May 18, 2006

Faces of Grace

capF 7aces of Grace is a set of eight Bible studies that utilize story—narrative presentation and character study—instead of the more common topical approach. Six men from the Bible are presented in a conversational manner on DVD. There are also discussion questions to use in a small group or class following each video

The six stories are about Joseph, Thomas, Peter, Tertius, Demas, and John. The focus is on living the Christian life in a way that is spiritually centered and fundamentally rooted in God’s grace. This is a practical, relational, and very spiritual approach to discipleship that is contemporary in terms of the media used. Jere Wallack, a veteran Adventist pastor and communicator, is the presenter.

This is an ideal tool to launch a men’s group, although it could easily be used in mixed settings or even by women’s groups. The discipling of men is an urgent challenge for many congregations today because at many services women outnumber men two to one.

This tool is a product of North American Division Church Resources and is available from AdventSource  or (800) 328-0525.

Seven Signs
A valuable new tool is now available—a public evangelism approach that focuses on discipleship, and uses disciple-making as the method of bringing new people to Christ and into the church. The most exciting part is that it is available in both English and Spanish editions.

Eight presentations are available on DVD, and packaged with discussion questions and a study guide for additional sessions. The speaker is José Rojas, well-known Adventist speaker for both youth and adult gatherings across both North and Latin America.

Seven Signs is designed so that you can do a public seminar each night for one (intensive) week, or one night a week for eight weeks. Then get decisions for people to simply “follow Jesus” and bring them into small groups using the discipleship workbook for six to 13 weeks, or even longer. This is a proven approach among people who are not typically attracted to conventional public evangelism—young adults; professionals; and secular, multicultural, and postmodern people.

The kit includes promotional materials. This, also, can be ordered from AdventSource.

Discipling New Members
The Women’s Ministries Department of the denomination has created a great curriculum to help women develop their gifts in volunteer ministry. This is a key element in discipleship. (Ephesians 4 makes it clear that spiritual growth is always for service and never, authentically, just for our own salvation.)

A total of 36 practical topics are included—17 at level one and 19 at level two—and each is a specific skill area essential to ministry or leadership. Each topic has a presenter’s guide for teaching a short class, designed for someone who has experience or professional training related to the topic. A pastor, a women’s ministries coordinator, or anyone who has taken courses in religious education or pastoral ministry would have the skills necessary to teach a seminar on these topics using these guides to organize their presentation.

This resource can also be useful to individuals who simply read and learn the material. It is available both as a series of 36 individual booklets and on two CDs containing the entire series. This material is available from AdventSource.

Monte Sahlin is vice president for creative ministries at the Columbia Union Conference in Columbia, Maryland.