August 15, 2007

Talking About God in Everyday Life

2007 1523 page30 capre you comfortable having a conversation about spiritual things with unchurched colleagues where you work? If not, you are a candidate for this group study guide with materials for 12 small-group, workshop, or seminar sessions.
 
The sessions cover spiritual journeys; how God is sensed in everyday life; understanding the basic gospel story; telling the story of Jesus; identifying needs in others; and how to talk about sin, repentance, confession, belief in God, and commitment to Christ. Each session includes a story with icebreakers, a concept statement with discussion questions, a practice exercise, and debriefing time.
 
This can be a very powerful tool for teaching basic friendship evangelism concepts and skills. You can use it for a midweek meeting series, a special Sabbath school class, or a training group. The author is Richard Peace, professor of evangelism and spiritual formation at Fuller Theological Seminary. Peace is not an Adventist, but emerges in this study guide as a deeply committed Christian. Nothing in this volume touches on doctrinal controversies; it is thoroughly practical.
 
It’s published by InterVarsity Press, and your Adventist Book Center can order a copy for you if they do not have it in stock; or you can find it online from the major booksellers.
 
2007 1523 page30Learn to Preach Before Next Weekend
The title may seem to make an audacious promise, but the author actually delivers. It is a 100-page quick read for the young elder or other Christian who finds themselves assigned to present a devotional or sermon or inspirational talk for the youth. In fact, if you’re really pressed, just the seven pages of Chapter 1 will get you through it.
 
Preaching is one of those key skills for growing disciples who have certain gift mixes. Many small congregations rely primarily on people in the pulpit who did not go to college or seminary, never took a homiletics course, yet find themselves called to share the Word of God. This tool is designed precisely for them.
 
The bulk of the book carefully leads the reader through five essential steps: choosing a Bible text, studying the text, making an outline, coming up with illustrations, and preparing notes. A helpful checklist and even a suggested schedule for the week leading up to the sermon are two of the tips provided.
 
This is a practical tool prepared by an experienced pastor. James Richard Wibberding currently leads two congregations in Philadelphia for the Pennsylvania Conference.
 
You can purchase this resource at many Adventist Book Centers, or from the publisher at www.bigfishbooks.com.
 
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Monte Sahlin is director of research and special projects for the Ohio Conference.

 

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