Session 1 – Ministry: Saved to Serve

MINISTRY: SAVED TO SERVE

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on 2 Tim 1:9
 
Read/Watch:
 

We Serve God Because We are Saved by Him

We were saved to serve God. The Bible says, “It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan” (2 Timothy 1:9a TLB).  
 
God redeemed us so we could do his “holy work” for the glory and mission of His church. We are not saved by service but we are saved for service. 
 
We are created to make a difference with our lives. Not to be mere consumers but created to add to life on earth. We were created and saved to serve God. God redeemed us so that we could participate in His work. It is through serving in a ministry that we discover our significance and meaning of our lives. (Rom12:5)
 
God has a special design plan for everyone.  In His Kingdom, every Christian has a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to fulfil. This gives the Christian life great significance and value. Jesus paid with his own life to purchase our salvation and the Bible reminds us, “God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God” (1 Corinthians 6:20 CEV).
 
We don’t serve God out of guilt or fear or even duty but out of joy and deep gratitude for what he’s done for us. We owe him our lives. The apostle John taught that our loving service to others shows that we are truly saved. He said, “Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life” (1 John 3:14 CEV).  
 
If we have no love for others, no desire to serve others, and we’re only concerned about our needs, we should question whether Christ is really in our life.
 
A saved heart is one that wants to serve.
 

What is the definition of ministry?

It comes from the Greek word “diakonos” which means “to serve” and “to minister.”  
Ministry is using whatever God has given me to serve Him and the needs of others.  
 

Total Member Involvement

Everyone can do something to hasten the coming of Jesus!
“We have no time to lose. Every moment is golden and altogether too precious to be devoted merely to self-serving.  “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their effort with those of ministers and church officers.” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, page 116
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
Share a moment in your life when you knew God was real.
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Study 2 Tim 1:9-14.
From the verses above, what are the key teaching points on why we are saved for service? Share and discuss.
 
Share two key quotations that God is using the author (Ellen White) to speak to you.
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. Many members are holding back from accepting God’s call to serve Him in the church. Share some reasons why.
 
2. How did you start serving in ministry? Did you meet any obstacles? What joy have you experienced so far? Describe your experience.
 
3. If you have not served in any ministry before, share your reasons. List out ministries that may interest you. 
 
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

1. To serve out of gratitude for Jesus’ love in us
2. To appreciate God’s love for me more and more each day
3. To have a heart for ministry and reaching the lost
 
 
LEADER’S TIP
 
It’s crucial that leaders help members at the beginning of Term 2 in this Discipleship Pathway to begin engaging in AT LEAST one ministry in the local church.  If a member is not aware of what area to serve, bring the member to meet the pastor or ministry leader and “try-out” if it fits the person’s gifting and abilities.  
 
Some ministries in the local church are not about spiritual-gifting or natural abilities, it’s about a serving attitude, for example, washing dishes or stacking chairs or helping to serve the lunch. Whatever the member’s background, every member must find a way to serve the church meaningfully.
 
Pray:
  1. For the advancement of the Gospel in hard-to-reach areas of the world
  2. For fortitude on behalf of workers who are currently serving.
  3. That God will show you how you can work in His vineyard.
  4. For and Support Adventist Mission and indigenous workers in unentered areas.
Here are other ways members can be involved:
  • Support HOPE SINGAPORE so their work can continue over the airwaves.
  • Participate in local and institutional health outreach events, such as Pay It Forward, etc.
  • Get involved in a cell/care group, or church outreach event.
  • Help with these ministries in your local church: Children, Youth, Young Adults, Pathfinder, Culinary, Sabbath School, Worship, Community Service projects, etc.
  • Volunteer with evangelistic events, Revelation Seminars or Prophecy Seminars, bible study groups, etc.
  • Befriend new members and nurture them.
 
**Additional Resources
  1. TMI resources
  2. Essential Keys to Members’ Involvement 

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Session 2 – Commitment in Ministry

COMMITMENT IN MINISTRY

~Empowered by the Holy Spirit~

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47
 
Read:
 
Watch:
 

What happens when the Holy Spirit convicts a believer?

The clearest example is found in Acts 1:8 where the entire church is mobilized for ministry and mission.  
Acts 2 gives a preview of what happens to the Christian church when every member’s life is truly transformed by the Spirit of God and the church grows and multiplies.  
And the Holy Spirit seals our commitment to God for the advancement of God’s mission on earth.
 

What then is Christian commitment?

Commitment can be defined as the decision to do what needs to be done, whatever the cost— a definition that characterizes countless heroes throughout history.
Christian commitment, however, can best be defined by starting with God’s examples.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  God decided to save a lost world. The cost was the cruel, despicable death of His only Son. What made this commitment Christian? Because it was inspired by love, the love defined by Jesus. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ ” (John 15:13).
 

How does this apply to the followers of Jesus?

Jesus asked Peter three times in John 21 “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter replied three times “Yes, Lord, you know I love you…” Three times Jesus said to Peter, “feed my lambs” once and twice “feed my sheep.” Then he told Peter the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then Jesus said to him ‘Follow me’ ” (John 21:15–19).
Following Jesus, or feeding His lambs and His sheep—this was Peter’s mission. And love inspired him to fulfil it. While Peter didn’t quite understand the mission when he first became a disciple, he grew in love and became one of the founders of the Christian church—a commitment that, in the end, cost him his life.  Therefore, spiritual commitment reflects a personal depth of faith and is manifested in both attitudes and behaviours.
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
Tell about a time you felt “all-in” for God.
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. As you study Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:41-48, share your discoveries of the characteristics of the early church that is the model for us today.
 
2. As you read the Acts of Apostles chapter 5 on the gift of the Spirit, share with the group two key points you have learnt from the chapter that God had spoken to you.
 
3. Study 2 Timothy 1:14. What precious truth did the Holy Spirit entrust to you? Share your insights. 
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. What is keeping the Holy Spirit from doing His work in your life? Share with the group.
 
2. Explore how you can partner with the Holy Spirit to do more in your ministry in your local church.
 
3. Share two most significant areas in your life that you need to change with the help of the Holy Spirit.
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. To allow the Holy Spirit to guide and lead in my ministry
  2. To partner the Holy Spirit in my ministry
  3. To let the Holy Spirit guide and change me from the inside out
 
LEADER’S TIP
The work of the Holy Spirit is often confused or have little emphasis on the lives of every Adventist.  
As a group, discuss the works of the Holy Spirit that will seal our commitment to Jesus, and not solely based on our personal will, power or determination.
Encourage each member to recognize that the Holy Spirit will grant them different spiritual gifts, abilities, experiences, guidance, wisdom and goodness. All these gifts have one purpose – it is for the glory of God.  
Encourage the disciple to serve in his/her local church and emphasize that being involved in the life of the church is not an option but comes from a heartfelt compassion that is empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Help the disciple to understand more about the works and roles of the Holy Spirit to help him to be a better disciple for Jesus.
 
 
**Additional Resources

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Session 3 – Servanthood Attitudes

SERVANTHOOD ATTITUDES

~ In Love We Serve ~

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Philippians 2:2-9 & John 13:14-17
 
Read/Watch:
 
 

Attitudes count more than achievements.

Servanthood requires a mental shift and a change in our attitudes. God is always more interested in WHY we do something than in what we do.
 
First – Self-denial is the core of servanthood. The quality of self-forgetfulness is truly essential in developing a servanthood mentality. Real servants focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. When we stop focusing on our needs, we become aware of the needs around us. Unfortunately, a lot of our service today in our churches and societies are often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. All the time we are really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are. Some even use service as a bargaining tool with God, “God, if I do this for you, you will do this for me.”
 
Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes. 
 
Second – Real servants think like stewards, not like owners.  They remember God owns it all. In the Bible, a steward was a servant entrusted to manage an estate. It is not his, it’s God. The one thing required of such servants is that they should be faithful to their master. How are you handling the resources God has entrusted to you?
 
Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. More people are sidetracked from serving by materialism than anything else. When Jesus is your Master, money serves you, but if money is your master, you become its slave. Wealth is certainly not a sin, but failing to use it for Gods glory is.  It is said there are two types of builders – Kingdom Builders vs Wealth Builders. Both are gifted at making a business grow, making deals or sales, and making a profit.  Wealth Builders continue to amass wealth for themselves no matter how much they make. Kingdom Builders change the rules of the game. They still try to make as much money as they can but they do it in order to give it away. They use the wealth to fund God’s church and its mission in the world.
 
Third – Real servants think about their own responsibilities, not what other servants are doing. They do not compare, criticise, or compete with other servants or ministries. They are too busy doing the work God has given them.  Competition between God’s servants is illogical for many reasons: we are all on the same team, our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves. We have been given different assignments, and we are all uniquely shaped.
 
Paul said, We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. Each of us is an original.  There’s no place for petty jealousy between servants. When you’re busy serving, you don’t have time to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering.   If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The disciples criticized one of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus. Mary took the most valuable thing she owned, expensive perfume, and poured it over Jesus. Her lavish service was called “a waste” by the disciples, but Jesus called it “significant,” and that’s all that mattered. Your service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.
 
Fourth – Real servants base their identity in Christ.  They remember they are unconditionally loved and accepted by grace, so they don’t have to prove their worth when they are threatened by lowly jobs. Most of us are too insecure to be servants. We are afraid our weaknesses and insecurities will be uncovered so we hide them with layers of protective pride and pretensions.
One of the most profound examples of serving from a secure self-image is Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job devoid of status. If you’re going to be a servant you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. The more insecure you are, the more you’ll want people to serve you, and the more you’ll need their approval.
 
On the other hand, when you base your worth and identity on your relationship with Christ, you are freed from the expectation of others. You are freed to serve.
 
Finally, real servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They “serve the Lord with gladness.”
Why do we serve with gladness? Because we love the Lord, We are grateful for His grace, we know serving is the highest use of life, and God has promised a reward. Jesus promised the Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. Imagine what could happen if just 10% of all Christians in the world got serious about their role of being a real servant. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people?
 
Albert Schweitzer said, “The only really happy people are those have learned how to serve.”
 
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
If you could start any ministry, what would it be and who would it serve?
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Study Philippians 2:2-9. What are the characteristics of a servant leader as modelled by Jesus?  Share your insights.
 
2. In 1 Timothy 4: 6-15, the apostle Paul directed Timothy to train himself to be godly so that he can be equipped to serve.  Highlight a few essential qualities from this passage that are needed of a Christian servant. 
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. How have you shown your love for God by loving others this week? If you haven’t, share your reason/s why?
 
2. Is there anyone you find hard to love? Why? 
 
3. What are the areas of growth in your life that will improve your Christian service as a kingdom builder?
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and lead in my ministry.
  2. Have a servant attitude, a willingness to give all of ourselves as a servant of Jesus.
  3. Be committed to serving others as if we are serving Jesus.
  4. For the Holy Spirit to change my heart and help me love others more. 
 
LEADER’S TIP
  • Emphasize we are saved by the grace of God so that we might serve the world for Jesus.
  • Point out that there are many people in the church who served the Lord for various motives and purposes and often they are self-serving.  
  • Every disciple who is a servant-leader of Jesus must allow the Holy Spirit to calibrate their hearts and minds to be Christ-like so that the kingdom of God can be built up.  
  • Challenge members to highlight some of the faulty rationale and reasons for some who are not serving, perhaps including those within the group. 
 
 
**Additional Resources

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Session 4 – Shaped to Serve

SHAPED TO SERVE

~ The Body of Christ ~

 

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13
 

Read/Watch:

 
 

Spiritual Gifts

God has given each believer a spiritual gift to use for His glory. He wants us to be involved with His work. God is so gracious that by His Holy Spirit He freely distributes gifts to all who are saved. He not only wants us to know our spiritual gifts, but He expects us to grow in them each day.
 
Ephesians 4:7 “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
 
Also in 1 Corinthians 12:7, it says “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Then in verse 11 it states “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
So it is clear that each Christian has a spiritual gift for the common good of the church. 
 

Why do we have spiritual gifts at all?

In Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
 
Here He is sharing with us a primary purpose of the gifts of the Spirit: to give the church power in order to preach Christ to the entire world. 
 
Second, the apostle Paul says another purpose of the gifts is to equip the church for “building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). He also reminds us in 1 Corinthians 14:12 that, “So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.” Therefore, our goal should be to establish, build, and uplift the church with our gifts.
 
If you are a Christian and are not serving in some way, the church as a whole suffers. The church is called the “body of Christ” for a reason. We are connected by our faith in Jesus Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit.  Being members of the body, we need to work together.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12, it says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” And in verse 14, “For the body is not one member, but many.” 
 
Each of us is a specific body part. In verse 26, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”  Paul affirms the importance of each member and their contribution to the body of Christ. 
 
God wants to use you! 
He has chosen you for the purpose of doing great things for Him. 
In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God already has plans for you. He wants you to listen to His calling and make yourself available to serve. Not only that, He expects you to use the gifts as a faithful steward to build up the kingdom of God.
 
S – Spiritual Gifts – What has God supernaturally gifted me to do? 
H – Heart – What do I have passion for and love to do? 
A – Abilities – What natural talents and skills do I have? 
P – Personality – Where does my personality best suit me to serve? 
E – Experiences – What spiritual experiences have I had? What painful experiences have I had? What educational experiences have I had? What ministry experiences have I had? 
 
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
Share about a prayer that God answered.
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. As you study I Corinthians 12, what are the functions and purpose of spiritual gifts bestowed upon God’s people? Share your insights.
 
2. Investigate Romans 12:4-5 and Ephesians 4:11-13.
Share your insights and how the body of Christ has many parts but we all belong to one body build up the kingdom of God (Church)?  Is there a tension between unity verses diversity?
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. In what way can you see yourself passionately serving others and loving it? Do you know your spiritual gifting? How are you using it?
 
2. Do you feel that you are giving your all in fulfilling the call from God to serve His church? If not, what is holding you back?
 
3. How can you seek constructive feedback to improve your ministry and service to build up God’s church?  
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. To discover my SHAPE for ministry and do it passionately.
  2. Submission.
  3. To embrace God’s call to ministry.
 
 
LEADERS’ TIP
Help members to discover their spiritual gifts in a more wholistic function using the SHAPE profile.  It is the combination of the heart’s attitude, the personality’s trait of that person,  the natural abilities and talents God has blessed the individual and the cumulated life experiences and exposure the person has accumulated that makes him use-able to build up the kingdom of God.  
In the different seasons of a Christian’s life and the needs of the church, God’s Spirit will give gifts in accordance with His design and plan.  We are to be faithful recipients of these gifts to be used, not for our glory, but for the glory of God.
 
 
**Additional Resources
  1. Spiritual Gifts
  2. Spiritual Gift Assessment
  3. Sabbath School- Spiritual Gifts

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Session 5 – The Advent Mission

THE ADVENT MISSION

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Revelation 14:6-12.
 

Read/Watch:

 
 

THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH ORGANIZES WITH THE INTENT TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL

The Advent movement, together with many pioneers of the church, identified itself not so much as a denomination, but as a group of people called out to warn the earth of the soon coming of Jesus. They also recognized their primary mission to share the everlasting gospel around the globe. Ellen White was bestowed by God this prophetic gift to guide His church to fulfil the great commission.  The pioneers were inspired by Christ’s final command to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19, 20). And these Adventists recognized the need to organize the church for mission. This would enable them to share these enlightening biblical truths more effectively, showing more people how they can find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus Christ.
 
When the Seventh-day Adventist church was officially organized in 1863, this newly organized denomination united under the purpose to share how a deeper understanding of Scripture not only prepares us for eternity with Christ but for living more abundant lives in the here and now. As the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church spread across the United States, the early church leaders knew this Advent Message of the Three Angels should be shared around the world as well. They would not let themselves become complacent in their “comfort zones,” thus, they began serious talks about mission work. James and Ellen White, along with Joseph Bates, an Adventist preacher, urged the development of a plan for missions that included a focus on medical work to help meet the needs of people around the world. 
 
How did the mission  get started?
The first Adventist missionary was J.N. Andrews. He was selected to go to England and Switzerland in 1874 to assist Adventist church leaders there. He eventually established the Adventist printing press in Basel, Switzerland. Ellen White also travelled to Switzerland, as well as South Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and Australia. The Advent Message spread rapidly as missionaries worked closely with publishing houses and gathered teams to canvas different areas and distribute literature. Several of these areas began writing to the General Conference to request for more missionaries! 
 
Eventually, the Church also organized regional administrative offices, such as divisions, unions, and conferences, to oversee various operations in education, publishing, health and mission work more efficiently.   Today the Adventist Church continues to grow globally, maintaining its focus on health and wellness, community development and mission work, publishing, and education. 
 
What is our message?
With the urgency to share the gospel around the globe to warn the world of the devil’s deceptions, the Three Angels’ Messages, which defines the primary trajection of the Advent faith, are the final messages of warning to the world. These messages ensure that everyone has a chance to choose between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Earth—Satan’s kingdom. When the messages have reached everyone, the time of probation will close and Christ will return to free His people.  In reality, it is one message-proclaimed in mid-heaven by three messengers.  It points ultimately to a final confrontation and showdown between God and Satan.  It is with this framework that the Adventist pioneers begin to sharpen their mission endeavours to share and warn the world of the impending drama.
 
As one Adventist scholar sums up, “So here we see in the three angels’ messages all the pillars of the Seventh-day Adventist faith – the everlasting gospel, the pre-advent judgment, the Sabbath, the law of God, the faith of Jesus, and the condition of mankind in death. Through all of these messages, and through all of the pillars as well, are two threads. The one, a warning against self-worship, against trying to save oneself in any way; and the other, an invitation to worship God, to enter into the deeper life of fellowship and communion with Him. 
 
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
What is the best way to show a stranger the love of Christ?
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. As you study Revelation 14:6-12, what are the warnings to the world that propel Adventist movement to share this message urgently? Share your thoughts.
 
2. Based on Mark 1:17 and the great commission in Matt 28:19, what are your spiritual insights pertaining to the question “is witnessing a spiritual gift and the job of the pastors or of only a few “gifted” lay people or a duty of every believer?”
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. How can you be personally active in giving the angels’ messages to the world and thus help fulfil the mission of the SDA church?
 
2. Within your home, workplace or school, what are some possible actions that you can start taking to begin your witnessing and sharing of Jesus and the Advent faith with them?
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. Pray for the SDA church worldwide to be able to fulfil its mission as a “prophetic movement”.
  2. Pray that God will give you a heart and love for the lost.
  3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to awaken your spiritual desire to live a godly life.
 

LEADER’S TIP

Share the following the benefits involved in the mission and outreach of the church:
1. The joy of seeing souls saved. “In order to enter into His joy-the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice-we must participate in His labor for their redemption” DOA 142.
 
2. Development of spirituality and devotion.  “Those who are most actively employed in doing with interested fidelity their work to win souls to Jesus Christ, are the best developed in spirituality and devotion” Evangelism, 356.
 
3. Increased knowledge of the truth. “The more one tried to explain the word of God to others, with a love or souls, the plainer it becomes to himself. The more we use our knowledge and exercise our powers, the more knowledge and power we shall have.” Christ Object Lesson, p.354.
 
4. Strength to Resist Evil. “Strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service.”
 
5. Development of Christ-like character. In order for us to develop a character like Christ’s, we must share in His work.” Desire of Ages, 142.
 
6. Fitness for heaven. “Those who reject privilege of fellowship with Christ in service, reject the only training that impacts a fitness for participation with Him in glory.” Education, 264.
 
**Additional Resources

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Session 6 – Labourers Send Forth

LABOURERS SEND FORTH

~ With a Mission ~

 

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Acts 20:24; Matthew 28:19-20
 

Read/Watch:

 

Your Mission

God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. Jesus said, “In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world” (John 17:18, Msg).  God wants you to have both a ministry in the body of Christ and a mission in the world. 
 
Simply put, your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers.  The English word ‘mission’ comes from the Latin word – “sending.” Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21, NIV).  
 
Your life mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you.
Jesus clearly understood his life mission on earth. At age 12 he said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” and 21 years later, dying on the cross, he said, “It is finished.” Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, mission-driven life.  The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the body of Christ. What he did in his physical body, we are to continue as his spiritual body, the church. 
 

What is that mission?

Introducing people to God! The Bible says, “Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also” (2 Corinthians 5:18, TEV).
Your mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth. As his followers, we are to continue what Jesus started. Your mission is so significant that Jesus repeated it five times, in five different ways, in five different books of the Bible (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8).
 
In the Great Commission, Jesus said, “Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEV). This commission was given to every follower of Jesus, not to pastors and missionaries alone. This is your commission from Jesus, and it is not optional. To ignore it would be disobedience.
 
You may have been unaware that God holds you responsible for the unbelievers who live around you. The Bible says, “You must warn them so they may live. If you don’t speak out to warn the wicked to stop their evil ways, they will die in their sin. But I will hold you responsible for their death” (Ezekiel 3:18, NCV). You are the only Christian some people will ever know, and your mission is to share Jesus with them.  
 
One problem long-term Christians have is that they forget how hopeless it felt to be without Christ. We must remember that no matter how contented or successful people appear to be, without Christ they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God. Everybody needs Jesus.
 
Your mission has eternal significance. It will impact the eternal destiny of other people, so it’s more important than any job, achievement or goal you will reach during your life on earth. The consequences of your mission will last forever; the consequences of your job will not. Nothing else you do will ever matter as much as helping people establish an eternal relationship with God.   This is why we must be urgent about our mission. Jesus said, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end” (John 9:4, NLT).  We will have all of eternity to celebrate with those we have brought to Jesus, but we only have our life in which to reach them.
 
God wants you to share the good news where you are. As a student, mother, preschool teacher, salesman or manager or whatever you do, you should continually look for people God places in your path with whom you can share the gospel. Your mission gives your life meaning. 
 
If you fail to fulfil your God-given mission on earth, you will have wasted the life God gave you. There are people on this planet whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. Start looking around at your personal mission field and pray, “God, who have you put in my life for me to tell about Jesus?”
 
If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. There is almost nothing God won’t do for the man or woman who is committed to serving the Kingdom of God. Jesus has promised, “God will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:33, NLT).
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
Who is one person in your life who doesn’t understand your faith but you desperately wish would?
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. As you study these following texts: Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8, what is one common command that Jesus specifically gave for every follower? Why?
 
2. Study Acts 20:24.
Why does Paul consider himself nothing but his final goal is to finish the race to complete the task of testifying the good news of Jesus to others? Share your spiritual insights.
 
3. What does Jesus mean when Jesus said in Matthew 9:35-38 where “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
Why so few workers? What are your thoughts?
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. What fears do you have when it comes to witnessing? 
 
2. What can motivate you to be courageous witnesses for Jesus?
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. Pray that God will remove the fears that are preventing you from being His witness.
  2. Pray for God’s help to be a willing, effective labourer.

 

LEADER’S TIP

Share that the best spiritual antidote from becoming lukewarm to a backsliding Christian is to:
  • be actively engaged in the mission of the church
  • allow God’s Spirit to guide us to live godly lives according to His word.  
 
For those adults with children, your mission-focused example and the attitude to be willing to do whatever it takes to share Christ will inspire your children to do likewise.  They will see and learn that your active involvement in church is an example of what a “normal” Christian should do. Their early years of involvement in the life of the church is the best way to cultivate a mission-focused life.  In addition, instead of gossip and negative tear down of the church and pastor, regular family worship, Christian conversations at home and all talks seasoned with grace and love and uplifting church leaders to God, will certainly have a positive impact on your young and old ones.
 
**Additional Resources

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Session 7 – Cycle of Evangelism

Cycle of Evangelism

 

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Luke 8:1-15 (Parallel Passage is Matthew 13:1-23)
 

Read/Watch:

 

What is Evangelism?

Evangelism is not salesmanship. It is not urging people, pressing them, coercing them, overwhelming them, or subduing them. Evangelism is telling a message. Evangelism is reporting good news.  
 
The word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word “euangelizomai”, which literally means “to bring Good News.” The Bible defines what Good News means in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV):
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” 
 
Evangelism is sharing the Good News that Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection conquered sin. Sin separates us from a holy God. The Good News is that we can be reconnected to God and be assured of an eternity with Him in Heaven when we believe in Jesus Christ. This gift of a never-ending relationship with God is available to everyone! But not everyone has heard this Good News, which is why evangelism is so important!  
 
In this whole process of evangelism, the ultimate purpose of the Adventist Church is to make disciples by following the methods of Jesus himself. Jesus not only helped people in practical ways—especially through His health and healing ministry—but he also taught and preached the gospel prophetically, both publicly and personally on a  one-to-one basis.
 
Nevertheless, Jesus has shown to us that evangelism itself is not merely an event but a process of transforming non-believers into fully devoted disciples for Jesus. Evangelism follows the agricultural method or cycle of soul-winning as taught by Jesus.  He illustrated this ongoing evangelistic activity using the harvest cycle. He spoke about the parable of the sower in which the seed represented the Word of God and the soil represented the heart (see Luke 8:11, 12, 15). And He referred to the great body of humanity as “fields” that were “already white for harvest” (John 4:35). Following the growth model of Jesus, we can break down the process of making disciples into five essential phases, generally speaking:
 
 the soil 
 the seed 
 spiritual interest 
 decisions with appeals to follow Christ and be baptized.
 the harvest with ongoing discipleship of new members.
 
The final stage of “preserving” a member is to intentionally disciple the member so that the person eventually become a disciple-maker, making new disciples of Jesus.  The by-product of the whole process of evangelism that climax in discipleship is that every disciple ends up multiplying for Jesus. And that’s how the kingdom of God enlarges on the spiritual “algorithm” scale.  In Matthew 13:23…this implies that seed (transformed disciple) will yield a hundred times for the kingdom of God.
 
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
What do you think the future church will look like?
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Look at Jesus’ explanation of the parable. What is the seed? What does the soil represent? What kind of good soil does the path represent? (11-12) What happens to the seed that falls on this good soil? Why must the seed be planted deep? What kind of person does this refer to?
 
2. What do the first three kinds of good soil have in common? What is the good soil? (15) How is it different? How can we have good soil? How does the kingdom of God grow within us?
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. Why is it important to understand that evangelism is a process rather than a one-time event? Share your understanding with the group.
 
2. As I reflect on my personal story, who does God want me to evangelize to? List at least one person whom the Spirit is impressing upon you and how would you begin this process?
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. Ask God to impress you with a desire to labour for the salvation of souls.
  2. Pray that God’s Spirit will lead and direct you to those who have yet to hear and experience the salvation of Jesus Christ.
 

LEADERS’ TIP

Emphasize the goal of evangelism is not just baptism but to become a multiplying disciple for Jesus.  Very often, because of impatience and ignorance, many skip the stages of evangelism and jump right to the harvest of potential seekers. Like in an agricultural cycle, the process is important.  
Every member of the D-group must practice “evangelism” where there is a person God has impressed upon the disciple to share Christ with.  All discussions without actual practice and implementation is merely a spiritual mental exercise.  It’s time to get everyone in the group to evangelise.
 
 

**Additional Resources


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Session 8 – Iron Sharpens Iron

Iron Sharpens Iron

~ Mentorship ~

 

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
 

Read/Watch:

 

What is a mentor?

Think about the people who had influenced your life the most. Why did they do it? What did they do? How did they go about it? Often, under good leadership and guidance, you can experience the most dramatic spiritual and personal growth and it often happens through the influence of a mentor. 
 
A good mentor often:
  • identifies your need,
  • maximize your relationship,
  • model your relationship after biblical examples,
  • grow through the shared wisdom in this mentoring process.  
 
The focus of mentoring is about relationships, with intentionality for growth. Mentoring includes training and the transfer of skills and knowledge, but it’s so much more. It’s a witness to an open life worthy of imitation, perhaps an older, experienced person holding the ladder for a younger colleague. It may be someone with a particular gift patiently helping others to believe that they can attempt and succeed at something new. 
 
Mentors who are humble, patient, encouraging, believing, ready to open their Bibles and their lives often have maximum impact on their mentees. Godly mentors will coach and develop more mentors who see it not as a ministry, but as the best way of life to duplicate themselves for the kingdom of God.
 

Why be a mentor?

Whether you call it mentoring or discipleship, the net result is to able to positively influence another person to full spiritual maturity in Jesus.  Becoming an effective Christian mentor is a powerful way of exerting a life-on-life influence on people so that they can be transformed.
 
As a Christian mentor, a legitimate question being posed frequently by those they are trying to influence is – why should they follow you, the mentor? The answer depends on the mentor’s credibility.  
 
Credibility comes from the word “credo” or “trust.” More than two thousand years ago the philosopher Aristotle wrote that a person’s credibility isn’t built-in. Rather, potential followers give leaders credibility depending on how well those leaders answer three questions:
 
Ethos: Will you treat me with dignity and integrity?
Pathos: Are you capable of going to bat for what is really important?
Logos: Do you know what you are talking about?
 

How can mentors build credibility with their followers?

Here are a few significant points:
One, be authentically interested in your mentee. The mentor’s genuine care shows concern and compassion for his follower. 
 
Second, always communicate with integrity. Be truthful and season it with grace. 
 
Third, never passively accept what is in the mentor’s power to change.  
 
Fourth, always follow God’s leading as the Spirit directs. 
 
Fifth, be humble to draw on the experience of others. Like what Solomon says, “Nothing is new under the sun.” 
 
Sixth, seek out opportunities for training and networking with others so that the experience can be amplified. 
 
Last but most importantly, your mentee will rarely raise the bar for himself any higher than the one you, the mentor, have raised for yourself.  
 
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul recognized the value of developing Timothy into a more effective minister of the gospel. Paul carefully selected Timothy to work with him in the ministry and equipped him for ministerial tasks. He also empowered him for success, employed him in a challenging work environment, and communicated to Timothy the value of their relationship.
Today, the church hopes to have similar strategies to mentor relationships that prepare tomorrow’s disciple-leader to handle the challenges of an ever-changing church and the present world.  
 
Someone wisely puts it this way, “Mentorship is part of God’s plan for us to seek discretion and grace by humbly applying ourselves to the wisdom offered by those who have gone before us.”
 
 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
What are some characteristics of someone who is “mature” in their faith?
 
 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Study 2 Timothy 2:1-7. What is Paul’s relationship with Timothy? How did Paul mentor Timothy? What specific instructions did Paul instruct Timothy to further multiply his work by mentoring others?
 
2. How can we “sharpen” one another in our spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual development to be Christ-liked based on Proverbs 27:17 and Philippians 4:9? Share your thoughts and understanding.
 
 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. Have you been “mentored” before? Share your experiences on how it was like.  If not, what do you hope this D-group can do regarding some simple “group mentoring” in term 3 and 4? Share your desires for the expected outcome.
 
2. Is there someone God is preparing you to mentor or disciple so that this person will mature in his faith in Jesus and in due time do likewise? What obstacles are you facing to take the initial step? 
 
 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. If you are not discipling someone, pray that God would put someone in your life that you can begin a discipling relationship with.
  2. Pray that God would continue the work that he has started in the lives of the people whom you are discipling. 
  3. Pray that your kids and those under your influence would gain knowledge and understanding of God’s truth.
 

LEADERS’ TIP

For those who had not been mentored before, it might be good for the group to suggest a light mentorship experience for the next two terms so that everyone can have a little experience in what it feels like to be mentored.  
On a serious note, every member at this stage should begin praying and seeking for someone who might be in your next D-group where you can begin to exercise your spiritual influence and guidance under the umbrella of a mentor-mentee relationship. 
Further, the D-group can be a group mentor experience where experienced-matured Christians can take the lead to share biblical and spiritual insights in leading godly lives and influencing and developing young Christians to be faithful disciples for Jesus.
 

**Additional Resources

 

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