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Man Of God: Seek To Be The Spiritual Leader! 28-9

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Posted in AIS - Newsletter, AIS CD - Ministry Resources, MM - Men's Ministry0 Comments

How to Get More Home Bible Studies Than You Can Teach

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By Tim Massengale

 

Without a doubt, home Bible study programs such as Search For Truth, Exploring God’s Word, and others, have been the greatest tool of evangelism in recent times. Thousands have been brought to the saving knowledge of Truth in the comfort of their own home by an individual with a burden, a Bible, and a Bible study chart. Entire churches have been raised up through this one outreach method alone. Because of its effectiveness, it is imperative that every church try to establish an ongoing Home Bible Study Ministry within their local assembly.

Home Bible studies fall into two broad categories: multi-lesson studies (often starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation) and single lesson studies that focus upon presenting the plan of salvation. Both types have been successful. The multi-lesson studies, which range from five to twelve lessons long, have historically had a 50% success rate, meaning that half or more of the studies taught result in an individual being baptized. The shorter lesson studies, which range from one to three lessons long, have had about a 10% success rate, meaning one person will be baptized for every ten studies you teach. However, the success rate of all studies will vary somewhat depending upon the skill of the person teaching it. Both type studies have their pros and cons. Many have had good success by first setting up a single lesson study and after teaching it, offering the individual a longer study. This combines the benefits of both studies and often results in more individuals won to Christ.

The success of a local church HBS ministry requires a focus upon two areas: trained HBS teachers and unsaved individuals willing to be taught. This article will focus upon the latter: how to get more home Bible studies. I am convinced that, with a little effort, any church, regardless of their size, can have more HBS then they can teach. Space will not allow me to cover all the various methods. Here are the top four:

Visitor Follow-up
Every visitor that comes to your church should be offered a HBS numerous times. First, a HBS brochure should be included in your guest packet. Also in the guest packet is the standard ‘guest information card,’ which often has several boxes that can be check at the bottom. One of these should be “I would like to know my Bible better. Contact me about a free home Bible survey course.” Every visitor that goes to the altar should be offered a home Bible study as standard procedure. Having altar cards and trained altar workers helps facilitate this. When the pastor’s welcome letter is sent out the next day it also can mention the availability of the HBS program. Finally, whoever makes the follow-up visit should simply ask, ‘Have you heard about our home Bible study program? No? Let me tell you about it!” Each time a visit is made (there should be at least three visits per year), a HBS should be offered. Follow-up personnel should understand that ‘no’ does not mean ‘no.’ It just means ‘not now.’ With this kind of emphasis, a majority of your HBS’s can come from an effective visitor follow-up ministry.

Open Your Home To A Home Bible Study
This once a year thrust is to encourage each church member to set up a HBS in their home. To encourage this, a church will often hold a simple contest during this annual promotion. Here’s how it works: Divide the church into two teams. Appoint a team captain over each. Team members are then encouraged to talk to their family, friend, co-workers, neighbors, and others and invite them to a home Bible study event to be held at their home. The church member provides the home, refreshments, and invitations. The church provides the teacher. A nice flyer is designed to promote these home Bible studies. Example: “Explore God’s Word! You are invited to participate in a twelve (or 7 or 5) lesson Bible survey course that covers the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Come enjoy an evening of friends, food, and interactive study of God’s Word!” A point is given for each lesson taught in a home. A banquet is held at the end of the contest with the winning team getting special recognition. With this method it’s important to have several trained HBS teachers ready to teach several studies a week.

Door-To-Door Quest Survey
Every church that wants to have a successful HBS program should plan to teach one or more HBS teacher training seminars each year. Trained HBS teachers should be encouraged to set up their own studies from those they know and meet. However, any teacher that cannot find a study to teach should be encouraged to get one with the Quest Survey. The Quest survey is taken door-to-door on a Saturday by the HBS teacher. It asks ten simple questions. At the end of the survey, a HBS is offered. The survey is designed to bring the individual to the place of seeing their need of God. Two hours of door knocking in a neighborhood between 10 a.m. and noon will give you one or more home Bible Studies. The results have normally been this: knock on one hundred doors and fifty will be home. Of those that are home, 30-40 will take the survey. Of those that take the survey, ten percent will agree to a home Bible study. The teacher should be willing to teach all the Bible studies they get. For a sample Quest survey and instruction sheet, see below.

Five-Souls I’m Believing God to Get a Bible Study With
This method has been very successful and works from the network principle of evangelism (reaching family, friends, coworkers and neighbors). Pass the ‘Five Souls’ slip out to all your saints on Sunday morning. Ask them to go home and, after praying about it, write down the names of five people that feel might be hungry for God. Bring the slips back that night and take up prayer and fasting pledges. Have them pray and fast for those five names for one week. The following Sunday all should come to the front and pledge to ask all five for a Bible Study that week. Anoint them the workers with oil, lay hands on them, and send them out with Holy Boldness. By doing this, many, if not most, will have one or more on their list accept a study. Offer to provide a teacher if they feel they cannot teach the study themselves. Why is this so successful? Simply because focused prayer and fasting works. For a sample slip, see below.

Many other methods
Newspaper ads, direct mail, telephone canvassing, fair booths, bus ministry parents, and many other methods have seen solid results. For a booklet entitled “Home Bible Study Success” that includes details and photocopy masters on the above four methods, plus many other principles of HBS success, call Indiana Bible College at 1-800-800-0247. Cost is just $6.00.

Conclusion
For too long our philosophy of evangelism has been askew with the New Testament pattern. But the commandment of Acts 1:8 didn’t tell us to tell the world “come hear.” The New Testament pattern was “go tell.” Motivation is the key. You must promote and encourage the Home Bible Study ministry consistently and effectively if you are to have home Bible study success. Train your teachers. Promote the ministry. Encourage studies to be taught. Help teachers find students to teach. Pray. Fast. Believe. The only way that home Bible study can fail is if you don’t do it. Go forth and teach!

Posted in AIS CD - Church Growth, AIS CD - Featured Stories, HB - Home Bible Study, NC - New Convert Care Ministry, OPGP - General Outreach Ministry1 Comment

5 Things a Godly Husband and Father Brings to a Home

5 Things a Godly Husband and Father Brings to a Home
Neil Kennedy

We often hear of the repercussions of a home without a husband and father. The statistics can be haunting, and the collateral damage is immeasurable. As the prophet Malachi warns us, the absence of a father brings with it a decree of utter destruction. The facts are indisputable�when a husband leaves the home the family suffers.

Jesus said,”If a household is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

I have lived a very dramatic contrast. I was raised in a house of division, but when I became an adult, my wife, Kay, and I built a home of peace. Our three children are now all married and building their own homes. We have the privilege of seeing them each navigate the challenges that life brings with faith and the perseverance required to secure their homes.

Recently, a friend asked, “Neil, what are the keys that you and Kay implemented in building your home?”

Here are five things a husband brings into the home:

Security

“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then he will plunder his house” (Mark 3:27).

Jesus teaches that the thief comes only to steal, kill and to destroy. Your nemesis hates your home. He knows that before he can take your possessions he must first tie you up. He considers you a strong man. You’re the protector of the home. You bring to your home a security, a spiritual authority, to protect your turf.

If Satan can get you bound or remove you from being the gate of authority to your home, he has full access to ransack your home.

When I was a teenager, our home was robbed. Someone broke into the garage and stole all kinds of equipment, tools and motorcycles. I had two bikes that I raced. They were both taken. If you’ve ever been robbed, you know the feeling that comes with it, a vulnerability and insecurity that makes you feel violated.

A vital attribute of being a husband is to bring security to the home.

Stability

“And every one who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matt. 7:26).

The husband brings foundational words, words you can build your life upon. Often times our children will roll their eyes and our wives may give us a humored grin at our mantras, maxims and adages, but with repetition, these foundational principles become, stabilizing, to them.�

However, let me encourage you to speak clearly and with conviction. If any of your words matter, then all of your words matter.

Zechariah was receiving very disturbing messages when speaking with an angel, so�the Lord turned to the angel and spoke “kind and comforting words.” It is very revealing to see the character of God in His reassurance of the angel who was speaking with the prophet. Rather than speaking down to or being dismissive�to the angel, God spoke gentle and reassuring words to him.

In the same way, as husbands and fathers, our words should be kind and comforting, bringing stability to our family’s confidence.

Culture

The atmosphere that you allow in your home becomes the culture of your children.

Kay and I were very careful to maintain a home of peace. We would not allow strife into our home. The Bible says that where there is strife there is every form of evil. I truly believe that strife manifests the presence of evil.

It has become increasingly difficult to monitor the “voices” that are allowed to speak into our homes, the internet, smartphones and television have invited influences that are not always in agreement with our belief systems. I am sure that internet filters and monitoring controls for these devices are helpful but if we do not protect the atmosphere of our homes, we will not see it become a positive culture for our children.

We don’t hear much about culture in the home but it’s very important. Conversation, books, politeness and manners may sound like archaic ideals but in reality these can and should become the attributes of our homes.

If you teach your children how to conduct themselves at home, they will have no problem behaving in public.

Laughter

My wife purchased, decorative letters at Hobby Lobby and hung them in the breakfast room. The huge letters spelled out L-A-U-G-H. It was a constant reminder that we should enjoy our home.

With all of the challenges we’re facing as families, it’s a good reminder that laughter is good medicine (Prov. 17:22).

I realize you may be facing some real issues and stresses, but it may really help if you can lighten up a little. Especially around your wife and kids.

Strength

“Be strong and be a man” (1 Kings 2:2).

Do not attempt to draw your strength from your wife and kids. Don’t whine and mumble about the burdens that you’re carrying. Don’t complain every time your children need clothes or need something for school.

Go to God and draw your strength from Him, then turn and strengthen your family.

Don’t be weak and whiny. Don’t put the burden on them. They’re children.

“Likewise, you husbands, live considerately with your wives, giving honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they too are also heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).

Wow! Did you see that? The manner in which you treat your wife can close up the heavens for your prayers.

My wife and I have enjoyed a tremendous relationship. However, early in our marriage, I was upset about something that was happening (I actually can’t remember why). I’m ashamed to say that I attempted to get my way by sulking and pouting for a few days. After my morning prayer time, I walked into the kitchen. Kay looked at me and said, “You’re wasting your time praying while you’re treating me like this. God isn’t going to side with you on this matter.”

She was right.

I immediately asked her to forgive me and said that I would not continue to sulk to get my way. I realized that my pouting was a childish and weak way to deal with my disappointments. From that day forward, I learned to get my strength from God and strengthen my family from my prayer time.

Action Steps

1. Is your home secure? Do you have a security system? Do you need one? Are you conditioned to protect your home? Are you situationally aware to protect your family? Look for ways to add security to your home without developing a “bunker-mentality.”

2. Do your words strengthen and encourage your family? Are your words flippant and demeaning? Monitor your words for a day and count how many times your speak down to a family member.

3. What kind of television programs are entertaining you? Are you intrigued by murder mysteries? Are you entertained by inappropriate adult relationships? Are you watching too much television?

4. When is that last time that you belly laughed with your family?

5. Strengthen yourself with prayer.

FivestarMan, was founded in 2008 by, Neil Kennedy. Kennedy has passionately promoted God’s Word for 25-plus years of ministry. He is known for practically applying biblical principles that elevate people to a new level of living. As a business, church, ministry and life consultant, Kennedy has helped others strategize the necessary steps to reach their full potential.

The above article, “5 Things a Godly Husband and Father Brings to a Home” was written by Neil Kennedy. The article was excerpted from www.fivestarman.com web site. June 2016.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

Posted in AIS File Library, MM - Men's Ministry0 Comments

Building a Healthy Home

BUILDING A HEALTHY HOME
BY PAUL GOULET

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, God’s plan for the family has been challenged on every front by godless philosophies until the very concept of “family” is no longer recognizable. External forces plague our nation’s children with violence, secular humanism, New Age teaching in public schools … while internal forces add to the destruction. In his book, The Power of Parents’ Words, Norman Wright describes several problems that threaten the family from within:

Verbal and Emotional Abuse. I’ve heard parents-Christian as well as non-Christian-call their children degrading names such as “stupid,” “pig,” “devil,” and “idiot.” James 3:6-12 speaks about the destruction that thoughtless and unkind words can cause. Many parents wouldn’t consider themselves abusive because they don’t inflict physical pain on their children, but verbal and emotional abuse can be just as harmful. If we withhold love, express conditional love, berate or neglect, our children will suffer just as surely as if they were beaten.

Perfectionism. We all set goals and standards we want our children to strive for, but when those goals and standards are unrealistic, we deprive our children of the benefit of achievement. If they never quite measure up in our eyes, they’ll either experience ongoing failure or they’ll give up.

Rigidity. Rigidity refers to how firmly a parent insists that his way be adopted. It leaves no room for individualism or creative thinking. It stifles healthy growth and sets the stage for rebellion.

Repression. Our children should be able to safely express their thoughts, opinions, and feelings with us, but honest communication is hindered when the above conditions exist in the home. If children are belittled or criticized for their ideas, they’ll become hesitant to express them. If they are unable to measure up, they’ll quit trying. If they are denied the freedom to think for themselves, they’ll be easily led astray.

LOT’S EXAMPLE

Lot and his family are an example of a dysfunctional family. In many ways, they lived in a society much like our own. It was plagued by the same moral confusion that we experience today. How did Lot deal with the challenge of raising a healthy family in an unhealthy environment? Was he successful? If not, why not?

Lot was a righteous man: “. . . he [God] rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:7,8). Lot was also hospitable. He invited two strangers into his home, cooked them a meal, and gave them lodging for a night. (See Genesis 19:1-3.) But Lot made a poor choice when he moved to Sodom. To begin with, he pitched his tent outside Sodom, but he eventually moved into the city and became a prominent citizen. (See Genesis 13:12; 19:1.) As a result, he lost his wife and raised daughters who embraced a worldly view of morality (see Genesis 19:26,31-38).

How did Lot wind up in such a wicked environment? Why would he expose his family-and particularly his daughters-to such sinfulness? The answers aren’t clear, but the account of Lot reinforces the need to establish boundaries between us and the world. It also offers three important lessons:

Do not compromise your morals and values. It’s vital for the spiritual well-being of our children that we don’t compromise our beliefs. We must be morally and ethically upright because our children follow our example. Lot compromised his beliefs and it cost him a great deal.

Live and communicate a life-changing faith. Ephesians 6:4 says: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Lot’s family did not experience a life-changing faith. While Lot’s family members were accountable for their decision to resist God’s standards, their father’s poor example undoubtedly contributed to it.

Obey God’s Word. We should not allow our actions to contradict our words. When we say we are Christians but do not follow God’s commands, we send the message that obedience isn’t important. When many of Jesus’ followers turned from Him, He asked the twelve if they would also leave. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Do we live as if we believe God’s Word brings eternal life? If we don’t, our children won’t.

NOAH’S EXAMPLE

Noah also dwelt in a vile and wicked society; so wicked that God decided to destroy mankind. Only Noah and his family were found to be righteous, and consequently their lives were spared. While Lot’s family mocked him when he warned them of impending doom, Noah’s family believed and helped build the ark. Noah refused to compromise, even when it meant standing alone. He was undoubtedly mocked and ridiculed but was nevertheless “blameless among the people of his time . . .” (Genesis 6:9). His righteous life made a difference in his family, and his relationship with God was passed down from generation to generation. Is our relationship with God one that our children should emulate? If not, we would do well to heed the lessons taught by these two men of the Bible.

A COMPARISON

A study in contrast between Lot and Noah provides seven points to help build a healthy home in a sick world:

Lead the way. Don’t wait for someone else to be the spiritual leader where your family is concerned; that should be your responsibility-and your privilege. Noah did all that God commanded, while Lot delayed and tried to negotiate with the angels God sent to deliver him from impending doom. What would have happened if Noah had been like Lot? What if he had said the following:

God, do we really need such a big boat? And gopher wood, of all things. Why not plywood? It’s easier to get and not nearly so expensive. And God, I was thinking … couldn’t we have a sun roof? And another thing … about all those animals … is that really necessary?

Fortunately for all of us, that’s not how it was. God said, “Build it.” Noah said, “Okay.” God said, “Get in.” Noah did just that. Are we as obedient to God, or are we more like Lot? That’s a very important question when we look at the fate of our families.

Be willing to sacrifice. Imagine devoting more than one hundred years to build a boat. Who paid for it? Where did the wood come from? Did Noah have to cut and prepare it himself? It’s obvious that building the ark meant sacrifice for Noah, his wife, and his sons. They sacrificed their time, money, and reputations, but the rewards were worth it all. Lot was called upon to sacrifice as well. He was to leave his home and everything he owned in order to save his life. He obeyed, but a lack of obedience in his life preceding this monumental decision cost him dearly.

Stand firm in your faith. Noah was undoubtedly tempted to quit at least once. After all, he was surrounded by scoffers; it had never rained; and the whole idea of mass destruction … well, that just wasn’t like God. He surely must have thought about how silly he would look with a boat in his back yard if it didn’t rain. And what about his future? If he didn’t get to work on something productive, he would never be able to retire. Thoughts like these must have occurred to him, but he chose to go against the tide for the sake of obedience. Lot’s problem was that he was unwilling to stand alone. He wanted the fellowship of his neighbors, regardless of how vile they were, so he compromised. To live for Jesus in a corrupt world, we have to go against the tide. But we must also consider the cost of going with the flow.

Let your light shine. Pastoring a church in Las Vegas allows me to witness some of the most extraordinary light shows imaginable. The lights are remarkable but deceiving, for they don’t reflect the addiction, lust, greed, and misery in the lives of those who are drawn to them. I’ve known Christian families that are much the same way. On the surface all looks nice, but inside they’re falling apart. We need to allow God to cleanse us of our secret sins; to heal the hurts we hide; to conform us into His image so our lives reflect the perfect love of God. Only then will those around us be drawn to the Father of lights. (See James 1:17.)

Dedicate time to your children. Time is the currency of the 1990s; a precious commodity. If we’re not careful, the pressing will demand it all and leave none for the important. All too quickly our children are grown-and we’ve missed it. Whatever it takes, we must make time to work, play, and be with our families. When the angels came to Sodom, they found Lot in the city gateway with his friends. When the flood came, Noah was with his family.

Set family goals. A common cause can mold a family into a focused team. It gives each member a reason to sacrifice and work hard. Whether it be a project around the house or a family vacation, work together to accomplish goals.

Pray for the love of Christ. Ask that His love would flow through each member of your family. Scripture gives an example of such a prayer: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). When Christians walk in the flesh, their homes are no different than the homes of unbelievers. Unless Jesus lives within us, we are incapable of expressing the love the world needs to see in us. Ask God to make you a more loving parent. Ask that the fruit of the Spirit be evident in your life to everyone around you.

We can demonstrate the love of Christ in our homes in many ways: by mutual respect for every member of the family regardless of age; by physical (non-sexual) and verbal affection; by honest, open communication or “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

FOLLOW NOAH’S EXAMPLE

We cannot build a healthy home by wishful thinking or resorting to prayer as a “last-ditch effort” when we’re falling apart at the scams. It requires work, dedicated prayer, faithful service to God and, above all, desire. We have to set the example for our family; we have to separate ourselves from the world’s way of thinking and its value system. This isn’t accomplished by becoming a family of hermits, but by living in obedience to God’s laws regardless of what those around us are doing. We’re to be in the world, not of the world. Noah is proof that it can be done. If we follow his example, we’ll build a healthy home in an unhealthy world.

The Reverend Paul Goulet is senior pastor of West Valley Assembly in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a provocative speaker and author of the Reconcilers series, a course that develops healthy leadership. As a pastor, counselor, and health care professional, the Reverend Goulet has had vast experience in helping individuals deal with a myriad of spiritual, psychological, and social problems.

In the past ten years, Pastor Goulet has helped start several counseling centers in churches and served as director of Capital Counseling Ministries in Sacramento, California.

He is a graduate of Ashland Theological Seminary and an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God.

Paul and his wife Denise have three children: Isabelle, Christine, and Samuel.

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THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “PARENTING”; EDITED BY HAL DONALDSON, OUTWARD BOOKS, INC., 1993, PAGES 25-32. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

Posted in AIS File Library, BSFM - Family and Marriage0 Comments


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