February 14, 2007

Soul Matters

2007 1505 page30 capeeply spiritual while at the same time most practical and very contemporary, Soul Matters is written by one of the most talented Adventist pastors in North America: Karl Haffner, senior pastor of the Walla Walla College church in Walla Walla, Washington. He focuses on figuring out your values, dealing with your needs, being part of a spiritual community, and doing the right thing—key steps toward spiritual maturity.
This slim paperback has 12 short, readable chapters, and each ends with discussion questions that can be used in a seminar, small group, or for personal journaling. It is something that could easily be used in a group with “seekers,” the secular person who is interested in spirituality, but turned off by religion.
If you are looking for something for a small group you would feel comfortable inviting your neighbors to, I highly recommend this item. Pacific Press is the publisher, and you can get this book at your Adventist Book Center or at  or (800) 765-6955.
Seminar on Small Groups You Can Download
A pastor in Corpus Christi, Texas, provides a video training seminar for small group leaders on his Web site, and you can download this entire package free of charge! Milton Adams is a pastor in the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2007 1505 page30and is often invited to share the exciting things happening with his congregation in seminars around North America. One of his weekend seminars was produced on video by Better Life Television in Grants Pass, Oregon. He decided to make it available for his own local leaders to use and to put it on the Web. Now, any individual or congregation can use this excellent tool.
The training manual can be downloaded in PDF format. Then there are eight training sessions, each downloadable as a video: introduction, Sabbath sermon, understanding the tools, how to lead a relational Bible study, typical group agenda, how to get started, and leadership challenges. You will need a hard disk or removable disk with a large capacity—this is more than 76 megabytes of files—and it will help to have a fast computer and large-capacity connection to the Internet. But, it’s all free!
This can be used to conduct a seminar or training group for small group ministries in your congregation, or for individual training if you have agreed to be a small group leader and now feel the need to know more.
Click here for the menu from which to download.
What do we mean by . . .
Small group is 3 to 12 individuals who meet on a weekly basis for four weeks or longer. There is a leader who has some experience or training, but not necessarily an instructor or professional resource person. Discussion is open and conversational; no lectures. More time is spent in personal sharing and prayer than in typical study groups.
Seminar is 8 to 50 people who may meet only one time, over a single weekend, or for a series of sessions for a number of weeks. It is semiformal such as in a classroom, and there is a designated teacher or team of teachers who present lectures, facilitate discussion, and/or answer questions from the group.
Workshop borrows from both the seminar and the small group. It is for a group of 15 to 100 people. There are presentations by designated instructors, interspersed with times when the large group breaks out into small groups of three to six people, with assigned tasks to discuss and report back on at the end of the designated times.
Monte Sahlin has served as vice president of the Columbia Union Conference for the past eight years, and recently accepted a call to be director of research and special projects in the Ohio Conference. He continues as chairman at the Center for Creative Ministry, where a team is currently implementing the Discipleship Curriculum Resource project for the North American Division. You can give him ideas and comments at [email protected]  or (800) 438-9600.