Youth Week of Prayer 2018: Leadership and Character – People of the Bible

EDITORIAL by Maria Manderson

We are at a crossroad in our lives. We need the Lord more than ever. As we read the
stories of these biblical characters let us ask God to help us examine our own characters.
Let us come to God like Jacob did…wrestle with God until He blesses you.

Speaking of Jacob, God took him on a very interesting journey to work on his character;
to show that He can take a crooked character and make it straight. Jacob stole his
twin brother Esau’s birthright, and when Esau found out Jacob had to run away from
home. He ran away to his uncle Laban, fell in love with his daughter Rachael and had
to work seven years to get her as his wife. The morning after the wedding he discovered
that he was tricked, he had married the older sister Leah. He had to work an additional
seven years for Rachael, a total of 14 years for the two wives. He spent a total
of 20 years in Laban’s house, and during those 20 years God was able to work on his
character. He had to be molded like the clay in the potter’s hand. He had to seek God
privately for himself. (Read about this story in Genesis). Even after God makes a covenant
with us we cannot guarantee how he is going to work on our character. That’s
for God to choose, not us.

Use this week to begin the change in your life. He wants us to draw closer to Him, to be
our everything. That’s what he wants…an intimate, abiding relationship with you.
Let us put away pride, arrogance, self-sufficiency, and indifference…God resists the
proud. Does that mean He no longer loves us? No, He still loves us, but the Bible says
pride will always make God pull back from us. [Read James 4:6 and Psalm 138:6]

Lord we know that you left heaven and came down for the needy and broken hearted,
and today we come to you broken and desperate. We want to serve you. We want to
love you EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. We want to praise you everyday. Help us
Jesus. Help us to appreciate your sacrifice.

We cannot change our lives Lord, but you can. Please help us recognize our great need
of you and praise you with our whole heart.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim
good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18, New
International Version)


You can download the Youth Week of Prayer Material here – 2018_YWOP

Reform-A-Nation (sermons)

On the 31st October, 500 years ago, the  Protestant Reformation began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a  church door on Wittenberg Castle church, in Germany. He was protesting against  the Indulgences that were then administered by the church, which were a burden  to the common people, and he wished to promote issues of grace, repentance and  forgiveness, as taught in the Bible, instead of the practices of the  Church.

This simple act caused such a reaction from scholars and  church leaders and helped to change the way the ordinary men and women viewed  the Gospel in Germany and across Europe.   It not only transformed Christianity but politics, art, culture and  communication.

As we’ve passed the 500th anniversary of Reformation, we do have a significant opportunity as the Seventh-day Adventist church to encourage our congregations to:

  • Rediscover and share the Good News of the Gospel
  • Re-engage in deeper and more meaningful  relationships with their local communities
  • Reflect on the meaning of reformation in a  contemporary world

The list below contains the links to some 12+ sermons on different topics as reforming our values, our skills, our relationships etc. Please use them for your own reformation and then share with others.

 

  1. Reform your Finances
  2. Reform your health
  3. Reform your life
  4. Reform your mind
  5. Reform your Nation
  6. Reform your relationships
  7. Reform your skills
  8. Reform Your Child
  9. Reform your culture
  10. Reform your spirituality
  11. Reform your time
  12. Reform your values
  13. Reform Your World 06 NOV 17

Preparing a sermon (1)

So, you’ve been asked to present a message to the church. What now?

Three steps: Prepare. Deliver. Reflect.

And then… Prepare for the next!

That’s it.

I know, it’s just too simple to leave it like that.

Some will be frightened with the “what” to say. It seems that all is blank, a fog just came in and covered it all. You don’t know what to say. Others, especially those who know what to say, might be concerned with all the details of “how” to say it. And they are stressed with the manner, voice, gestures, length of time, appeal etc. However, let me start with another module.

Let’s begin with the “why”.

Why?

Yes: why are you preaching? If it’s just because you’ve been called to, probably to fill in the preaching roster for a congregation, then it is fair to find a better reason. (Even to quit.) This is not to say that such a reason is bad in itself. Bear with me, find a higher motivation. (Would you listen to someone just because is „his turn”?)

Try something like:

[Read more…]

Spiritual Gifts Questionnaire

So, you want to test yourself looking forward to discover (or confirm) your spiritual gifts! Below is a well-known questionnaire on spiritual gifts, one that you can find in Discover Your Spiritual Gifts.

In order to know yourself better, there are prepared no less than 135 questions!

135 questions?

Well, when you know there are almost 30 spiritual gifts, and you allow yourself being questioned about each one of them using only 5 questions, then the 135 figure is quite fair.

Do you know the gifts?

Do you know the Biblical spiritual gifts? Take a look here to find them as they are enlisted or mentioned in the Scripture.

Now scroll the list below. After the number of each question (1) or (2) or… (135) we added the spiritual gift that is the focus of that searching (for example TEACHING, or VOLUNTARY POVERTY), so that you know exactly to which one does the question refer. The gifts repeat themselves, so that you can answer 5 times regarding each one of them.

How to score?

Following each question is the score that you would give yourself to it. If you know the answer is “much”, add 3; if “some”, add 2; if “little”, add 1; and if “not at all”, don’t add anything, it is zero.

For example:

To the Q 22. (CELIBACY) I am single and enjoy it., you don’t need too much time to answer. You know exactly what to write here. But for Q 31. (WISDOM) I can intuitively arrive at solutions to fairly complicated problems., there you might need some time and… wisdom to know where you are.

Where do you start?

Take a paper, make a list counting from 1 to 135, and add to each one of the questions the score you think you have. The best is to use the document here.

What to do when finishing?

There are 27 spiritual gifts, marked from A, B, C… to AA. At the end, you count the scores for each letter, A, Q, W etc. (see the document linked to above) and see which have the highest scores. Out of them, mark down the first 3 which are dominant and the following 3 which are subordinate.

Don’t forget!

It is a tentative evaluation. It is not the final test of your Christian experience. But it surely is a starting place for your service to the Lord. Check with others, pray about it and start using the number of gifts you have. The confirmation or the lack of it will challenge you to refine your test. Come here again!

1. (PROPHECY) I have a desire to speak direct messages that I receive from God in order to edify, exhort or comfort others.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

2. (PASTOR) I have enjoyed ministering to a certain group of people over a long period of time, sharing personally in their successes and their failures.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

3. (TEACHING) People have told me that I have helped them learn biblical truth in a meaningful way.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

4. (WISDOM) I have applied spiritual truth effectively to critical situations in my own life.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

5. (KNOWLEDGE) Others have told me I have helped them to discern key and important facts of Scripture.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

6. (EXHORTATION) I have verbally encouraged and helped the wavering, the troubled or the discouraged.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

7. (DISCERNING OF SPIRITS) Others in my church have noted that I am able to see through phoniness before it is evident to other people.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

8. (GIVING) I find I manage money well in order to give liberally to the Lord’s work.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

9. (HELPS) I have assisted Christian leaders to relieve them for concentrating on their essential jobs.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

10. (MERCY) I have a desire to work with those who have physical or mental problems, to alleviate their suffering.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

11. (MISSIONARY) I feel comfortable relating to people of other cultures, and they seem to accept me.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

12. (EVANGELIST) I have led others to a decision for salvation through faith in Christ.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

13. (HOSPITALITY) My home is always open to people who need a place to stay.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

14. (FAITH) When in a group, I am the one to whom others often look to for vision and direction.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

15. (LEADERSHIP) When I speak, people seem to listen and agree.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

16. (ADMINISTRATION) When a group I am in is lacking organisation, I love to step in to fill the gap.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

17. (MIRACLES) Others can point to specific instances in which my prayers have resulted in visible miracles.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

18. (HEALING) In the name of the Lord, I have been used in curing diseases instantaneously.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

19. (SPEAKING IN TONGUES) I have spoken in tongues.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

20. (INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES) Sometimes when a person speaks in tongues, I seem to know what God is saying through them.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

21. (VOLUNTARY POVERTY) I could live more comfortably, but I choose not to in order to identify with the poor.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

22. (CELIBACY) I am single and enjoy it.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

23. (INTERCESSION) I spend at least an hour a day in prayer. 

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

24. (DELIVERANCE/EXORCISM) I have spoken directly to evil spirits and they have obeyed me.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

25. (SERVICE) I enjoy being called on to do odd jobs around the church.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

26. (APOSTLE) A number of pastors and/or ministry leaders have told me that they desire to minister and to be held accountable under my spiritual covering.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

27. (LEADING WORSHIP) I have an insatiable appetite for the presence of God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

28. (PROPHECY) Through God I have been used to reveal to others specific things that will happen in the future, and they have come to pass.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

29. (PASTOR) I have enjoyed assuming the responsibility for the spiritual well-being of a particular group of Christians.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

30. (TEACHING) I feel I can explain the New Testament teaching about the health and ministry of the Body of Christ in a relevant way.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

31. (WISDOM) I can intuitively arrive at solutions to fairly complicated problems.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

32. (KNOWLEDGE) I have had insights relating to spiritual truth that others have said helped bring them closer to God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

33. (EXHORTATION) I can effectively motivate people to get busy and do what they are supossed to do.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

34. (DISCERNING OF SPIRITS) I can “see” the Spirit of God resting on certain people from time to time.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

35. (GIVING) My giving records show that I contribute considerably more than 10 percent of my income to the Lord’s work.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

36. (HELPS) Other people have told me that I have helped them become more effective in their ministries.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

37. (MERCY) I have offered to care for others when they have had material or physical needs.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

38. (MISSIONARY) I feel I could learn another language well in order to minister to those in a different culture.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

39. (EVANGELIST) I have shared joyfully how Christ has brought me to Himself in a way that is meaningful to non-believers.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

40. (HOSPITALITY) I enjoy taking charge of church suppers or social events.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

41. (FAITH) I have believed God for the impossible and seen it happen in a tangible way.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

42. (LEADERSHIP) Other Christians have followed my leadership because they trusted in me.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

43. (ADMINISTRATION) I enjoy handling the details of organising ideas, people, resources and time for more effective ministry.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

44. (MIRACLES) God has used me personally to perform supernatural signs and wonders.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

45. (HEALING) I enjoy praying for sick people because I know ahead of time that many of them will be healed as a result.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

46. (SPEAKING IN TONGUES) I have spoken an immediate message of God to His people in a language I have never learned.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

47. (INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES) I have interpreted tongues with the result that the Body of Christ was edified, exhorted or comforted.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

48. (VOLUNTARY POVERTY) Living a simple lifestyle is an exciting challenge for me.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

49. (CELIBACY) Other people have noted that I feel more indifferent about not being married than most.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

50. (INTERCESSION) When I hear an urgent prayer request, I pray for that need for several days at least.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

51. (DELIVERANCE/EXORCISM) I have actually heard a demon speak in a loud voice.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

52. (SERVICE) I don’t have many special skills, but I volunteer to do what needs to be done around the church.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

53. (APOSTLE) I am known as a leader of leaders.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

54. (LEADING WORSHIP) I intuitively know what should happen next in a worship service.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

55. (PROPHECY) People have told me that I have communicated timely and urgent messages that must have come directly from the Lord.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

56. (PASTOR) I feel unafraid of offering spiritual guidance and direction to a group of Christians.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

57. (TEACHING) I can devote considerable time to learning new biblical truths in order to communicate them to others.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

58. (WISDOM) When other people have a problem I can frequently guide them to the best biblical solution.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

59. (KNOWLEDGE) Through study or experience I have discerned major strategies or techniques God seems to use in furthering His kingdom.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

60. (EXHORTATION) People have come to me in their afflictions or suffering, because they know that I will listen to them and understand.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

61. (DISCERNING OF SPIRITS) I can tell with a fairly high degree of assurance when a person is afflicted by an evil spirit.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

62. (GIVING) When I am moved by an appeal to give to God’s work, I usually can find money I need to help.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

63. (HELPS) I have enjoyed doing routine tasks that have allowed more effective ministry on the part of others.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

64. (MERCY) I enjoy visiting in hospitals and/or retirement homes, and feel I do well in such a ministry.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

65. (MISSIONARY) People of a different race or culture have been attracted to me, and we have related well.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

66. (EVANGELIST) Non-Christians have noted that they feel comfortable when they are around me, and that I have a positive effet on them toward developing a faith in Christ.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

67. (HOSPITALITY) When people come to our home, they indicate that they “feel at home” with us.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

68. (FAITH) Other people have told me that I had faith to accomplish what seemed impossible to them.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

69. (LEADERSHIP) When I set goals, other seem to accept them readily.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

70. (ADMINISTRATION) I have been able to make effective and efficient plans for accomplishing the goals of a group.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

71. (MIRACLES) God regularly seems to do impossible things through my life.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

72. (HEALING) Others have told me that God healed them of an emotional problem when I ministered to them.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

73. (SPEAKING IN TONGUES) I can speak to God in a language I have never learned.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

74. (INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES) I have prayed that I may interpret if someone begins speaking in tongues.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

75. (VOLUNTARY POVERTY) I am not poor, but I can warmly identify with poor people.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

76. (CELIBACY) I am glad I have more time to serve the Lord because I am single.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

77. (INTERCESSION) Day in and day out, intercessory prayer is one of my favourite ways of spending time.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

78. (DELIVERANCE/EXORCISM) Others call on me when they suspect that someone is demonized.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

79. (SERVICE) Others have mentioned that I seem to enjoy routine tasks and do well at them.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

80. (APOSTLE) Christian leaders seem pleased to work under my leadership, and they respect my authority when we undertake a common task.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

81. (LEADING WORSHIP) During worship, I can often tell if there is a spiritual force attempting to hinder our connection with God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

82. (PROPHECY) I sometines have a strong sense of what God wants to say to people in response to particular situations.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

83. (PASTOR) I have helped fellow believers by guiding them to relevant portions of the Bible and praying with them.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

84. (TEACHING) I feel I can communicate significant truths to others and see resulting changes in knowledge, attitudes, values or conduct.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

85. (WISDOM) Some people indicate that I have perceived and applied biblical truths to the specific needs of fellow believers.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

86. (KNOWLEDGE) I study and read quite a bit in order to learn new biblical truths.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

87. (EXHORTATION) I have a desire to effectively counsel those in need.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

88. (DISCERNING OF SPIRITS) I can recognize whether a person’s teaching or actions are from God, from Satan, or of human origin.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

89. (GIVING) I am so confident that God will meet my financial needs that I do not hesitate to give to His work sacrificially and consistently.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

90. (HELPS) When I do things behind the scenes and others are helped, I am joyful.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

91. (MERCY) People call on me to help those who are less fortunate.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

92. (MISSIONARY) I would be willing to leave comfortable surroundings if it would enable me to share Christ with less-fortunate people.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

93. (EVANGELIST) I get frustrated when others don’t seem to share their faith with nonbelievers as much as I do.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

94. (HOSPITALITY) Others have mentioned to me that I am very hospitable person.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

95. (FAITH) There have been times when I have felt sure I knew God’s specific will for the future growth of His work, even when others have not been so sure.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

96. (LEADERSHIP) When I am part of a group, others seem to back off and expect me to take leadership.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

97. (ADMINISTRATION) I am able to give directions to others without using persuasion to get them to accmplish a certain task.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

98. (MIRACLES) People have told me that I was God’s instrument that brought supernatural change in their lives or circumstances.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

99. (HEALING) I have prayed for others and instantaneous physicial healing has often occured.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

100. (SPEAKING IN TONGUES) When I give a public message in tongues, I expect it to be interpreted.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

101. (INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES) I have interpreted tongues in a way that seemed to bless others.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

102. (VOLUNTARY POVERTY) Others tell me that I sacrifice too much materially in order to fulfill God’s calling.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

103. (CELIBACY) I am single and have little difficulty controlling my sexual desires.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

104. (INTERCESSION) Others have told me that my prayers for them have been answered in tangible ways.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

105. (DELIVERANCE/EXORCISM) Other people have been instantly delivered from demonic oppression when I have prayed.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

106. (SERVICE) I prefer being active and doing something rather than just sitting around talking or reading or listening to a speaker.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

107. (APOSTLE) I regularly receive revelation from God as to what the Holy Spirit is currently saying to the Church.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

108. (LEADING WORSHIP) Others have told me that my worship helps them enter into the presence of God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

109. (PROPHECY) I frequently feel that I know exactly what God wants to do in ministry at a specific point in time.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

110. (PASTOR) People with needs have told me that I have helped them be restored to the Christian community.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

111. (TEACHING) Studying the Bible and sharing my insights with others are very satisfying for me.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

112. (WISDOM) I have felt an unusual presence of God and personal confidence when important decisions needed to be made.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

113. (KNOWLEDGE) I have the ability to discover new truths for myself through reading or observing situations firsthand.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

114. (EXHORTATION) I have helped others find a biblical solution to their affliction or suffering.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

115. (DISCERNING OF SPIRITS) I can tell whether a person speaking in tongues is genuine.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

116. (GIVING) I have been willing to maintain a lower standard of living in order to benefit God’s work.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

117. (HELPS) When I serve the Lord, I truthfully don’t care if someone else gets the credit for what I do.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

118. (MERCY) I frequently enjoy spending time with a lonely, shut-in person or with someone in prison.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

119. (MISSIONARY) More than most, I have had a strong desire to see peoples of other countries won to the Lord.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

120. (EVANGELIST) I am attracted to nonbelievers mainly because of my desire to win them to Christ.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

121. (HOSPITALITY) I have desired to make my home available to those in the Lord’s service whenever needed.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

122. (FAITH) Others have told me that I am a person of unusual vision, and I agree.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

123. (LEADERSHIP) When I am in charge, things seem to run smoothly.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

124. (ADMINISTRATION) I have enjoyed bearing the responsibility for the success of a particular task within my church or in the workplace.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

125. (MIRACLES) In the name of the Lord, I have been able to help blind people receive their sight.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

126. (HEALING) When I pray for the sick, either I or they feel sensations of tingling or warmth.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

127. (SPEAKING IN TONGUES) When I speak in tongues to a group, I believe it is edifying to the Lord’s Body.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

128. (INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES) I have interpreted tongues in such a way that the message appeared to be directly from God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

129. (VOLUNTARY POVERTY) Poor people accept me easily because I choose to live on their level.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

130. (CELIBACY) I readily identify with Paul’s desire for others to be single as he was.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

131. (INTERCESSION) When I pray, God frequently speaks to me, and I recognize His voice.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

132. (DELIVERANCE/EXORCISM) I regularly cast out demons in Jesus’ name.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

133. (SERVICE) I respond cheerfully when asked to do a job, even if it seems menial.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

134. (APOSTLE) When I call Christian leaders to come together for a certain purpose, a significant number of them respond.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

135. (LEADING WORSHIP) I have a compelling desire to lead others into an experience with God.

Much = 3 | Some = 2 | Little =1 | Not at all = 0

Women Ministry and Dorcas

Women’s Ministries

Women’s ministries upholds, encourages, and challenges women in their daily walk as disciples of Jesus Christ and as members of His church. Its objectives are… [Read more]

Jacinta Chege

Email: givethemhope@live.com

Phone: 087 742 1360

Dorcas Society

This organization gathers and prepares clothing, food and other supplies for those in need […] however, includes more than giving material aid. It focuses on… [Read more]

Omina Dumbu

Email: ominatshabangu@yahoo.com

Phone: 087 929 2559

10 Ideas for Women Ministry & Dorcas

Supporting the women of the church | Teaching and training in the church | Mission of women through the church.

While below is a list of 10 main areas of interest, please keep in mind the three circles of our focus:

  • ourselves (as individuals – wives, mothers, singles),
  • the church (as a faith-based support group), and
  • community (the society at large).

1. Meetings and events

  • Planning a one day Sabbath retreat for the women in Dublin West SDA Church, and later another one, for a greater audience, even for the whole Irish Mission.
  • An All Night Prayer (date to be decided)
  • Sabbath of 25 August, Abuse Prevention Day

2. Prayer and support for special situations

There is an WhatsApp group where all the sisters are invited to join, express their needs and try to find help in different ways (material, spiritual, relational etc.).

3. Fight against any abuse

In our events, interactions, support, resources made available, let us fight agains any abuse: dominion, financial, material, spiritual. Do not forget that many women live in mixed families, where keeping the faith and Christian values may be much harder than in an Adventist home.

4. Young girls

Who is teaching our young girls about life? And what if your own experience was not the best one? We encourage experienced women to talk to younger girls and ladies in such a way as to encourage and support their better growth get strong and know their value as daughters of God.

5. Success stories

There are so many women in this world and in our bigger church who can share stories of their success. It can be a story on finding the right partner, a success story on getting the perfect job, fighting an illness, standing for rights etc. Find those women and let us have them as guests in our church.

Maybe you have such a story, why not sharing it next time?

6. Grow/improve

Who’s driving you to church? Who is talking on your behalf? Are your kids more advanced than you are in using the smart technology? We encourage each woman in our church to learn the language of the country, to get lessons and training in driving, to go to school and get a higher education etc.

In the same time, we would like to see them preaching, giving Bible studies, praying and leading in worship. And so we get to the next point…

7. Involvement in the church

Every Sabbath is an opportunity for women to say something, to lead, to support or to challenge for a better atmosphere and understanding in the church. As we have Sabbath school classes, we need mothers ready to serve in teaching the kids or the adults. There are events in the church where the mothers are expected to step in and help: baby dedications, excursions/trips with kids, going to park, being involved in the choir. There is also the main serving capacity, which is to act as a deaconess, be that in greeting, helping, taking care of the fellowship lunches, etc.

Work with other departments (Children, Sabbath School) and you might find an easier way to achieve your goals.

8. Health and intimate issues

Let’s organize discussions in homes or in the church about:

  • food (what do you put on your family’s table?)
  • cleaning (how tidy is your house? clothes of your kids etc.)
  • raising kids (who teaches you best how to raise kids?)
  • general lifestyle (so many issues here)
  • intimate problems or worries (cancer, sexual relationship, giving birth, infidelity, divorce)
  • work or being confined in the house

9. Material help.

Whom do you call when in need? That’s why we have Women Ministries and Dorcas Society. While not promising that a help will be an instant one, at any request, we certainly are ready and willing to come and find the best ways to help. Get in touch with sisters Jacinta and Omina – their email and phone is at the top of this page.

10. Mission/outreach

All the above can be organized for outreach, where the needs are even more. But what about gathering once a quarter, and bring clothes, food, shoes, money and other indispensable things in order to be donated to the ones in need?

Let’s plan for the middle of March, when during the Global Youth Day our Youth can help us get the boxes to those who need them.


11. Your idea…

Maybe we’ve not covered an area you are interested in. Maybe you know of a resource that can be helpful to others. Please comment here and let us continue a discussion. We are here to serve you.

Resources for Adventist perspectives on Christmas

Bible, Church Manuals, SDA Encyclopedia

Bible

While the Bible talks about events, characters and circumstances known in the Christmas story, the word “Christmas” (as event, festival, celebration etc.) does not appear in the Scriptures. 

Church Manual

As in the Bible, there is no mention of the word “Christmas” in the Church Manual.

SDA Minister’s Handbook

As above, there is no mention of the word “Christmas” in the Minister’s Handbook.

SDA Encyclopedia

[article] CHRISTMAS. The Seventh-day Adventist Church does not follow the Christian, or church, year of festivals and fasts, and hence does not celebrate Christmas as an ecclesiastical festival. However, it is customary in some SDA congregations to have a special program or special music with a Nativity theme on the Sabbath that falls on or near December 25. SDAs have ignored Christmas as a church festival because of the absence of any divine command to observe the day. Furthermore, Christ’s birth date is unknown, and December 25 was chosen by the Roman churches late in the fourth century, to coincide with the “birthday of the sun,” the pagan solstice festival. On the other hand, SDAs have utilized the spirit of the Christmas season to direct people to the biblical teachings concerning Christ’s birth.

Ellen G. White

There are many resources (articles, chapters) written by Ellen G. White on the topic of Christmas. A quick search will prove that – https://text.egwwritings.org/search.php?lang=en&collection=2&section=all&QUERY=christmas&Search=Search

The main chapter on Christmas is to be found in the Adventist Home, chapter 77. https://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Book&bookCode=AH&lang=en&collection=2&section=4&pagenumber=477&QUERY=christmas&resultId=2

From White Estate, we link to the main article about Ellen G. White statements related to the observance of Christmas and holiday gifts. The topics covered are very important: Christmas is Coming; To Glorify God, Not Man; The Day Not to Be Ignored With Children; Substitute Innocent Pleasures for Sinful Amusements; A Christmas Tree; Christmas Gifts; Turn the Current Heavenward; Holiday Gifts; Diverted From the True Object; The Reward of Self-Denial; The Holidays; Follow Christ’s Example; Offerings Consecrated to God; A Christmas Tree; A New Year’s Tree; Interesting Holidays; The Attractions of the Christian Life.

You can read it online here: http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/Christmas.html or here https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/757/toc

Articles in Adventist Review

Articles

While you can find a full list of articles published in Adventist Review on the topic of Christmas, here is a list of the most recent articles: 

Archive

A collection of articles from Adventist Review archives that points us to the true reason for the season.

You can check the selection online here: https://advstrvw.securelytransact.com/article/286/archives/issue-2005-1550/christmas-with-a-purpose

One can easily find dozens of valuable articles on Christmas, searching in the archive of Adventist Review and looking for the issues published in December of previous years.

Adventist Review and EGW

Over the past few years, the Adventist Review has received several letters and e-mails from church members asking about the appropriateness of Christians celebrating Christmas. Adventist Review presents a selection of the Ellen G. White writings on Christmas that offers guidance and counsel on the topic. The document was compiled by the Biblical Research Institute, based at the General Conference.

You can read it online here: http://archives.adventistreview.org/article/889/archives/issue-2006-1535/ellen-g-white-christmas or here https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Christmas.pdf

Diverse articles in other publications

Adventist World – various articles
https://www.adventistworld.org/?s=christmas

Adventist Record – Joy to the World
https://record.adventistchurch.com/2016/12/21/joy-to-the-world/

Elder’s Digest – sermon #4, A Right Way to Celebrate Christmas
http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/ED/ED20091001-V15-04__D.pdf

Biblical Research Institute – Should Adventists Celebrate Christmas?
https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/practical-christian-living/should-adventists-celebrate-christmas

ANN – Is Christmas pagan, Christian or just convenient?
https://news.adventist.org/en/all-commentaries/commentary/go/-/is-christmas-pagan-christian-or-just-convenient/

Adventist Hymnals

In our SDA Hymnal we find many songs from #118 to #145, covering the birth of Jesus. Many of them come from the broad Christian tradition and are heard (if not exclusively only) during the Christmas time.

  • Silent Night, Holy Night (#143),
  • Angels We Have Heard on High (#142),
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful (#132),
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (#126),
  • Joy to the World (#125),
  • Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (#122),
  • The First Noel (#118).

Presidential Perspectives

Q: Pastor Wilson, I’m wondering if Seventh-day Adventists celebrate Christmas?

A: As a church, we don’t have an official statement or position about celebrating Christmas, leaving it instead to the individual.

We must be careful not to allow the subject of Christmas to become a divisive issue among us, criticizing or alienating those who may see it differently than we ourselves do.

You can read the article online here: http://perspectives.adventist.org/en/questions-answers/questions/go/2015-12-24/do-adventists-celebrate-christmas/

Diverse articles and sermons on the subject of Christmas

Biblical Perspectives (Bacchiocchi)The Meaning, Celebration and Date of Christmas
http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/eti_218.pdf

Amazing Facts – Should we celebrate Christmas?
https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/af-blog/article/id/10955/t/should-we-celebrate-christmas

Various speakers
https://www.americanchristianministries.org/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=christmas

Various speakers
http://www.adventistpreaching.com/article/39/online-catalog/collection-of-holiday-sermons-a

Adventists and Homosexuality

As we are often asked about what the Adventists believe on hot topics, one of them being Homosexuality, we republish here the official statement of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on this subject.

Homosexuality (original article)

We are daily facing signs of a changing society, where sinful behavior becomes a norm…

The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word.

Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24, NIV). Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships.  Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:7-21; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt 19:4-6, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.

Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices. As His disciples, Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the Lord’s instruction and example, living a life of Christ-like compassion and faithfulness.


This statement was voted during the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee on Sunday, October 3, 1999 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Revised by the General Conference Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.

Resources

Another useful resource is the statement on Transgederism (original article).

Celebrating DIVERSITY

One of the challenges for the contemporary Adventism is how to deal with diversity. Several books and articles have addressed the issue. While some solutions are more applicable than others, no doubt that a final word has not yet been uttered on how to effectively manage the diversity. As each one of us will get involved, exposed, or trying to manage diversity, we will for sure add a new chapter, challenge a theory, open new horizons.

As history unfolds, it is well known that “communications technology, media, immigration patterns, educational institutions, and travel are bringing diverse racial and ethnic groups into more intimate association than at any other time in history” (Embracing Diversity – How to Understand and Reach People of All Cultures, Leslie N. Pollard, editor). Basically there is no escape unless one becomes a monk or isolates himself on an island… On the other hand, “discrimination, intolerance, exclusion, and race-based access and privilege” are the ugly heads and poisoned fruits of racism that we’ve all faced, some more pressing or longer than others. Disoriented sometimes in such a spectrum, we as Adventist Christians are to be made all to all, serve to all people alienated by sin from Jesus Christ.

A real case study is our Dublin West Seventh-day Adventist Church, where we enjoy the fellowship of almost 100 souls, of 21 different nationalities, coming from 4 continents. While some accept the reality of let’s call it “different versions of Adventism”, for others that seems like at least a part has been led astray. As some of the brethren would tend more towards a cookie-cutter shape approach, where service, practices, mission efforts will faithfully reflect the Adventism that was passed to them in their countries of origin, fortunately we all recognize that such an aim is almost impossible, risking a frustrating legalistic uniformity under the label of a false Christian unity and brotherly love.

In 2018 we want to celebrate our diversity in Dublin West. “Diversity for us is not a toleration or a modification, it’s a celebration. It’s not an infraction or a distraction, it’s an attraction. It’s not about age, stage or wage, it’s about oneness” (Diversity – The Challenge for Contemporary Adventism, Richard de Lisser, editor). What if we turn our weakness into a strength? Then “diversity for us is not an accomodation or an adaptation, it’s an advantage.”

Action

On the last Sabbath of every month we will be challenged and enriched. Remember these two words!

One ethnic group will lead us in the service, so that they will express their faith in the most natural way to them. Accepting a different perspective (that’s the challenge!), we will better understand our brothers and sisters (that’s the enriching part!). The pastor will preach a sermon on Diversity subject while the afternoon program will reunite us in an open discussion on important subjects that we see and deal with differently. What about Christmas? That’s our first meeting in an original format with open discussion, small group discusion, testimonies, presenting resources etc.

Resources

If anyone is interested, there are these two books available (your pastor has them), being written and published by respected Seventh-day Adventists.

Embracing Diversity – How to Understand and Reach People of All Cultures, Leslie N. Pollard, editor

Diversity – The Challenge for Contemporary Adventism, Richard de Lisser, editor

Week of prayer 2017 – By Grace Alone

This year’s Week of Prayer readings highlight the gospel as the basis of our salvation in Christ alone. Jesus’ love and acceptance of sinners — no matter how bad — is why we have hope.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, when the message of salvation through Christ alone was heard by many for the first time. Light spread not only through the teachings of the great Reformers, but through God’s Word itself, as the Bible became available in common languages and people could read the truth for themselves.

It is fitting that our Week of Prayer readings in 2017 focus on “Christ Our Righteousness,” for there is truly “no other name under heaven . . . by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Ellen White expressed this thought beautifully during a General Conference session when she said, “The only way in which men will be able to stand firm in the conflict is to be rooted and grounded in Christ. . . . The preaching of Christ crucified, Christ our righteousness, is what satisfies the soul’s hunger. When we secure the interest of the people in this great central truth, faith and hope and courage come to the heart.*

I encourage you this week not only to contemplate these special readings, but also to spend time in God’s Word and prayer as we focus together on “Christ Our Righteousness.” If you have younger ones in the home, be sure to share with them the accompanying children’s readings.

May the Lord bless us as we come together as a world church family to study and pray during this important time of earth’s history.

Ted N. C. Wilson, president
Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

You can download the full PDF version here – Week of Prayer 2017 – By Grace Alone

 

About the author:

Hans (Johann) Heinz, born in Vienna, Austria, studied theology at Séminaire Adventiste du Salève in Collonges, France. Following graduation he worked for four years as a pastor in Vienna. Beginning in 1957, he taught for 21 years at Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen (including seven years as director). After completing doctoral studies at Andrews University, he served as dean of Seminar Marienhöhe in Darmstadt, Germany, from 1982 to 1995. He has authored several books and many articles on theology and church history. His doctoral dissertation, Justification and Merit, dealt with the conflict between the Roman Catholic doctrine of merit and the biblical doctrine of righteousness by faith. Heinz and his wife, Louisette, enjoy an active retirement near Bogenhofen, Austria.

 

* In General Conference Daily Bulletin, Jan. 28, 1893 (see also Last Day Events [Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1992], p. 151).

Steps to Christ

A Christian Classic on the Life of Christ

Thousands have become acquainted with Jesus through this little book, Steps to Christ. And it has helped many more, including those who have walked with Him for years, to know Him better. In just thirteen short chapters, you’ll discover the steps to finding a forever friendship with Jesus. You’ll read about His love for you, repentance, faith and acceptance, growing like Him, the privilege of prayer, what to do with doubt, and how to spend your days rejoicing in your best Friend, Jesus.

Steps to Christ is recognized to be Adventism’s most significant summary contribution to the great theme of ‘righteousness by faith’ that was the theological cornerstone of the Reformation,” said Denis Fortin, editor of the new annotated edition and former dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. “It’s so appropriate that in this anniversary year, we remind ourselves of the true essence of the Christian faith as presented in this profound little book.”

125 years old

http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story-ellen-whites-steps-to-christ-released-in-annotated-edition-for-125th-anniversary

https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2017-05-25/ellen-g-whites-steps-to-christ-celebrates-125-years-in-publication/

 

Useful links and resources for reading, and listening the book Steps to Christ.

 

STUDY

AUDIO (play/download)

TEXT (read/download)

AUDIO/TEXT (Contains all the files above)

https://youtu.be/bwteVcG27eM