June 14, 2006

Seeing God at His Very Best

capSeeing God at His Very Best is a series of six sermons on DVD by Dan Smith, senior pastor at the La Sierra University church, and a son of missionary parents who grew up in Thailand. The focus is on understanding the character of God. It includes an excellent progression of discipleship topics, with a very contemporary, young-adult appeal. This will be particularly useful with second-generation Adventists who were born and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and may be somewhat cynical about the faith.
Unfortunately, no discussion guides are included with the package. (If someone volunteers to write a set of discussion questions, I will be happy to see that they are published free of charge on the Center for Creative Ministry Web site.)
This series is available from the Adventist Communication Network as part of its ongoing Adventist Preaching series (volume 13). You can order this online from Advent Source at www.adventsource.org, or by dialing (800) 328-0525.
The Way of Transforming Discipleship
This is a six-week series of small group meetings that lead up to a retreat weekend. It uses a number of richly spiritual exercises to help participants center their lives and identities more fully in Christ and develop a closer walk with God.
The exercises all focus on Scripture. But instead of focusing on ideas and concepts, the exercises lead the participants to think about their own personal lives and how real their walk with the Lord is. The daily exercises are done privately by each participant between the weekly group sessions, at which they can share their questions, problems, and victories.
This is a contemplative approach, deeply spiritual, and very serious about helping people become more authentic Christians. The first session focuses specifically, entirely, and unapologetically on “becoming a Jesus follower.” If you are working with people who are very interested in spirituality—whether church members or unchurched—this can be a useful tool.
It is written by a Methodist pastor from South Africa who has led Christian retreats for more than 30 years. It is published by Upper Room Ministries, the well-known renewal organization that has published many fine, highly spiritual materials over the years. Nothing in The Way of Transforming Discipleship materials deals with significant doctrinal differences between Methodism and Adventism.
It contains a Leader’s Guide for the individual leading the small group and retreat, and a Participant’s Book for each person who attends. You may be able to find these materials at some Adventist Book Centers or Christian bookstores. You can order them directly from http://www.upperroom.org or at (800) 972-0433.


In the April 20 issue I described a book entitled Coaching 101: Discover the Power of Coaching, written by Robert Logan and Sherilyn Carlton (which everyone who has written to me agrees is an excellent tool). I incorrectly stated that both authors “are not members of the Adventist Church.” In fact, although Logan is a well-known, “dedicated Christian in the Evangelical tradition,” Carlton is a dedicated Adventist who grew up in an Adventist home and is the wife of an Adventist pastor. My apologies to Sherilyn, and best wishes for the good and important work she is doing! Thanks to the several people who wrote in with the real facts.

Monte Sahlin is vice president for creative ministries in the Columbia Union Conference and happy to receive feedback, suggestions, and corrections at [email protected] or (800) 438-9600.