growth, ask for feedback.
Be open and truthful in your communication and your will
discover the joy and excitement of true friendship and
caring. Part of support and encouragement is listening;
listening is important in a Bible study setting. By listening,
we hear the deeper cries for help and understanding. True
listening communicates the message, “I accept you,
and I value your opinion.” It’s a gift of ourselves
we can give to someone.
that to present information in a forceful, argumentative
manner is destructive. Let the information shared be combined
with a life completely surrendered to Jesus Christ. Then
add deep, earnest, intercessory prayer for the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit to bless your efforts. It is important
to help the student to keep the love of and for our Savior
strong. The best way to do this is to help him or her to
exercise it by prayer and study and sharing and by being
involved in church life as a participant, and sharing the
good news with neighbors, friends, and relatives.
the student to understand that all of us need the grace
of Christ, so realize that those who worship with you are
not perfect. They may see flaws and imperfections, but
remember, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.” Keep in mind that Bible
study is designed to lead a person into a saving relationship
with Christ and into church fellowship; the Holy Spirit
will work with the individual in the process of sanctification.
of a Bible Study
are five principle parts to a Bible study:
acquainted time... Your Bible student must become
your friend. So take a few minutes at the beginning
of each study time to deepen your friendship.
the lesson and pray... A short introduction of
your subject of study will help your student to know
the purpose of the study. Then begin your study time
with a sincere prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit’s
guidance in your study of God’s Word.
study... The question and answer approach, allowing
the student to read the Bible text answer, will help
to keep the interest of the student. It will also help
to establish confidence in the Word of God. Avoid disagreeing
on a point of doctrine until you have had time to study
it thoroughly from the Bible. It may be explained in
a future lesson. It is important to remember that it
is the work of the Holy Spirit to convince the student
of his or her need of Christ and His teachings. Whatever
subject is being presented, uplift Jesus as the center
of all hope. Remember, the wonderful love of Christ
will reach the heart, when the mere reiteration of
doctrine would accomplish nothing.
and prayer... Begin
with the very first lesson to ask a commitment question
at the conclusion of your study time. You may often
give a brief personal testimony that will encourage
your student in his or her commitment. Seal the commitment
with prayer. Encourage your student to pray when he/she
feels comfortable doing so.
appointment time and leaving… It
is best to leave after your prayer time without visiting
except to confirm your next appointment time. At the
appropriate time, you will want to invite your student
to attend church or an evangelistic meeting with you.
you are giving a Bible study and walking the student through
the process of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, it
is helpful to share your experience, inviting her to join
PROJECT B=B: BIBLE EQUALS BAPTISM
years ago, Edit Fonseca from the Southern Parana Conference,
Brazil, dreamed of and began a Bible study program she
called “Project B=B” or “Bible=Baptism.” It
has been highly successful and many have been baptized
as a result all though South America. It is an excellent
way to give women opportunities to work for their family,
friends, and neighbors in one-on-one Bible studies.
is how they conduct the program in South America. First,
there is prayer. They pray about Project B=B specifically
in their Women’s Ministries meetings. They pray before,
during the initial project, and as the project continues.
Next, they schedule an interview with the pastors/elders to explain the project
and to negotiate the purchase of Bibles through the church, or other means.
They schedule the date of this kick-off event. The date should be on any Sabbath
during the first part of the year so that there will be enough time to finish
all of the Bible studies by the end of the year. Preference could be given
to one of the two special dates for Women’s Ministries that are already
on the church calendar:
Sabbath in March – International Women’s
Day of Prayer
2nd Sabbath in June – Women’s Ministry Emphasis Day
then prepare their material, copying the Project B=B enrollment
card to be handed to each person who will participate
a kick-off date is finalized, they begin to advertise the
they plan can include testimonies, congregational singing,
special songs, informative talks about Women’s Ministries,
local and world wide Women’s Ministries news, interviews,
The Women’s Ministries director or another person will speak about the
happiness of sharing Christ’s message with others. She includes personal
experiences of members who are giving Bible studies or holding evangelistic
series and the results of these efforts.
asks each person present (women, men, youth, elderly) to
think of a relative or friend who would be happier if they
studied the Word of God. She then explains that Women’s
Ministries has a plan to help reach this person. She emphasizes
that each person who participates takes a Bible, Bible
study guides, and the baptismal certificate. The leadership
and planning committee then asks each person to make a
the Bible with one person
this person for baptism by the end of the year.
and the Bible studies do not belong to the person who received
them in the church but to the person who needs to be reached
by the message.
of the person who will receive the Bible studies will become
part of the prayer list at the Wednesday evening worship
and/or the women’s prayer group’s prayer list.
in charge of the program request that those who took the
Bible and the Bible studies remain in the front after they
have heard the above instructions and have filled out and
returned the Project B=B Enrollment card. All are asked
to raise their Bible and the Bible studies high. A Bible
promise is read and if possible a picture is taken of the
group. Then the Pastor is invited to say a few words to
motivate the group and to offer a prayer of consecration
for the group and their work.
person who takes a Bible and Bible studies will be supervised
in their missionary work by the Women’s Ministries
leader of the church, mission or conference. These directors
will regularly send correspondence and bulletins or they
will maintain contact by phone. Whenever a doubt or difficulty
arises during the studies, immediate help can be received
because of this regular contact.
study student is asked to study in the new Bible without
underlining, marking, or writing even his or her name.
The Bible will only permanently belong to the interested
person on the day of her or his baptism or graduation.
(There are those who decide to be baptized long after the
studies have finished.)
someone who is studying the Bible asks to be baptized,
this person should be directed to the pastor. Any doctrinal
questions that this person may have should be clarified.
do the women have a special service to begin the Project
B=B, but a special ceremony for the closing/baptismal service.
They organize the Bibles and Bible studies on a front table.
They have the Project B=B enrollment cards and the baptismal
certificates on hand.
should be wrapped in beautiful paper with a lovely bow
and given after the baptism to the person who studied it.
A Bible Marking Plan should be given with the Bible. You
may want to write a dedication in the Bible, writing a
discipleship begins. After the baptism a class of new members
can be formed, or these new members can be studied with
individually. However, this time the study will be with
the Bible Marking Plan. Students will be taught how to
use this plan correctly. This reinforces the topics learned
before baptism. It is also the beginning of preparing the
new member to teach others.
end of the Bible Marking Plan study, there could be a graduation
where the certificates for the completed course will be
given along with a new Bible and a series of the Bible
studies, a Project B=B Enrollment card and a blank Baptismal
Certificate so that the new member can continue with Project
C. SMALL GROUP EVANGELISM
the most successful types of Bible studies is the small
group study. There are a number of reasons for its success:
are often less intimidated by small groups and more willing
can be held in more convenient, close-to-home locations
group can provide a feeling of caring and nurture
have a better opportunity to study at their own pace
small group creates a natural group for continued discipling
planning for a small group study, it is essential to include
- getting acquainted
study - learning about God’s Word
- asking for God’s assistance
time - meeting outside the group
- doing something for someone else
inviting people to a group Bible study, begin praying that
God will attract the group members He wants and that He
will enable you to lead and encourage the group.
the goals of a small group Bible study would be to create
an atmosphere of love and acceptance which stimulates discoveries
and freedom to speak about the Bible without fear of embarrassment
or criticism. This will foster positive Christian fellowship.
best to personally invite potential group members. Be specific
about the details of the study by telling them what you
are planning to do, when you plan to meet and how many
weeks the course of study will require. One way to start
a group Bible study in your neighborhood is to invite several
people to your home for refreshments. At that time tell
them of your interest in starting a small group Bible study
and invite them to join you. A good group size is six,
but if your group is smaller, God has promised to be with
you (Matthew 18:20). Keep to the time schedule. Agree on
the length of each session. Take time at the beginning
of the study to get acquainted. You might ask each one
to briefly share his or her spiritual journey. Ask God,
by His Spirit, to guide the study time. Mention that the
purpose of Bible study is not only to become acquainted
with biblical principles, but more essential, to become
intimate friends with a Person, Jesus Christ.
purpose of the small study group must be to encourage learning
about Jesus and the joy in following the footsteps of the
Master Teacher. Set up the direction of the subject being
considered with a get-acquainted-type question at the beginning
of each study. Give a clear, simple statement of purpose
when you introduce each study or activity. Take time to
get acquainted, share prayer concerns, and interest in
the students. Reserve a time for prayer for the concerns
and needs of the group.
small group Bible study can be a time to learn to pray
together and to bear the burdens of others. It will encourage
spiritual growth. Encourage spontaneous prayer response
participation at the close of the study or at any time
during the study that would be helpful.
environment for the group is important too. Encourage
a friendly atmosphere, with good lighting and good ventilation.
Find a place that is not uncomfortably warm or cold.
Meet in a circle for good eye contact if possible. Guard
against distractions as much as possible. Pets, children,
television or radios could take away attention from the
study. Arrange babysitting if needed.
a group facilitator but encourage others in the group
to provide suggestions. Cultivate a kind and encouraging
attitude without the spirit of competition or criticism.
Keep in mind that the focus of the attention is not on
the facilitator, but the Bible. Allow the Holy Spirit
to make application according to each member’s
needs. The facilitator should try to stimulate discussion
with questions of varying difficulty so that all will
be helped. It is a good idea to have an assistant facilitator—or
train one—so that if you have an emergency, there
will be no interruption in the group study time.
sensitive—try to keep from any embarrassing situation
that might arise. Allow the more quiet members of the
group to observe until they feel comfortable to share
in the group. But help the dominant or critical person
to be considerate of the others. Only ask a person directly
about his or her personal application when it would benefit
because of prayer time and scripture application, group
members may reveal personal items so it is essential
to keep confidentially in the group. It would be well
to remind the group of this each time. If someone talks
about these things outside the group, it may well kill
the study group.
outline will give direction to the study and keep the interest
of the group members. When reading the Word of God ask
questions such as these (then allow the group to share
does it say about God?
does it say about me?
does it ask me to respond?
did it say to the people to whom it was written?
can it be applied to our lives?
did you learn? observe? discover?
have a women’s study group, ask: How does this
passage apply especially to women?
sincere compliments as group members respond and share
what they have learned from the study time. Approval and
recognition stimulates others to greater activity. To involve
others in the group or if someone has given a wrong answer,
you might ask: What did others of you find? or What
did someone else discover? or What do the rest
of you think?
discussion wanders too much from the topic you could say: What
we’ve been discussing is interesting; perhaps we
could discuss this more at another time. Then present
a thought-provoking question that draws the group back
to the topic of study.
good listening. Be patient, give members time to think.
Avoid tension or conflict by pointing members to the Word
of God as the final authority, instead of tradition or
hesitate to say, “I don’t know.” Be willing
to find the answer, or have the group try to find information
on the subject.
aids when possible to add clarity to your subject.
a response time at the close, asking questions such as: What
did you find helpful in our study time? Or, Did you learn
anything new in our study time? Then thank them for
sharing their thoughts.
the Bible study, a time of prayer might include a time
of praise, petition and thanksgiving. Encourage every member
in the group to pray, responding to the study time or the
needs of the group. Prayers can be brief and spontaneous.
Let the group know that moments of silence are good times
for letting God impress them with His presence.
number of people in the group grows, make plans for starting
D. SEMINAR STYLE EVANGELISM
style evangelism is more formal than one-on-one Bible studies
or relational small groups but not as formal as a full
scale evangelistic meeting; seminar style invites more
dialogue and participation than you would ordinarily have
in an evangelistic meeting. I have seen women do well in
leading and organizing a seminar. A seminar can be small
like a small group or large enough to fill a large church
or auditorium. The style sets it off.
of these seminars can be held in a large room or auditorium;
people who are unacquainted with Seventh-day Adventists
sometimes feel more comfortable going to seminars in an
auditorium. If you are in a hall, you will have to transfer
to the church at some time. If you transfer at least one
week before you present the Sabbath, people may not feel
that you have transferred just to present the Adventist
doctrine. You can transfer sooner if you are not a great
distance from the church. If there is more distance, you
need more time to make sure people are interested before
can be adapted to be used in a home. Women do particularly
well in this type of setting. One of the Revelation seminars
has a home series. Some of the seminars mentioned above
are translated into French, Korean, Spanish, Ukrainian,
and Russian. Most of these seminars are written to contain
the beliefs and doctrines of the Church and yet follow
a book or topic of the Bible in an orderly fashion.
Do You Prepare for a Seminar?
of the preparation for seminar meetings will be the same
as for an evangelistic meeting. One exception is that the
presenter will be more of a lecturer or teacher than an
evangelist or preacher. Many ladies excel in this type
of evangelism. Many of them have already been trained to
be teachers, and others are good lecturers.
is all printed and out there waiting for you to use although
some of it may have to be translated. You may also have
to adapt the material and illustrations to the thinking
and way of doing things in your culture and area.
are other types of adapting you may have to do as well.
For instance, in some places it would be ideal to be able
to give a Bible to each person who comes, but in some places
the cost would be too prohibitive. In that case you would
need some other way to teach the Bible to these people.
Perhaps you could write out the text on a blackboard, or
project them on slides or make them available to the people
in whatever way is practical to you. Evangelism can be
successful wherever an evangelist can communicate with
the people even if all that she has is a Bible and picture
rolls. God will bless you even in very simple, inexpensive
helps if women work together in evangelism. We can encourage
each other, and help each other with ideas. We can also
pray together for the interested people and for each other.
We can keep each other accountable to God. Through the
guidance of the Lord, when women get together for some
good purpose, they can accomplish much, even more than
need lay persons with good social skills to greet, others
with detail skills to manage the book work, and run the
book table, others who will set up chairs and tables and
take care of them after the meetings, and still others
who will manage the public address and audio visual systems
such as the projectors, blackboards, et cetera.
evangelism can be greatly enhanced when evangelistic-minded
women from the church come to the seminar with the primary
purpose of making friends with the people who are attending
the seminar. It would even be better if they found their
own friends, family, and neighbors and went with them to
the seminar each night. Statistics say that people are
more apt to join the church if they have friends in the
church, and friendship with the people is vital if they
are going to stay in the church. Training on how to make
friends is good preparation for a seminar.
Keys to Success
are four vital keys to the success of any evangelistic
endeavor, but especially important when conducting seminars:
partners praying for the success of each and every meeting,
even while the meeting is going on.
need to hear you say over and over again that you interpret
the Bible (exampleCDaniel) by what the Bible says; that
you let the Bible explain itself. We don’t go by
human teachings, we don’t listen to preachers,
we don’t look at current events to find how to
interpret the Scriptures …we let the Bible explain
is of utmost necessity that you make clear to people
who are coming to the seminar that your purpose is
to uplift Jesus Christ. Talk of Jesus; let the folk
know that you love Jesus, that you have a personal relationship
with Him and that you want them to have that same personal
relationship with Jesus. This cannot be overemphasized.
An intimate relationship with Jesus is vital for them
to go through the end time and enter into the kingdom
with them that our purpose in studying last-day events
is not to just have a detailed understanding of the last
days, but also to help them be prepared for that time.
Let them know that you’re more concerned about
their preparation for the day of the Lord than you are
with the exact order of events that may be taking place.
Evangelistic Team at Work
not wise to try to do an evangelistic seminar by yourself.
Others need the experience and the blessing. And not everyone’s
spiritual gifts are the same and many different talents
and personalities are needed in a successful program. Knowing
what needs to be done will help you to find individuals
who can help make the program a success. Another reason
to involve many people is so they will develop friendships
with the people who will be coming.
are asked to help with registration or with setting up
or tearing down of the seminar remember that those jobs
are secondary. Your first priority is to build relationships
with the people who come. Select two or three people the
first night to be your special people without neglecting
to be friends with every one. It just happens that you
will probably only have time to be close to two or three.
get to know the visitors, sit with them in the seminar,
learn their names and call them when they miss a night
- not to get after them for not coming, but to show an
interest in them, to show that you really care.
you are talking to people, don’t share subjects that
are ahead of where they are in the lessons. Wait until
after they have studied it and heard the topic at the seminar
before you answer their questions. Or you may refer them
to an instructor. You will not want to show off your Bible
knowledge in the seminar by letting everyone know what
is coming. If you do ask questions make sure that they
are on the subject. Wait to talk about Ellen White until
they have studied about her in the lessons. These new people
are like babies. It takes awhile to learn about everything.
with the guests when they have to struggle with the truth.
A listening ear will really help. Condemning someone only
hurts. It will help, if you know of some of the problems
that the people are experiencing, to share it with the
all, you are there to be a friend. Know these people better
than the instructor does, so that if the instructor has
to leave, the people will feel that they have a friend
that they really know well.
visitors first come on Sabbath, invite them home to dinner
if possible. Let them see from you how they can keep a
Leader’s Instruction Sheet
instructions for leading an evangelistic seminar were written
by Gary Allen who came into the church through a Revelation
seminar, and subsequently held his own Revelation seminars.
You will find that leadership for small groups, seminars,
and even evangelistic meetings, grow out of the fruit (new
members) of your evangelistic work. It will take training
to develop these men and women and youth into leaders,
but it is well worth it.
overhead projector and screen or equivalent visual aids
such as a computer and video projector or large TV, or
blackboard, or some other chart. Arrange for your partner
to operate it for you during the presentation. Check the
hall out ahead of time to be certain there are the necessary
tables, chairs, and equipment, and the requirements for
cleaning after the meeting
before your seminar begins, call the people registered
and confirm their reservation. Make sure they know where
the seminar will be held and have directions how to get
night and the first few nights, put a welcome poster in
the front yard and if needed another one on the main street
to direct people to the house, or at the main door of the
hall and by the room you are meeting in. You could put
directional arrows pointing the way to the meeting.
make sure it is clear to your attendees the first night
that the seminar materials are free—the only obligation
is that they finish the class. If something comes up that
makes it impossible to finish, the materials should be
returned. (For the sake of good will, it may be that you
will not require them to return the materials when you
come to the last seminar lessons.)
advises that you make certain that the hall will be opened
for you at least one hour before your meeting begins for
the first night. If you are meeting in a home, be ready
for guests to arrive at least one half hour before starting
time. At each place put the first two lessons, survey
sheet, pen, ruler, binder, Bible and two handbills.
If in a home, have them arranged in sets to give to people
as they register, or place them on the chairs.
nights, place on the table only the next night’s
lesson and a quiz and offering envelope.
After that, have past lessons and a few Bibles always
available for new registrants. Have one of your helpers
in charge of new registrants.
your assigned lay helpers and make certain you have enough
help for your expected crowd. For opening night, you should
plan on two helpers for every 10-15 pre-Adventists expected.
Meet with your helpers ahead of time and go over their
duties; it is good to give them each written as well as
oral instructions with expectations for each job. Remind
your helpers that their main reason for being there is
to make friends with the new people.
to keep accurate and up-to-date attendance and money records.
After each visit, record pertinent information on the back
of the attendance card. Each evening, fill out the report.
few nights, encourage people to bring friends each night.
Tell them registration will be kept open for these first
that the people are to do the lessons ahead of time so
that you can just go over it in the session.
to make clear on opening night—and regularly thereafter—that
this is a prelude to a more detailed presentation beginning
later if you plan to follow up with an evangelistic series
and not finish the lessons in class.
is your key to success. It is as friendships are developed
and people have an opportunity to share that you are able
to more fully and genuinely share the gospel.
DISCIPLINING NEW MEMBERS
are intimately involved in the birth process. Almost all
women love babies. And most of the care for babies is done
by women. So it seems entirely appropriate that women should
be involved in the process of discipling. But any woman
who has had a baby will also tell you that giving birth
is painful and raising children is hard work.
did not forget the pain of birth, no woman would have more
than one child. Giving Bible studies is also hard work.
Evangelism is hard work. We probably would do it only once
if it were not for the joy that comes when someone with
whom we have worked is baptized. Angels shout for joy.
But just as we do not abandon a baby at birth, we must
not abandon the newly baptized soul.
28, Jesus tells us to do four things: 1) go; 2) make disciples;
3) baptize; and 4) “teach them to obey everything
I have commanded you.” As a church we do well with
numbers one and three; we do fairly well with number four
before baptism. But after baptism, we do not teach or disciple
very well. This is one of the reasons we lose so many members.
Corinthians 3:2, Paul says that the Corinthians are “mere
infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for
you were not yet ready for it.” We need to be careful
not to assume that just because a person is baptized, they
are mature Christians, ready for solid spiritual food.
We must teach and model the joy of salvation. We must be
examples, be patient, be loving. And we must teach them
to go prepare others for baptism.
who have newly come to the faith should be patiently
and tenderly dealt with, and it is the duty of the
older members of the church to devise ways and means
to provide help and sympathy and instruction for those
who have conscientiously withdrawn from other churches
for the truth’s sake, and thus cut themselves
off from the pastoral labor to which they have been
individuals have been converted to the truth, they
need to be looked after. These newly converted ones
need nursing, – watchful attention, help, and
encouragement. These should not be left alone, prey
to Satan’s most powerful temptations; they need
to be educated in regard to their duties, to be kindly
dealt with, to be led along, and to be apportioned
to every man in due season.” —Evangelism,
New Members Feel at Home
resist change. Change is hard. But when people are baptized,
we ask them to change churches, or if they have not been
a church member, to become one, an even harder change.
We ask them to change their day of worship, the food they
eat, what they drink, their recreation, sometimes their
friends, and perhaps their job. We need to be patient and
helpful during this process.
the best ways to help them face all this change, to help
them become mature Christians, is to be their friend or
at least see to it that they have new friends. Studies
show that a person needs to have at least six or more friends
in a church or organization before they feel at home and
are willing to stay. So an important part in discipling
is to help the new member make new friends:
a new member committee – This committee is responsible
for the integration of new members. They would also assign
special friends (spiritual guardians) to each new member,
and monitor them to see that they are functioning.
member banquet – Meets once or twice a year where
new members are featured. The special friends would introduce
these new members to the congregation and tell them about
their interests, hobbies, and how they came into the
church etc. This committee should have members that are
member visitation –
1. Once a week during the first month
2. Once a month for the first year
3. Leave special books: morning watch books, Spirit of Prophecy books, magazines, I
Chose Adventism, Beyond Baptism, etc.
for any indication of problems or adjustment (such as:
absence from Sabbath School or church, or a failure to
make friends). Don’t be surprised at what some
may do even after baptism. It is difficult to change
lifestyles overnight. Be kind. Don’t condemn. Stay
with them. Keep them reading and studying.
Assimilating New Members into Church Groups
New Members into Church Groups
the new believers with someone who can be close to them
by age, interests etc. If someone has brought them in or
is already close to them, they would be the natural one
to be the friend/guardian.
best to call them special friends instead of guardians.
The friend needs to be accountable to someone else who
will make sure that they are functioning as friends. In
fact it would even be better if they had two special friends.
Then if one friendship did not develop, the other one could.
introduction to the church is a New Believers Retreat.
This can be conference-wide or local. Much of the Adventist
lifestyle and attitudes are easily and pleasantly accepted
in a retreat setting. It’s easy to learn how to keep
the Sabbath when you are keeping it with others. It is
more fun to try out a new diet when you try it out with
friendships are formed that help these people truly feel
like they are at home. A support network of friends will
help new believers be accountable and help them weather
the hard times. It is a pleasant medium for training and
equipping new members so they become reproducing disciples.
Inviting new members to Sabbath dinner or lunch is also
important. You can always have a pot luck at church for
the visitors and new and old members each week at church
and it helps to start bonds of friendships with the older,
more mature members. But sometimes the shy, unattractive,
and “different” people end up being left out
and have a hard time establishing friendships in the church.
They are the ones that are the most apt to leave the church
in the future.
solution would be for one or two families, or singles,
to invite the new members over to their homes where friendships
can more easily be developed. The focus would be on friendship
and less on entertainment. Having people over and showing
them kindness, love, and attention is more important than
worrying about what you will have to feed them. And sometimes
you can do things together that will not involve food.
and Equipping New Members
A person is not really a full participating member until he/she becomes a reproducing
disciple. If we want disciples in our church we will need to teach them before
the baptism and teach and train them afterwards. This training should include:
classes in doctrines – People cannot comprehend the
whole message the first time that they hear the gospel.
We cannot expect them to completely understand the sanctuary
doctrine and the 2300 days the first time they hear and
accept it. They must hear it again and again.
classes for the new believers could be held during Sabbath
school class time, or prayer meeting time or Sabbath afternoons—any
time that is convenient for the new believers. They could
follow Bible study guides that were not used before they
were baptized, or some of the full message seminars, or
go through the fundamental beliefs book, etc. They could
even invite some of their friends, families, and neighbors
to these seminars.
them how to study the Bible and pray. There are many good
books and seminars on prayer and Bible study. An experienced
Bible student and Christian could go through some of the
books and seminars with them.
But most of all it is important to actually study the Bible and pray with them,
first modeling how it is done and then helping them pick out the Bible topics,
and books, or chapters they would like to study and coach them through it.
Help them to keep uppermost in their minds the goal of finding out what God
is like, what His character is like, and how we can become like Him.
also important to help them become accountable to others
in their spiritual life. A small group can be very favorable
for helping people to become accountable to each other
and to lovingly encourage them in their efforts to change
or special friend or prayer partner/s can also help to
witnessing potential for new believers is during the first
three years that they are in the church. After that, most
of their friends will be church friends, and they will
have less potential contacts of people they know outside
of the church.
them how to give a gospel presentation and to share their
own experience in accepting Christ or their current experience
with Christ. This can be easily learned in a small relational
group situation. Give them pointers, as they learn our
wonderful truths, on how to tactfully share what they have
important to have opportunities for them to bring their
friends, relatives, and neighbors to non-threatening events,
seminars, and ministries that are held or sponsored by
to have lay- person-led Bible studies, small groups, or
seminars in their homes where they can invite their friends,
relatives, and neighbors.
meeting can be evangelistic and an opportunity for them
to invite their extended family. Have on-going seminars
or classes on witnessing. You can use some of the materials
that are available in your division or country, or even
some of the material that we have in this manual.
important that you provide opportunities for them to witness
as you train them in classes and take them with you as
an apprentice in your witnessing. First model the witnessing
and then encourage them as they first try. Be positive
in your encouragement.
not put each of our new members in a box expecting them
to witness in exactly the same way, or to do the same exact
thing for the Lord, or work in the same exact ministries
as the other church members in the church. God has given
each believer spiritual gifts, talents and abilities for “the
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come
in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12,
talents and gifts are not for us to waste on ourselves
for our pleasure only, but they are for finishing and proclaiming
the Gospel whether it be in or out of the church.
our new members are encouraged and trained to discover
their spiritual gifts and use these with their talents
and abilities in a ministry that fits their gifts, they
will have great joy and satisfaction and will bless the
church and the community with greater good than if they
were required to perform the same sort of ministry as each
and every member around them.
train our new members and help them discover their spiritual
gifts. Have spiritual gifts seminars or classes often so
that new members and transfer members can discover their
must we provide opportunities for our new members to try
out their spiritual gifts, but we must actively seek to
place each new member in a ministry or task that fits their
gifts within the first six months that they are in the
be well if each church had a spiritual gifts coordinator
who would interview each new member after she/he takes
the training and work with that member in guiding them
into the right role or task that fits each one. The coordinator
would also lovingly work with them if the placement needed
to be adjusted.
take time for the new members to change their lifestyles,
to become more health conscious and to change their eating,
exercise, and other health habits. Training is needed to
help them in these areas. This is an excellent time for
seminars such as suggested under Ministry Ideas in response
to the Challenge issues. Usually the new members are anxious
and willing to make these changes if proper, tactful modeling
and training takes place. Many times it is not enough to
just tell the people how to change their diets—we
must show them how and invite them into our homes for meals
and even invite them to share the preparation, before they
can feel comfortable making the changes in their own lives.
you talk about changes do not magnify what they are giving
up, but focus on what they are gaining from embracing a
hold these health seminars for new members, you can also
encourage them to invite their extended family members
to come with them to the seminars.
the most difficult lifestyle changes, of course, is the
Sabbath. Time should be spent discussing why God gave us
the Sabbath. We must emphasize over and over again that God
gave us the Sabbath so that we could have quality time
with Him to develop a strong intimate relationship with
Him. Our new people will not have much trouble with
what activities they engage in on Sabbath if they will
decide what to do on the basis that God is personally with
them on that day and wants them to focus on Him and be
time should be spent personally and in classes or seminars
talking about how to prepare for the Sabbath, and what
can be done on the Sabbath. Keep the focus on the positive.
of the best ways to help a new member know how to keep
the Sabbath is to let them keep it with you in your home.
Invite them over for sundown worship on Friday night. Have
them over for Sabbath meals and take them with you Sabbath
afternoon as you minister to others, worship together,
go out in nature together, and finally close the Sabbath
together. (A special friend or mentor could be the person
that does this with the new member, or it could be a group
of people that takes in the new member)
I be involved?
possible for women to be involved in evangelism? Absolutely!
Will the world be warned without women taking an active
part? Not in our lifetime, or perhaps ever! Let us let
the Holy Spirit, that wonderful gift from the Lord, burn
in our hearts, empowering us to help finish the work, to
hasten the coming of the Lord.
so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).