Insights #02 April 14, 2012
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Insights #02 April 14, 2012
Second Quarter 2012 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
“Every Member Ministry”
For the week of April 8-14, 2012

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching 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’” (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, page 143).

This week’s lesson shows how Christ’s method involves working together as a team, sharing our testimonies and stories, reporting to the body on our activities, and the indispensable importance of training and organization. Wednesday’s lesson says that God has “taken the initiative in the salvation of mankind” and that a realization of God’s blessings to us “creates in us a desire to share that which we have freely received.”

Recently I purchased the book Welfare Ministry and read it for the first time. What a blessing! This book is packed with ideas for witnessing and evangelism utilizing “Christ’s method alone.” 

In Small Gatherings ...............................................................................................................................................   
“By being social and coming close to the people, you may turn the current of their thoughts more readily than by the most able discourse. The presentation of Christ in the family, by the fireside, and in small gatherings in private houses is often more successful in winning souls to Jesus than are sermons delivered in the open air, to the moving throng, or even in halls or churches”  (Ellen White, Welfare Ministry page 91).

This past Friday night we hosted an “appreciation supper” in our home for those who had helped out in the recent community vegetarian supper held at our church. The Lord provided the help we needed.  We were blessed by the able assistance of a Buddhist couple, a Baptist couple, a non-denominational Christian woman, and of course our Adventist brothers and sisters. Our guests lingered as the hour of Sabbath drew near.

We invited our guests to join us in welcoming the Sabbath, and all of them accepted the invitation. We sang familiar hymns together then started around the circle to share what we were thankful for. Our testimony-praise time lasted more than an hour, as one after another recounted how God had blessed them that week. 

Our Baptist friends confessed, “We have experienced God working in our lives by breaking down the walls that we had erected in our own minds against you Adventists. We can see that you all are Christians, too.”

Our Christian friend shared how she has been blessed by the health classes we have offered at our church over the years, and now, she said, “I think I want to go to your church tomorrow. In fact, I think I want to join your church.” True to her word, she was at church the next day, and now she is asking more about what we believe.

Our Buddhist friends are very giving people who share our passion for helping others to become healthy. They encourage people to adopt a vegetarian diet. In broken English the wife said, “I did not know about the seven-day, but I like the people I worked with this week. I work hard, but I have much joy cooking at the seven-day church.”

After all the testimonies were finished, we read from God’s word, then knelt in a circle on our living room floor – Baptists, Christians, Buddhists, and Seventh-day Adventists, joining hands as we prayed to God in thanksgiving for all the blessings of the week. 

Christ’s methods work! The idea of witnessing and evangelism may seem intimidating, but when we work along the lines that Christ did, we will find our true joy. Instead of being onerous, witnessing becomes addictive. We will actively seek to learn, refine, and improve our methods.  Interacting with others will bring the thrill of seeing souls won to His kingdom for eternity! Our faith will take on a whole new meaning when we utilize Christ’s method for reaching souls. His way brings us, as well as those we seek to serve, face to face with the gospel of Christ.

The solution for church troubles and disagreements is doing something for others. There are hurting people everywhere. Organization, teamwork, praying for lost souls, and devising new plans to reach these souls will bind the hearts of conservatives and liberals and every other church faction together in love. One common goal will motivate each member – that of reaching our community for Christ, one person at a time.
When churches awaken to the opportunities at their doorsteps and in their neighborhoods, they will be transformed. This is happening in our church right now, and it is the precious fruit of the gospel in action.I encourage you to read Welfare Ministry and be inspired to do something for the Lord. Your life will be changed forever. Life is so short. Jesus is coming soon. Let’s work as hard and as fast and as wisely as we can to win as many souls as possible for Him. 
                                                                                                                                                                     --Patti Guthrie
Take God at His word – “Fear not” – and step out into the world that is waiting to hear the good news!