Basic Toolbox for Sharing Your Faith
The following is a collection of some of the most helpful tools available to prepare yourself for the inevitable opportunities to share your faith—when the Holy Spirit has an appointment with you and someone who is ready to think seriously about spiritual things. And it is almost always someone you’ve known for a long time. The formulaic stories people like to tell about chance encounters with strangers on airplanes almost never result in transformed lives.
This is a short 40-page booklet about how to initiate Bible studies. How do you encourage Bible studies with that man at the office who loves to spend time during coffee break bending your ear about sports or politics, but quickly flees the scene if anything faintly religious comes into the conversation? This little book has realistic and practical ideas, one minute at a time. It describes what is appropriate in a purely secular setting and won’t get you fired, yet still leads in the right direction. Each of the 14 chapters is just two pages long and can be read in one minute. It covers ground that nothing else in the “how to witness” genre ever does.
You can order a copy from the Center for Creative Ministry at www.creativeministry.org or by calling (800) 272-4664. Or through AdventSource at www.adventsource.
org or (800) 328-0525.
How to Give a Bible Study
A quick and practical read, this brand-new book from Pacific Press Publishing Association is authored by Kurt Johnson, director of the Bible school at the Voice of Prophecy. Johnson gave his first Bible study when he was a teenager in Pasco,
Washington, in the 1960s. He has conducted thousands of them since that time and has taught tens of thousands of church members how to do it, using both small-group and one-on-one approaches. This 64-page volume includes everything you need to know to help someone who wants to follow Jesus learn the important principles the Bible teaches.
Johnson is also the author of LifeLine Bible Study Guides, a total of 26 lessons that cover the foundational teachings of the Adventist faith. These are designed for up to 12 people to participate in a study with three parts: (1) “Group Life” provides opportunities to get to know one another and share prayer needs; (2) “Scripture and Life” unpacks the important Bible texts on the topic; and (3) “Application to Life” presents practical steps to implement the biblical principles. It is published by Review and Herald Publishing Association in two 80-page volumes.
You can purchase copies of both these tools from your local Adventist Book Center, online at www.adventistbookcenter.com, or by calling (800) 765-6955.
Put Mark Finley in Your Pocket
The publisher calls it “the soul-winner’s Swiss Army knife,” and that is probably the best description I can think of for Studying Together by Mark Finley. It is truly pocket-size and has a leather-like cover; but more important, it packs more information into its small pages than almost anything else Adventists publish. I’ve used this reference more than any other volume—other than the Bible—in my own Bible studies and evangelistic preaching. In addition to very concise outlines on 50 topics, it includes a brief explanation of the theology of major Christian denominations and other world religions. It suggests points of contact between the Adventist faith and other faiths, as well as additional information that proves helpful from time to time.
This is the back-pocket reference library to carry with you whenever you lead a Bible study. Published by the Hart Research Center, you can get a copy from your local Advent-ist Book Center, online at www.hartresearch.org, or by calling (800) 487-4278.
What About the People Not Ready for Bible Studies?
The first book previously described—One-Minute Witness
—addresses that question with practical suggestions, but two recent releases also give Adventists some very relevant and credible books to put in the hands of secular friends:
7 Reasons Life Is Better With God by Nathan Brown is something you can give to a secular friend who is interested in spirituality but loathes organized religion. Its premise is that you don’t have to be down and out to recognize a need for God. Well-educated, successful professionals can also find reasons to respond to Him.
Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Bryan Ball is an excellent book for friends who have serious questions because of what they’ve seen on the History Channel or in Time magazine. Ball writes from his training as a Bible scholar and his experience interacting with a youth Bible class.
These last two books are available from your Adventist Book Center, online at www.adventistbookcenter.com
, or by calling (800) 765-6955.