November 9, 2010

Tools of the Trade

New Discipleship Resource Is Out!
The North American Division released this fall the comprehensive resource for discipleship that has been under development for the past few years. It’s called iFollow . . . because it is largely an electronic system published on DVD and via a Web site, and its focus is “I follow Jesus.” It’s a resource designed for pastors and lay leaders in local churches to use in small groups, seminars, midweek meetings, new member classes, and one-on-one. It includes materials designed for “pre-Christians,” unchurched people who have some interest in spiritual things but have not made a commitment to follow Jesus, new Christians who want to study Adventist beliefs, and longer-term members learning various ministry skills and developing leadership abilities. It covers “the waterfront.”
2010 1536 page28More than 100 units are included in the original release. Each unit has a presenter’s guide, handouts for participants, discussion questions for groups, learning activities, and a PowerPoint presentation. The presenter’s guide for each unit also includes a list of additional resources related to the particular topic. These tools are all designed to help local leaders encourage and support church members and others in learning to give their lives more fully to Christ and grow in their discipleship. The complete set of materials addresses the whole of life and seeks to equip believers to share the gifts that Jesus has given them.
The first edition released this fall in a special issue of The Pastor’s DVD, a regular production of the NAD Church Resource Center. Most conferences distribute this to all their pastors. Anyone who is interested can purchase a copy from AdventSource, the NAD’s distributor of leadership resources, at or (800) 328-0525. Users can also go to the corresponding Web site—www.ifollow—to download the original set of materials on the DVD, as well as regular releases of new materials as they are developed. The Center for Creative Ministry will begin early next year to develop a series of Webinars on “How to Teach . . .” each of the units. To be placed on the e-mail list announcing these Webinars, send an e-mail to [email protected] and request “Discipleship Webinars.”
New Inductive Bible Study Materials
Bill Liversidge continues to be in demand as a speaker for weekend retreats and camp meetings because of his skill at leading people into inductive Bible study. It’s a transforming experience for many Adventists. Two new video seminars were recently released: Victory in Jesus with five sessions on spiritual growth, and New Perspectives in Daniel & Revelation with five sessions applying inductive Bible study to apocalyptic material. These can be used very effectively for a midweek meeting series or in small groups. Both are available at or (888) 744-0443.

I Do Not Recommend These
I think this is a first, but I’m going to give a bad review to a series of new books with titles such as Seventh-day Adventist Theology, Charismatic Adventism, and so forth, from Alphascript Publishing. I have no quarrel with the substantive content, but with the fact that they are overpriced and include only content that you can get free on the Internet using the Wikipedia and search engines such as Google. These books have been created by simply pasting together and printing out online materials, and unless you don’t have access to the Web, they are unnecessary.
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 [email protected] or by phone at (800) 272-4664. This article was published November 11, 2010.