Your local church and each congregation—no matter how small or large—should implement at least one new outreach initiative each year. Here are several new tools.
The Bible for iPod Users
The New Testament has been translated into digital format. This is something you can use while you exercise or commute. The entire New Testament in MP3 files can be downloaded at www.faithcomesbyhearing.com
or obtained on a CD.
The New International Version (NIV) is read on these digital files in the manner of a dramatic reading with multiple voices. It is strictly the text of Scripture without anything added or taken away. Yet it emphasizes the story dimension of the Bible, which makes it particularly attractive to new generations today.
Teenagers and Religion
Teenagers are the most crucial age group for evangelism and the future of our church. No one knows more about the topic than Roger Dudley, my good friend at Andrews University, who has spent his career as an Adventist minister and well-published researcher focusing on this topic. He has already authored six books and many journal articles and reports, and now the Review and Herald Publishing Association has published The Complex Religion of Teens, in which Dudley summarizes what he has learned in easily understood language.
Every church board should read this book together and discuss its implications for their local mission. You are simply not prepared for effective public or personal evangelism if you have not done so! You can get copies from your Adventist Book Center, at www.adventistbookcenter.com, or by calling (800) 765-6955.
A Right-brained Revelation Seminar
Adventists have published more material about Revelation than about any other book of the Bible. Most of that material is complex and wordy. That makes it difficult to communicate, even if you are confident in your own knowledge of it. Frank Steyn is an Adventist pastor who has spent many years preaching and giving Bible studies. He has written Revelation: Door of Hope—A Right-brained Outline of the Apocalypse
, and in 60 pages and 44 graphics he covers the entire book verse by verse.
This small book contains everything you need to do a Revelation Seminar or lead a Bible study group. It is concise and easy to digest. You can easily turn the 44 graphics into PowerPoint slides or overheads. It also makes an excellent giveaway or tool to use in giving personal Bible studies. You can order copies from the author by e-mail at [email protected]
Forgive to Live
Forgive to Live is a practical and spiritual book of about 200 pages in 12 chapters that carefully walks the reader through why we harbor bitterness and anger, why that can kill you, and how to live a forgiving life. It is filled with short, useful instruments, diagrams, and assignments. There is also a workbook that provides everything you need for a seminar or small group on the topic.
In his book, Dick Tibbits, a psychologist at Florida Hospital, republishes his article from a professional journal that documents his research. The research demonstrates that a person’s ability to forgive actually lowers their blood pressure. This provides ammunition to make this a public seminar with wide appeal and support as a community service. At the Web site www.forgivetolive.net you can learn how to become a certified coach. Both the book and workbook are available from your Adventist Book Center
Monte Sahlin is director of research and special projects for the Ohio Conference