October 6, 2010

Tools of the Trade

 The Radical Teachings of Jesus
If you’re looking for a simple, contemporary, and concise statement of what Adventists believe that you can share with professional contacts, coworkers, neighbors, and friends, I highly recommend The Radical Teachings of Jesus, by Derek Morris. It contains eight quick chapters, each of them a dozen pages or fewer, on “What Jesus Taught About Himself,” “The Scriptures,” “Salvation,” “His Return,” “The Sabbath,” “The Judgment,” “Death,” and “His Church.” Each is solidly rooted in the Bible and straightforward in its approach. Morris teaches evangelism and church growth to doctor of ministry students at Andrews University and is senior pastor of the Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Orlando area. You can get copies of his book from your local Adventist Book Center, online at www.adventistbook center.com, or by calling (800) 765-6955. It’s being distributed by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. This is an essential evangelism tool and every local church should have a supply available.
 
The Dropout Problem
Research has shown that about half of the children who grow up in Adventist families in North America are no longer part of the church as adults. Among immigrant churches the dropout percentage is much higher. Barry Gane, professor of youth ministry at Andrews University, has addressed this major need in a very helpful new book from Review and Herald Publishing Association titled Loving Them Back, Leading Them Home. This is a concise, practical resource that clearly describes what your church should be doing to reach out to the teens and young adults in your congregation who have quit attending. It’s available at your Advent-ist Book Center.
 
2010 1533 page29Domestic Violence in Your Church and Community
It’s a stark fact that God must hate: When the economy goes down, violence in families goes up. Almost any pastor will tell you they know this is occurring, although they don’t announce it. Mable Dunbar is a professional counselor who has spent her career addressing this issue, and together with her husband, an Adventist pastor, she has produced a new book to help your church deal with it. No More Excuses: Domestic Violence was recently released by AdventSource. It’s a practical and realistic volume with Bible studies, handouts, and materials you can use to help families caught in this type of situation. Every pastor and elder, as well as local church family ministries leaders, should read this book. You can get these materials from AdventSource at www.adventsource.org or (800) 328-0525.
 
The Andrews Study Bible
Much has been written about this excellent new edition of the Bible (see cover story in the June 17, 2010, issue of Adventist Review). I would just point out that it has some powerful tools for sharing faith. There are 28 quick Bible studies that cover the doctrines of the Adventist Church on pages 1700 through 1703. This means that if you have a copy of this Bible at hand, you are always ready to share a Bible study with someone who asks a question.
 
Follow-up for Health Contacts
Perhaps your church, like many Adventist churches, had a booth at a fair this summer and provided some kind of health screening or wellness information. Are you looking for a way to stay in touch with the names you collected? Hamblin’s Outreach Publishing Enterprises (an ASI organization) provides an excellent, four-page, full-color mailer that can be sent regularly to these contacts. The back panel can be imprinted with announcements of your local activities. For more information call (800) 274-0016.
 
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Monte Sahlin is director of research and special projects for the Ohio Conference and a senior consultant at the Center for Creative Ministry. You can suggest ideas and tools to him by e-mail at ms[email protected] or by phone at (800) 272-4664. This article was published October 14, 2010.

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