Home Forums Trinity Track Making Disciples That Make A Difference

This topic contains 181 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  MeriLynn 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #5666

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 1
    The teacher points out that evangelism should be part of our everyday life and our ministry is to equip others to know what God wants them to do. Pastor Steve did a great series called Developing a Disciples Heart that changed my life and I would recommend watching it if you missed that series.

  • #5667

    PBob
    Participant

    MD2
    You don’t need a gift of evangelism to bring people to Christ. Opportunities abound in everyday life. People win People to Christ. We must beware of false promises.

    • #5931

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P Bob lesson 2
      You are absolutely right. We don’t need have the gift of evangelism, or know everything to be effective, but if all members. of the church participate, collectively we can be a powerful force

    • #5932

      robertaleps
      Participant

      Yes, I cought that in the very beginning that opportunities are going to come to us to evangelize. I’m understanding the key is to be aware and ready and willing when the opportunity presents itself and to not mislead, but know the gospel and what the Word promises if we believe in Jesus, and ask forgiveness of our sins and repent, then we will be forgiven believing Jesus paid the price with his sacrificial shedding of His pure sinless blood, and we will have eternal life in Heaven.

  • #5668

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 3
    I like the story about the guy who saw, “YOU FOR CHRIST”. God works through us through prayer and people are saved through Jesus, not public displays.

    • #5718

      bchiagouris
      Participant

      Lesson2
      Hey Bob,
      I personally think Public Displays or Public invitations to accept Christ have there place. The Billy Graham Crusades is an example of the work of the Holy Spirit and the Power behind the message from the Word of God. I don’t think that we as God’s children should put God in a box and say invitations to accept Christ should be done this way or that. It is truly the work of the Holy Spirit drawing men to Himself. I think the important thing to do is follow up with those who have raised their hands to accept the Lord. This is where discipleship programs come into play and serve a vital purpose for God’s plan.

      • #5719

        PBob
        Participant

        I agree Barry, I have seen lots of hands go up and then they go away and never open a bible or show up at a bible study thinking they are saved and that’s that. Definitely need follow up and mentoring. I don’t agree with everything this professor says as will be evident in chapter 6.

      • #5927

        coopertlc123
        Participant

        I agree that they have their place when the rest of the gospel is properly taught / preached. The stepping out and walking down to the alter, which is how I came to the Lord, requires a lot of courage which many people do not have. We must make sure that there are adequate other avenues and opportunities for people to come to know the Lord.

      • #5948

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        I agree, Barry. I was one who walked forward to receive Christ but it was some time before I was led to actually seeking God in his Word and that was because I was “ministered to” by a Believer. The “people win people to Christ” approach is the one that really works!

    • #5944

      robertaleps
      Participant

      When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

  • #5669

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 4
    I had never heard about the “target list” before and think it is a great idea to use with the first force, prayer. Force # 2 is Holiness. Christian life is characterized by a life of holiness occasionally interrupted by sin. Letting our light shine through even as small as a pin hole can light up another’s life to Christ.

    • #5987

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P.O. lesson 4
      What a great idea to use the prayer target and first force prayer together. Will incorporate that into our daily routines.

    • #5988

      robertaleps
      Participant

      Letting a little bit of light in reminds me a lot of our Vineyard Christmas Eve service, where Pastor Steve lights one candle and then it spreads through the entire church lighting up the room. Love it. This lil light of mine, I’m gonna key it shine!

    • #6053

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Sometimes it seems a little light can be the right impact. A bright light can freak some people out. 🙂

      • #6199

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        I agree, Tom!

  • #5720

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 5
    We must always consider that as Christians we are held to a higher standard as everyone is watching us expecting us to set an example for other. That sounds hard but if I let go and let God guide my every action than it should be easy. We must chose Excellence over just Good Better Best……and try to make every act a holy act.

    • #5722

      bchiagouris
      Participant

      I agree Bob. We need not just talk the talk, but walk with the Lord in excellence. I think you made a very valid point when you wrote “let go and let God.” I read this book called “Born Free” by Steve Brown(a Reformed Theological Seminary Professor) and he writes about living, laughing and dancing before the Lord in this life,but not watching our feet as we journey through this time. In other words not going through life in a paranoid state thinking
      God is going to be angry every time we mess up. I think the only way we do that is through prayer each day and surrendering our very hearts, minds and souls to Him. That is really letting go and letting God. Great point Bob!

    • #5991

      robertaleps
      Participant

      I agree. I fall so short every day. I love being in these studies to make me accountable a so much more aware of my choices and how they effect on lookers. I pray in Jesus name to learn and be a doer of what I learn. Dear God give me the strength, courage, wisdom, discernment, and all it takes to lead a Holy life

    • #5992

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P Bob lesson 5
      I feel like I’m lucky to make “good” choices sometimes Bob, and now you want to add “excellent” to good, better and best. Guess I’m still a work in progress.

      • #6220

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Me too, Doug, and that’s why we need Jesus and the Grace he offers!!

    • #6092

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Yes Bob, that’s all true. However, as we all experience life in very different perspectives, a biblical perspective while I’m on auto pilot will be my biggest challenge. Auto pilot-you know, when we operate without thinking whether its catching our second wind playing sports or the artistic trance a musician strives for when playing at his/her best or just an ordinary day at work as a craftsmen when our focus is on the task at hand. In all that, I still want my perspective from a biblical point of view to to be instinctive. The challenge is being Christ absorbed and not self absorbed when doing the very things we love and are built to do. These 4 forces of evangelism will be very helpful in my every day routine of doing and being in His will.

    • #6093

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Btw, I love reading everyone else’s comments after submitting my own. 🙂

      • #6094

        PBob
        Participant

        Me Too

    • #6219

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Well said, Bob!!

  • #5721

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 6
    Holiness leads to Suffering! Suffering Sucks!! But it is the opening for Evangelism. I have a problem with the professor in this chapter. His church was against dancing and I find it hard to think that Jesus would not like dancing as he sure liked his partying with food and wine. That seems like a man made rule to lead to more and extra suffering. On to Unity…….

    • #5995

      robertaleps
      Participant

      I think there is appropriate and inappropriate dancing. And I believe Jesus didn’t abuse the wine he had with his meals. Moderation, integrity, respect, dignity can be displayed in all areas if I know my limits, and if I don’t, then I should refrain entirely.

    • #6126

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      He also said that drinking an alcohol beverage is displeasing to Jesus. I do not agree with that either. Jesus made wine from water at the wedding feast. I also believe that the wine drank at the last supper was not grape juice and we will drink wine, not grape juice, with Jesus in heaven.

    • #6158

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Im with you on this one Bob, but we aren’t human without a few disagreements…

  • #5726

    bchiagouris
    Participant

    Lesson 4A
    What a wonderful teaching in this lesson on prayer and praying for the lost. I thought the Professor’s strategy to defeat temptation by praying for lost souls was brilliant. Every time you feel temptation in a vulnerable area in your life, begin praying for the lost. What a great way to keep the enemy at bay and experience the victory Christ has given us.

    • #5985

      robertaleps
      Participant

      I was really blown away by this concept too Barry, and am using it when I feel attacked. I’m really getting so much enlightening and practical information out of this study and am so excited to put into use.

    • #6055

      Cheryldoerfel
      Participant

      I like this idea too and have started using it.

    • #6201

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Well said, Pastor Barry!!

  • #5783

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 7
    Unity lead to increases from God. Without Unity we cannot lead others to Christ. Lowliness and humility, no gossip, helps keep our Unity without discord. Force 5, Convection of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the first 4 forces, #5 is cooperation with the Holy Spirt and participation in Gods Will. Not Me!, but GOD, gives the increase. The Holy Spirit Saves—NOT ME!! Good News.

    • #5998

      robertaleps
      Participant

      Yes, that’s a relief, as in everything, He is in control. We plant and water. JESUS SAVES! Amen!

    • #5999

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P Bob MD 7
      Thankfully I feel equipped to participate in the first 4 forces. I’m glad we let God handle the tough ones, 5 & 6, conviction & seeking. For those we need only cooperate. I’m up for that!

      • #6245

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Well said!!

  • #5784

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 8
    Conviction of the Holy Spirit
    The Good News is sharing our experiences with God with others. The Power is not in the Messenger but in the Message. I find I can share my experiences ok but when confronted by an angry seeker I do not do well. Confrontation has never gone well for me. I have someone telling me it is my job to behave a certain way and answer all their objections and I just say, no, it is not my job, it is Gods job.
    Force # 6 Seeking of the unsaved
    He says we must cooperate with opportunities to share the Good News. I hope someday I will be prepared to do a better job. I feel like I am a failure at this.

    • #6001

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P Bob MD 8
      Yes Bob I know the feeling…Its easy to tell our story, because its our truth. Even so, sometimes we are not quite able to answer all the Pre Christian’s questions yet. But the best we can do is be honest with them if we don’t know the answer… tell them so.

    • #6004

      robertaleps
      Participant

      I think you’re working very hard at being the “best” Christian possible Bob. I see your hard work and diligence. We are learning and improving. I’m excited to be on this happy destiny in unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ at our wonderful church. We are so blessed with this opportunity.

      • #6257

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Yes…we are very blessed to be on this journey together! I love that I can say “I don’t know” today! Then, in trying to find the answers, I grow too!

  • #5785

    PBob
    Participant

    MD 9, 10
    These last two were pretty detailed with lots about seeking and election and baptism. We all have our special gifts and can lead people to Christ in different ways. I especially relate to the common interests thinking about the kayaking group and Refuge guided bike rides as good ways to make a difference.

    • #5939

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Bob, you are just steaming along!! And to think you were going to give it up in the beginning!! I’m so happy that you persevered!

    • #6007

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Response to P Bob a MD 9
      Hey Bob, maybe you could have a package deal…. Kayak and baptism all at one shot! Lol
      Seriously though, sounds like you might just have opportunities all around you for evangelism!

      • #6011

        PBob
        Participant

        Yes, Great opportunities with the Kayaking. Also got the guided bike rides and more kayaking and walks with the Refuge. I am surrounded with opportunities everyday. I see and talk with 100’s of people every week at the Visitor Center. Most are just passing through but I can still have a positive influence as they pass. God knows where and when to use us. We are all in this together! God Bless Everyone.

    • #6010

      robertaleps
      Participant

      Yes, it’s exciting that each of us have different opportunities at different places with different people. Disciples to reach all people to all ends of the earth.

    • #6232

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      I like hearing all the stories and situations that we students have at really making a difference in others lives daily, and how these classes help sharpen our spiritual senses. I regret not writing down all the people that come and ask me thought provoking questions that our music primes. Realizing and wanting to learn how to feed them living water in response to their questions has been fascinating over the years and many times I don’t even get a chance to share them with my wife and kids, let alone you guys! 🙁

  • #5907

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 1

    Be effective in the area God has placed you. I liked the reference that we don’t need secret service agents, a funny thought. It’s so easy to find yourself sitting back thinking others will or can do the work. For most of us, evangelism is found in our relationships, even when we aren’t consciously thinking about it. Our walk is evangelism, or it is no walk at all.

    • #5908

      PBob
      Participant

      Nicely put Cheryl and Welcome to MD. I hope this one stays all in one.

    • #5917

      douglasleps
      Participant

      Cheryl I agree, we have lots of opportunities to minister right here without even looking. I love being able to serve in our Church

    • #5918

      robertaleps
      Participant

      I like that Cheryl, yes it’s in our walk even with our existing relationships. We need to make the most of these opportunities with our family, friends, coworkers, etc. It’s simple, not complicated, or intimidating with you think of it like this.

    • #5938

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I agree, Cheryl. Being effective in the area where God has placed us is so important. Just to be aware that we are where we are because God can use us there is HUGE!

    • #5951

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Yes, and the more naturally we do the right thing without thinking about it the better. I find myself, however, thinking about clever spiritual things to communicate to the people in my daily life…today was the parts guy at napa. After a little friendly conversation, Patrick started telling me about his $15,000 helicopter ride and his ailing heart issues that he didn’t know he inherited…better get him on my prayer list as I do go to napa in spurts! Then, next time we communicate, my responsibility is to “naturally” look for ways to meet his changing needs…as he meets my needs for auto parts! 🙂

      • #5953

        PBob
        Participant

        Good job Tom!!

        • #5960

          tomdoerfel
          Participant

          Thanks pastor Bob! 🙂

  • #5915

    douglasleps
    Participant

    Lesson 1
    Why does Our Church exist?? An excellent question that I think Pastor Steve and our Vineyard Church answers and follows everyday!
    1)Fellowship… Our “family” gathering together for meals, worship, service and teaching.
    2)Inspiration… Speaks for itself… If you have spent more than a few minutes in our church how could you not feel inspired?!
    3)The word of God…. Taught in a way that’s practical and easy to understand.
    4)Worship… Ours is amazing. We are blessed with talent.
    5)A place to serve and excercise our spiritual gifts…… Pastor Steve is a master at “plugging members in” to utilize these particular gifts in ministry.
    6)To bring comfort in suffering and trial…… There are numerous groups or members of the Ministry team avaiable for counseling at any time.
    If that not enough reasons for our Church to exsist
    I don’t know what else to say.

  • #5916

    robertaleps
    Participant

    Lesson 1. Wow, I feel so very blessed to be an active member of a church that believes and takes action in all 7 areas covered in this lesson. And I like the fact that it makes clear the “Going” aspect is right here, where we are, who we know and whoever we may come into contact with in our day to day activities.

  • #5925

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Making Disciples lesson 2 I am still trying to figure out how to do may posts. I will try here. My wife and I went to and supported a church for 4 or 5 years One Sunday the minister did the repeat after me sinners prayer thing. He said if you said this prayer and meant it you have been saved. The next Sunday the title of his sermon was “Now That You Have Heaven Covered” and it was about the works you do determining the size of reward you will receive in heaven. The Lord convicted me about this and took me out of the church. I still think about the people from that church that might be some of the ones that say ” Lord Lord”.

    • #5959

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Yes, we’ve seen far too much of that misrepresentation and have the privilege of loving on them without judging…leaving us with a very heavy heart for sure! 🙁

  • #5928

    robertaleps
    Participant

    Lesson 2
    I thought the label given to the non evangelizing church members… “bench warmers”, was clever. Much like the athletes that never play in a game is often due to the fact that their heart’s just not in it.

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  robertaleps.
    • #5958

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Ooh…I like that Roberta! A bunch of “arm chair quarterbacks”!

    • #6027

      Cheryldoerfel
      Participant

      I embarrassingly fall into the false tradition of thinking someone better qualified than me is better at bringing someone to Christ. I think I see that as comparing myself to someone who is more forward. It makes me question whether my heart is in it or not. I get so caught up in things that don’t matter and have to keep redirecting my thoughts. So many things distracting me.

      • #6040

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        That’s my story too, Cheryl… But then, we are busy ladies :). I think we just have to continually ask God to open a door for us… To put people in our paths that NEED to know Christ… And then give us the oportunity to share what HE would have us say!!

  • #5930

    douglasleps
    Participant

    Lesson 2
    I love ” the great comission” go and be a witness!
    We have so many opportunities as we go about our daily activities to be evangelists. We must be careful though not to misrepresent the Lord Jesus by making promises that he can’t keep.
    We can without question say “by accepting Jesus you will have life everlasting”…… But you cannot promise wealth, health, winning powerball, a new job, or a new car. I liked the professors analogy ” when fishing for men, be careful not to use the devils bait”

    • #5949

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I liked that analogy too, Doug!

  • #5937

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Disciples lesson 1

    “Faithful ministry is to learn and then teach others”…That seems “overwhelming” until I realize that it is just the day by day process of being available to be used by God. I have a desire to reach my hand out to those who are lost and seeking…and if I can just walk that walk, I believe that God will open doors of opportunity to me. We band together as believers in the Church, and that is where we find comfort and peace, but God’s hurting kids are not there… They are out in the world searching for something to fill the proverbial “hole”. We are all given “special gifts” to be used for the Great Commission. We may not know what they are, but we can grow spiritually, “widen our territories”, get out there, and be a blessing to someone. By building new relationships, we are given the opportunity to minister to them and in so doing, “teach them the way they should go”.

  • #5942

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 3
    In being effective Christians that lead unsaved souls to Christ, the Force of Prayer is the greatest tool. I am so glad that I have had people praying for me my whole life, starting with my grandmother. She is a real prayer warrior. So dedicated and diligent, even arising in the wee hours of the morning to read God’s word singing to Him, and praying. To this day, at 95 years of age, when we are at her house visiting, I can gear her rustling around in her room, singing, and praying at 5am. I believe her prayers, those of my Mom, and many other spiritual mentors I have been blessed to know along the way, is the reason I live and breath and seek the Lord today. Being in the word, and learning, worshiping, and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ is my greatest joy, my happiest place. I long for and need it, like food. It’s my greatest satisfaction!

    • #6031

      Cheryldoerfel
      Participant

      One of my prayer memories was early in our marriage. One of Tom’s mother’s friends said that she had been praying for Tom for 10 years, and what a rotten kid he was. I was a new Christian at the time and had little experience with prayer. It was so cool to hear that she had prayed for him for so long and she was so excited.

    • #6035

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      His hedge of protection is AMAZING, freeing my concerns in ANY situation. Btw, dittos Roberta!!!

  • #5943

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 3
    I found it interesting that the professor stated that 99% of all Americans believe in God, but only 50 – 60% think they are going to heaven!!! That only goes to show how people believe that just because you “backslide” they are not sure of salvation. Salvation is not just a mechanical approach, but rather the belief in four basic and proven principles.
    1) The death of Jesus for our sins
    2) Jesus’ burial
    3) Jesus rose again
    4) Jesus was seen again
    You need only need to believe in ALL of this in totality.

    • #5956

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      I personal think there is a little more to it than just to believe. There is the repentance, the surrender of your Life to Christ and faith. Works comes into play as faith without works is dead. As for the believing part, I am quite sure Satan believes (knows) that Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day, and was seen. The belief is definitely the first step but not the only step.

      • #6041

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Thankfully, as we continue this walk…and if we stay close to God… the other steps will follow!`

    • #6034

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Putting it that way helps me look forward to people who are obviously searching for answers…a simple response

  • #5945

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples lesson 1:

    Going from a life insurance industry professional to a traveling evangelist was humorous to me…my first white collar job out of college was also in the insurance industry. It is also true that we are to be used as evangelists exactly where we live!

  • #5946

    chetmalanowski
    Participant

    WOW – it works – I am thrilled to be part of this church. It is a great feeling

  • #5950

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Disciples Lesson 2

    I never considered the “false forces” of evangelism before, so I found this lesson very interesting. Just the thought that Satan wants to derail us in our walk to bring the Gospel to others is something that I never considered! I can certainly see that leading people to Christ with false promises does happen, but that was not an issue for me. But that people can be saved and then continue to lead a “lawless” life could exclude them from Heaven was a new concept for me to grasp. I had not read that piece of Scripture (Matthew 7:21-23) in a long time. It plainly speaks of doing God’s Will in our lives as the way to Heaven! I know so many people that live the way that the motorcycle man lives … Thinking because they made that commitment to Jesus as a child… Or having been Baptized as a baby… That they are covered. It is sad to know that Jesus may say to them “I never knew you”!!
    Personally, I like our Programs as it gets people in the door to actually hear about Jesus. I also like how Pastor Steve continues to tell the congregation that we can spread the Gospel by our Testimonies and that we have gifts to use for Christ and offers ways that we can “plug in”. As far as the Procedures go, I am glad that we don’t do the more “showy” form of the alter call and that we often pray the Sinner’s Prayer together as a family and are asked to go and tell someone or go up for prayer afterwards where they can be given a packet of explaination and ministered to by people… People win people to Christ!

  • #5955

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson three
    The mechanical process, of supposedly bringing people to Christ, is practiced by many churches I have attended. When I witness this I cant help thinking that that church may be directly responsible for some of the people saying lord! Lord! and being turned away at judgment day.

    • #5961

      PBob
      Participant

      Me Too!

  • #5957

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making Disciples lesson 2:

    After being raised in an old fashioned traditional catholic family and going to parochial elementary school and graduating from a Jesuit college, I am in no way a catholic basher but consider myself a Christian mutt…although The Vineyard doctrines we are learning agree more with my Christian experience than any other denominational Christian bible believing church we’ve been part of…which are many from our transient lifestyle! That being said, we’ve personally witnessed much of Dr Bearss’ observations and results. How cool it is to be encouraged evangelically in our day to day activities along with catching neat ways to help others grow spiritually without turning the “procedure” into a circus…just like pastor Steve’s occasional alter calls where he assumes the entire congregation is responding yet giving newcomers a chance to respond without embarrassment or peer pressure. I am personally trying to find my own niche, or naturally presenting the gospel to people, where they people have a soulful opportunity to respond. As we play music in many different environments, I get many opportunities to have fun with people and “naturally” witness, knowing we are planting seeds but God makes them grow. Also, he points out how some people say they’ve tried it and it didn’t work, how silly. Most of our best lessons are learned from making mistakes, and I find using humor can really soften that blow.

    • #5975

      PBob
      Participant

      Tom, K.I.S.S. You are in a great position to share your knowledge with lots of people in need of Christ. God Bless You and your efforts. PBob

      • #6029

        tomdoerfel
        Participant

        Thanks Bob as simple is much better for me. I do however very much appreciate the deep thinkers!

  • #5984

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 4 I am amazed at the concept of praying for a lost soul when I am under the evil ones attack. That just blew me away. I have target list and the president of the United States, Obama is at the top of my list.

    • #6052

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      That’s a hard one. He claims to be a Christian…maybe pray for his spiritual growth/awakening?

  • #5986

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 4
    The concept of a “Prayer Target” is very interesting and my wife and I have started using it daily!
    Using President Obama as our specific person who is not saved but is a powerful and influential person to pray for when we are tempted by the evil one. We never thought of this before. It’s like reverse physcology on the evil one. The more we pray for our target, the less likely he will be to temp us in that area again. What a great idea!

    • #6045

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      I never thought about Obama but that is a great idea. I guess if I were completely honest, I never liked him enough to consider praying for his salvation. I have been consumed by praying for those I know. I think I will add him to my list

    • #6200

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Scripture tells us to pray for our leaders and I have been diligently praying for the PresidenT for years…although not when I am tempted… Mostly when I disagree with his policies… Which is ALL the time LOL!!

  • #5989

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 5
    The story in Acts 16 with Paul and Silas in prison puts a huge magnifying glass on the way I think… honestly, when they were singing and praising God and the doors flung open, I probably would have fled thinking that was God’s answer to prayer setting me free. Really. But they didn’t choose the “good” choice. They thought it all the way through and chose the “best” thing to do. Guess that’s why I’ve always been in so much trouble… and I’m a work in progress.

    • #6091

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Agreed. It’s easiest to act on impulse or instinct when facing a tough situation. I hope we can learn to pray instinctively…a first response to any situation

  • #5990

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 5
    We’ve all heard it before…. ” We all have choices”
    As a believer choices can be difficult. We all struggle sometimes. Good, better and best. What do I do? I hope to one day be able to make the best choices always. Like Paul and Silas in prison. Unjustly imprisoned, still not complaining, but actually singing and praying. Then the prison doors are flung open!!!! What do they do? They stayed put. Surely no one would have blamed these innocent men if they had escaped, but they made the “best choice”
    As a result the guard was so overwhelmed that he asked what he needs to do to be saved.
    So by making the best choice, they led a another to Christ. Amen!

    • #6097

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      I agree with you on this. I wonder how many people I would have made a greater impact on had I made the best choice instead of the convenient choice.

      • #6221

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        I thought the exact same thing!!

  • #5993

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 6
    I love how this study has allowed the Holy Spirit to convict me and shed light on all the areas I need to strengthen…. such as in conversation always referring to God, when I need to use Jesus’ name.

  • #5994

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 6
    Hard to believe that the term Christian was first used in Antioch to mock the Christians. I like the fact that Christian means imitator of Christ. I’m proud to be a Christian!
    Like Dr. Bearrs said, people don’t seem to mind talking about God, but I have personally seen resistance to the use of Christ when speaking to people. When I took over as Chaplain for the motorcycle organization ABATE over a year and a half ago, I was told in no unertain terms to: keep my invocations and prayers to under a minute…. And talking about God was OK, but to shy away from Christ. I of course didn’t listen and share the good news as much As I can get away with.

    • #6157

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      You are a true warrior Doug!

  • #5996

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 7
    I really liked the story of the Pastor whose congregation gave him a pin for being the “Most Humble” servant. The next Sunday the pastor was proudly wearing his pin for all to see….. So they took it away.
    Once you know you’ve got it….. You don’t!

  • #5997

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 7
    Dr Bearss had mentioned so many good quotes throughout his teachings, one of many I loved was under his topic of Graces for Unity being meekness. Instead of saying “How can I get out of this mess”, say “What can I get out of this mess?” That perfectly describes what our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, says when he looks at us!! 🙂

    • #6143

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      You are so right. I have spent a lifetime trying to master that but it is extremely difficult to do with consistency. David did it well as he was honored to suffer for God. The few times I have been successful are the times I have felt the most blessed. You would think that if you do it once and it works that it should be easier the next time. I wish that were so. I seem to easily get caught up in my own issues and sometimes it takes me way too long to include God in the solutions as well as the reasons.

      • #6144

        PBob
        Participant

        Amen!

    • #6163

      Cheryldoerfel
      Participant

      I need to make a sign with that on it and hang it in my bedroom. :0)

    • #6246

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I loved that too… Kind of “what can I learn from this?” and “how can God use this mess in me to help another?”

  • #6000

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 8
    Our goal with Evangelism is to spread the Gospel. What is the best way? Through our testimony. Why? Because God told us too. Witnessing to others the truth about what God has done for us and how our lives have been transformed, and that others can be saved too.
    Get the word out there and God will take it from there and convince the sinner to believe it.

    • #6003

      robertaleps
      Participant

      There nothing more moving than a person’s testimony. The lower the bottom, the more moving it is. Or maybe the more I can identify. Then it gives hope… hope and living proof that our Lord Jesus Christ, saved and changed you, He can save, salvage, and change me too.

  • #6002

    robertaleps
    Participant

    Yet another thing I didn’t realize, or maybe just didn’t completely understand… that we didn’t seek the Lord Jesus Christ. He sought us. I love learning all this and gaining a greater understanding so I can be a more effective evangelist.

  • #6005

    PBob
    Participant

    I love reading all your comments. Each person has a little different perspective. I am glad we are all in this together. Thanks for all your sharing. God Bess Everyone!

  • #6006

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 9
    The 3 biblical attitudes seem much like an instruction manual to develop a seeking ministry.
    Preparation… Jesus wants to witness to all types of people. Therefore we must be willing to do whatever it takes. Work outside our comfort zone. Fit in with who we are winessing to.
    Anticipation…. Be ready. Anticipate what God is going to do. Be sensitive and discerning. Don’t push your views on someone. Be sensitive.
    Cooperation….remind yourself that God is in charge.
    Get involved with Pre Christians in non secular groups. Seek out people with common interests, and look for opportunities.
    Plant and water, but remember God is responsible for the increase.
    The battle for souls is a hostile territory and the weapons are not carnal but spiritual.

    • #6009

      robertaleps
      Participant

      Yes, fitting into the group, like Timothy got circumcised to be a part of a group. In another area in the Bible, the witness refrained from eating certain foods that the group he was witnessing to believed was unclean. There’s many ways to join in and be a part of, without compromising holiness. Do what it takes, right?! It’s challenging, but Jesus and others prove it’s possible, and works for planting and sewing.

      • #6259

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Yes, Roberta… We both work in places where we can use our ministry skills but must be “appealing through our actions” but not be tempted by what they are doing. I think the biggest impact we have is working with the unsaved. By showing love and compassion, we can set a good example that we can have fun and be fun people to be around and yet, we don’t have to act sinfully to do it.

  • #6008

    robertaleps
    Participant

    MD 9
    In the three Biblical Attitudes: Being Prepared, Anticipation and Discerning… we should befriend and be able to be around unbelievers without sinning is the part I feel is tough everyday when I go to my place of employment. I get a fresh start every day, and these lessons sure convict me where I need improvement. I do have great opportunities everyday. I Feel like my job keeps me too busy though, like I lack in the being available department. I do try to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to the opportunities that do arise, and often. Hopefully I give five good impressions for Christ, for every bad one I make.

    • #6231

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      That’s as real as it gets Roberta! And I think people who know we are trying to lead a healthy Christian life are more impressed when we make mistakes and admit to them than just trying to be do gooders all the time while possibly making others feel uncomfortable around us.

      • #6261

        MeriLynn
        Participant

        Yes, Tom. It is a fine line we walk!! I never want to intimidate or push people away because I am “churchy”. I try to lead a transparent life so that as I make mistakes, they can see how I lean on Jesus and work with the Holy Spirit to make things right again… Kind of a “living” testimony that Faith works!

      • #6263

        Cheryldoerfel
        Participant

        Good point. If we act super churchy, people in the secular world won’t give us the time of day. We need to be real people, with our own problems that others can relate too, and be willing to share our own experiences when the opportunities arise. You can’t do that without a relationship/friendship. We need to be trustworthy and sincere.

    • #6260

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      My answer to your answer to Doug really fits better here! And I totally agree with you, but at least we are aware and we keep trying!!

  • #6026

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 2

    Personally, I never liked hearing people say something like, “So-and-So is saved (or unsaved).” We can think what we want, but only God saves, and we don’t know who’s saved and who’s not. The false traditions were interesting. I’m looking forward to hear what is good next.

  • #6030

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 3

    I like the simpleness of the Gospel presented here. Christ died for our sins. He was buried. He rose again. He was seen. It is so easy to share it this way. Nothing complicated.

    The part about believing part of the Gospel reminded me of something Tom’s grandfather said a long time ago. Many members of his family were always trying to evangelize him. One day he told Tom, “I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the rest is a bunch of crap.” Our jaws kind of hit the floor. He was the one who brought it up. We weren’t talking about it. A few years later, Tom was the last person that he talked to before he died, and he accepted Christ in that talk.

    • #6036

      PBob
      Participant

      Nice and simple, I love it Cheryl.

    • #6042

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Wonderful testimony, Cheryl… It made my heart so glad for both of them!!

    • #6249

      JDoyle
      Participant

      That is so neat. And it is great that the gospel can be so simple.

  • #6033

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples lesson 3:

    My first impression while listening to this lesson made me wonder if the professor is really PBob! How we as Christians present the gospel was another button pusher to me, whether it was the preparationist movement of the 1800’s or the incestuous church of today. Programs aren’t the answer, we as individuals responding to the Holy Spirit and His amazingly intimate way of leading our daily lives is the answer…through prayer!

    • #6037

      PBob
      Participant

      No Tom, I really don’t know anything without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. P is not for professor. Praise Jesus!!

      • #6038

        tomdoerfel
        Participant

        Then PBob, you must at least be the voice over for the lessons…sounding exactly like your voice! 🙂

        • #6039

          PBob
          Participant

          Does that mean you’ll listen to me? when I try to tell you something?

  • #6043

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 4
    I really Like using prayer, for a person I believe would make a powerful witness for God when saved, as a weapon against temptation. It diverts your attention from the temptation as well as gets in another prayer for your target person. This is so simple. I haven’t done this enough yet to discourage being tempted but I am looking forward to the results

  • #6044

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 3 – Making Disciples

    God will take us just as we are right now…
    That line stood out to me because that is who I was when I accepted Jesus. Very broken!
    I loved that believing the 4 basic points (Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose again, and was seen) is all we have to do to come to Christ and to lead people to Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 is something to read to the “skeptics”. I agree that the “mechanics” of the act can be misleading. It really is more important that they accept these facts and take them into their hearts and minds. I believe that if they do that, they will want to know more, and in seeking, will begin to live the life of a Believer. I am also a BIG believer in prayer and I value the Prayer Warriors in my life.
    Praying for people is sometimes the only thing we can do for them!

    • #6250

      JDoyle
      Participant

      It is. Prayer really changes things.

  • #6051

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples lesson 4:

    I like that…when being tempted who can I personally pray for that would put a heavy assault on the enemy if he/she were fighting for the kingdom of God! On the other hand, as I’m mentoring disciples, letting them know the battle is real and being in the trenches has its ups and downs also has its challenges. These lectures are helping me present a little more “solid food” to my family and friends who want to grow spiritually.

  • #6054

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 4

    It’s interesting that the works of a believer can be greater than the works of Christ. I can’t imagine me being in that spot. It seems impossible. Along with that, most of us are on the earth longer than Jesus was, and with technology we have access to many more people than He physically did. I never thought about that before. I liked the reminder to pray for potential converts, present laborers, and future laborers.

  • #6059

    chetmalanowski
    Participant

    MD 1
    I am a novice at this. I was raised Roman Catholic and life took me to some exotic places. VietNam, I am searching for answers, I dont know what the questions are.
    Looking forward to learning

  • #6069

    douglasleps
    Participant

    MD lesson 10

    Learned somthing new tonight… Believers are supposed to be baptised before participating in communion? I guess the only way to have a clear concious is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, repent, and be baptised into the newness of life.

    • #6279

      JDoyle
      Participant

      Lesson 6 (I’m finally starting to catch up!) 🙂

      Learned something new today…Christian was a term of ridicule? When did the church adopt the title?

      A few years ago, my teacher for Ocean Rangers summer camp was driving me and a few other students home. We stopped for ice cream and while we ate in the little garden in the back they were singing a few songs that made me uncomfortable. I asked them to stop; they asked why. Sort of like the professor’s example, I just said I didn’t really like it. When they asked what songs I wanted to sing, I sorta chickened out and didn’t say anything. I beat myself up a little afterwards–it was a perfect witnessing time, and I was scared of saying anything because they might tease me or something. Fortunately, one of them is now a Christian, but I still feel bad that I didn’t say anything.

    • #6280

      JDoyle
      Participant

      Lesson 6 (I’m finally starting to catch up!) 🙂

      Learned something new today…Christian was a term of ridicule? When did the church adopt the title?

      A few years ago, my teacher for Ocean Rangers summer camp was driving me and a few other students home. We stopped for ice cream and while we ate in the little garden in the back they were singing a few songs that made me uncomfortable. I asked them to stop; they asked why. Sort of like the professor’s example, I just said I didn’t really like it. When they asked what songs I wanted to sing, I sorta chickened out and didn’t say anything. I beat myself up a little afterwards–it was a perfect witnessing time, and I was scared of saying anything because they might tease me or something. Fortunately, one of them is now a Christian, but I still feel bad that I didn’t say anything.

    • #6286

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      I never really thought about that before but I certainly get it. Communion is a serious thing and you do not want to participate if your heart isn’t right or if you have issues between you and God. I realized that but baptism also makes sense.

  • #6070

    robertaleps
    Participant

    Again I learned something new… I didn’t realize that a person should refrain from taking communion until they have been baptized. Since baptism is an act of obedience and communion is an act of being in compliance.

    • #6084

      RBosic
      Participant

      When I grew up in the church, Baptism took place within the first couple of weeks after birth and you could not take communion until you finished your studies and actually made your first communion as a class sometime around the second grade so I found all of this very interesting.

    • #6294

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I didn’t realize this either… Although, I accepted Jesus at an early age and was Baptized as a baby, I never really took communion until I came to the Vineyard and was Baptized again at Bahia Honda in the late 90’s. I am glad that Pastor Steve says often that we MUST be Baptized after accepting Christ but I’m also glad that we are a church for the “pre-Christians and don’t shut the door on those who aren’t yet.

  • #6090

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples lesson 5:

    My BC past experienced suffering due to poor choices. It is much better suffering under the third force of evangelism, particularly as a choice, knowing Christ suffered for us. In turn, suffering for the benefit of others has been a privilege to say the least. Many times, I feel like a prisoner in my own home when my “space” is invaded. Just today, I was so thankful to be sharing my “space” with our older kids and their friends, as we get time to still be a part of their every day lives…that changes quickly once they move out and I get my “space” back.

  • #6095

    chetmalanowski
    Participant

    MD2
    I am enjoying the lessons very much – something new with each lesson

  • #6096

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 5 I love the three aspects of choices. How often do we as Christians settle for good instead of excellent ( best) because it is more in line with our own personal desires. We can get by with it, so we chose it. This is a profound part of the lesson and I can see how its application would make great changes in our walk with God.

    • #6155

      Cheryldoerfel
      Participant

      I agree, what a great challenge.

    • #6222

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      So hard to know what is best when you are in the middle of it! I pray that my choices continue to be better as I strive for best (excellent) and trust the Holy Spirit to lead me there!

    • #6254

      JDoyle
      Participant

      Agreed.

  • #6106

    chetmalanowski
    Participant

    MD3
    Great lesson, I have asked Jesus to forgive my sins, I repent, I make Jesus my Savior, He is my Salvation
    MD4
    I am enjoying the lessons – they have opened my mind, the veil has been lifted, Thank You Jesus

  • #6110

    bchiagouris
    Participant

    Lesson 5AB
    Loved this lecture on holy living and setting the standard so others may see the hope you have. However, I believe our stumbling and falling can be a great witness to others as well. Do I run and hide when I blow it, or do others see me run in the Arms of Love. My point is that Holy living and always trying to do the right will sometimes fall short, and our behavior during those times can be very effective for Christ.

    • #6223

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing that. I love that we can be transparent as Christians because I believe that unbelievers need to see us as “human” and see how we deal with troubles as we lean on Christ!

  • #6127

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 6 I have had people tell me they don’t do this or that because they are Christians. I have to agree that it sounds judgmental and definitely has a “Holier than Thou” flavor to it. That is a very distasteful way to reveal your relationship with Jesus.

  • #6142

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 7 The necessity for the Holy Spirit to convict, as a pre-requisite to salvation, is one more piece of the puzzle of my understanding of my belief that many people going to church and repeating the sinners prayer are not getting real salvation. I have been against that concept my entire life but I have not been able to put my objections into proper words. As I study and continue taking these courses, I continually find scripture to confirm my belief. In this case, unless the Holy Spirit convicts you, which I think is synonymous with “those God calls”, you will not be saved. We can not decide if and when we are going to get saved, only the Holy Spirit does that by conviction. However, I do believe if someone has a strong desire and demonstrates Godly remorse, They have been convicted by the Holy Spirit.

    • #6198

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Yes, and most of our choices seem to form our spiritual growth gradually, with the point of our salvation maybe being more of a process rather than an “I do” exact point of time.

  • #6154

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 5

    The third evangelistic force is suffering. Prayer and holiness lead to suffering. Suffering as a Christian is identifying yourself as a follower of Christ when you are given the chance to do so. Those who don’t want to be reminded of Jesus will want to make you suffer. Joseph’s life, characterized by holiness, invited suffering, and he prospered in the midst of his suffering.

  • #6156

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples 6a

    It’s taking me a while to respond due to the legalistic examples of suffering for Jesus sake. His point is well taken, his examples are very lame. Getting to the point, we need to be ready with an answer for the hope that we have. It’s only natural to be intimidated once in a while, but practice makes perfect and when I am weak He is strong!

    • #6241

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I have been intimidated before and regretted my not stepping up to the plate… But then, when I rethink it and the situation or place or the timing of it, I also realize that I didn’t “shut the door” either and I pray for another, better opportunity!!

  • #6159

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Making disciples 6b:

    Being a member of about 8 different churches, this idea of unity being the 4th force of evangelism is clear. The intimate friendships of the small groups is the glue that holds the church together, whether the church is big or small. Hopefully, our small groups of friends have an openness that attracts others to them as we allow the holy spirit to guide us.

  • #6160

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 6

    It was interesting to think about Paul denying Christ. I have heard the story many times, but never thought that by denying Christ he was losing opportunities to share Christ with others. He was motivated by fear of suffering, which I think we can all relate to.

    • #6240

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      That was a revelation to me too!

  • #6162

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 7

    The fifth force of evangelism is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is different than the first four forces in that it is strictly in God’s hands. We can not participate in it but must cooperate with it. The Holy Spirit convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgement. We are responsible for planting and watering . The Good News will convince people. We can not.

    • #6197

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      Although I do sometimes find myself trying to convince others…

  • #6195

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    I can see how having a congregation that practices humility and meekness will contribute towards unity, a people who are more concerned about the whole body rather than getting their own way. We’ve been to hundreds of churches where people think of it as “their” church. That’s where discord starts.

    • #6196

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      This is for lesson 7

    • #6244

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I like that and try not to say “my church” but “our church” … It sounds more inviting!

  • #6202

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 4 – Making Disciples

    Prayer, the First Force, is truly, I believe, the most powerful tool we have. To pray for the lost is what God would have us do. To pray for His Will in the lives of those we love, Those on our target list and for the truly lost is His heart’s desire. I love that we can pray for someone that would be a powerful force in His Kingdom and against Satan and in doing so, can resist temptation! That is a great tool also. I was drawn into the Kingdom because living for Christ meant that I did not have to live “sinless perfection”, but could live the best I could with my goal to live a Holy Life.
    Although I knew it, I never saw how clearly our impact can be. We can reach more people via the Internet and we can make a difference during the years we are here on earth. Jesus only had a short ministry and he changed the world forever!
    As 2 Corinthians says, “the God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they can not see the light”…we need to be that “Light”, draw them to us, and lift that veil… What an awesome opportunity we have been given!!

  • #6212

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 8

    This lesson is tough to comment on because the professor is so churchy. We, however, have to deal with people with the opposite perspective, and its good to realize and remember that it’s the Holy Spirit who convicts in both places.

  • #6218

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 5 – Making Disciples

    The Force of Holiness…. I liked the distinction between Deuteronomy 30:15 where Moses told his people to choose “good or evil” as opposed to the “choice” that we have been given in Philippians to abound in love and discern what is best. To live for Christ is to choose what is right…and in choosing what is right in our daily lives lets unbelievers see Holy living and the Light of Jesus in us. I do think that Living in the Light and Holy Living will still not draw anyone to you as an evangelist unless they can see the JOY and the kindness of Christ!

    The Third Force of Suffering… I know many that speak of God… Believe in God… And yet become uncomfortable when I mention Jesus Christ. When I realize it, it causes me to “suffer” for them! I don’t remember reading (or at least, understanding the words written) in John 5:22. I truly thought that God judged, but it clearly says that the Son will judge! That was a revelation. I know that when I speak of Jesus that it opens me up for criticism, but I always hope that there will be someone that is interested nearby. I’m always looking for that “open door”! I liked that he spoke of compassion when dealing with people… If you can’t “read the situation”, you could easily shut that door forever!

    • #6253

      JDoyle
      Participant

      Exactly. We need to be compassionate when it comes to evangelism–talk nicely, but still get the point across. “Do you know you’re going to hell?” just shuts doors and gives the image of a frowny, stick-my-finger-in-your-face kind of person.

  • #6229

    tomdoerfel
    Participant

    Although I admire people who take charge with a logical approach to the gospel, I haven’t given much thought to the idea of election till now. Accepting this approach gives me, as a follower of Christ, a sense of being someone “special”…in Christ of course. That sense of “specialness” gives me the passion to spread the good news to everyone we meet. The step by step suggestions/illustrations on how to wet people’s spiritual appetites without freaking them out has been helpful and in many cases sort of a déjà vu…having experienced the success of some of the professors ideas! The funny thing to me is the idea of election doesn’t necessarily have to be true…I still feel “special” or like “royalty”…to be effective evangelically!

    • #6230

      tomdoerfel
      Participant

      This is lesson 9

  • #6239

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 6 – Making Disciples

    This was an interesting study for me. I understood that we were to suffer for Christ, but didn’t realize how we were to “suffer”. I liked that instead of using the worldly word of Christian by saying that I was a follower of Jesus Christ, that it would much better describe me but would also open a door for discussion… Or perhaps shut a door and produce suffering. He mentions 1 Peter 4:19, but long ago I had highlighted vs 16…”However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” I have lost friends and family as a result of my open faith in Christ, so it was important to me to remember to praise God for His Grace and Mercy in my life!

    I loved the Force of Unity. I truly believe that therein lies our strength and great evangelism tool. I have brought people to our church by telling them that we are a loving family…a family that they need to have! I am grateful that the Vineyard has that “good and pleasant” atmosphere. I also loved that the professor mentioned 1 Corinthians 1:3-4, which I also have highlighted because I love that “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble”. When we understand that our unity in the body is a our spiritual bond of peace and live in love with one another, praying for each other and reaching out to help one another, it is very attractive to those who are lonely, discontent with life, and seeking a better way.

  • #6243

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 7 – Making Disciples

    Unity is essential… The key ingredient for evangelism. That speaks volumes to me. Who would want to belong to a church where there is apparent discord…gossiping and unrest…or hear about Jesus from someone that does not have the four graces (humility, gentleness, longsuffering and forbearance). These are the traits that make following Jesus attractive and it’s good to be reminded that I need to make them my goals!

    I was a little concerned when I heard that conviction comes to unbelievers through the Holy Spirit. I always understood that we received the gift of the Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus and that we were changed slowly to be more Christlike because of it’s indwelling … So, light bulbs are going on now as I read John 16: 7-11. I was relieved to hear also that God is in charge of the increase…not me and how I bring the Gospel to someone. 1 Corinthians 3:6 was good to remember. I plant the seed, the church can water it, but God “has been making it grow”. As the professor said, we are the witnesses telling people the good news and it’s the good news that convinces the people… We can not do that.

  • #6248

    JDoyle
    Participant

    Lesson 3

    Prayer is underestimated. It and Scripture are the most powerful weapons there are. Like the professor said, we need to pray for everything–friends, family, leaders, our country. Especially our country and it’s leaders.

  • #6251

    JDoyle
    Participant

    Lesson 4
    Part A:
    I love the idea of the prayer target list! So now, whenever I’m tempted to yell at my little brother, I’ll instead pray for our neighbors. But I don’t get why we should pray for the specific person ONLY when we’re tempted. It makes sense to do it when we’re tempted, but why only then?
    Part B:
    He is holy. “Holy, holy, holy.” We need to be holy all the time and everywhere. We need to be the pinhole that fills the whole room. It does sound weird that Dr. Bearss said that the only way people see Christ in us is through our holiness. “They will not see Christ in your life by the Bible in your hands…they way you’re dressed….your haircut…not any other thing but your holiness.” I personally don’t agree with that–we can show Christ in many ways. Holiness may be the main attention-getter, but it’s not the only way.

  • #6252

    JDoyle
    Participant

    Lesson 5
    I think it’s neat how the professor uses the “good, better, best” analogy to describe how we, as God’s kids, should live. Good=mostly blending in with the crowd. Better=not really blending in, but not standing out, either. BEST= Living out for God and daring to be different. Besides, apparently I will impact 500 people in my ADULT life….add another 16 years and 150 people to that!
    I love the story of Joseph. I never noticed how much he is an example for us as Christians. Choose right, or choose wrong. Good, better, or best. Life and excellence, or death and evil. CHOOSE LIFE.

  • #6256

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 8 – making Disciples

    Continuing the lesson on Conviction of the Holy Spirit, I think I really understand so much better how the Holy Spirit works in the unsaved than I ever have before. We can persuade someone only with the help of the Holy Spirit… Our words may fall on deaf ears or our words may have an impact. We are just to carry the message… Our “experience, strength and hope” but the power is in the message itself. Human effort verses Divine effort…only God can save a life. I loved reading the examples in Acts and in Luke as it made it all the more clear to me.

    The “seeking Ministry of the Unsaved” was also put in a way that easily explained how God draws man to Himself through Conviction of the Holy Spirit and the seeking of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It really lifts the burden from us as we simply deliver a message of hope to those who are lost. I remember my early seeking on my own and I was just looking for relief from everyday troubles. It wasn’t until I came to church and felt convicted by the Holy Spirit, that the darkness was lifted and I confessed with my lips and truly believed in my heart that Jesus was the light I needed and the way I wanted to go forward with my life!

    • #6282

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      I like your response. many times I have felt bad and like I failed when it didn’t seem like my witness made any difference at all. I get it now.

  • #6258

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 9 – Making Disciples

    Continuing in the Seeking Ministry of the Unsaved, I like that the professor gives us actual “how to” instructions for being prepared, having an attitude of anticipation, and having an attitude of cooperation. I love that being “who we are” instead of “what we do” is the most important… For if its what we DO, we may be discouraged thinking at we are not doing it right! I start my day by asking God to be “used” by Him and I know that it will not happen unless I yield to Him and try not to have my own agenda! I have to remember to let God set the terms because He is the Master of the Harvest field… I liked that! A very good reminder that I must say every day “Here I am, send me”!

    I know that part of my testimony was in believing and using 1 Peter 3:1 as it applied to my early conversion and the eventual conversion of my husband. That was to be in God’s timing, not mine.

    I also liked that 1 Peter 1:2 says that the Believers are the Elect of God. I never thought about the Doctrine of Election but I believe that some are “chosen” to be saved in order to be His witnesses. It does give us hope that there are “fish” to be caught! And my favorite…Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”… Truly my mantra this last year!!!

  • #6262

    Cheryldoerfel
    Participant

    Lesson 9

    There are 3 attitudes you can develop with the seeking ministry of Jesus. They are preparation, anticipation, and cooperation. There are 4 areas that you can cooperate in. Develop friends with unsaved people, seek to meet needs, pursue common areas of interest, and relatives. One of Satan’s best tools is discouragement. Let the doctrine of election encourage you, because God has chosen people to be saved. There will be saved souls. God wants you to experience the same joy He feels when a person is saved.

    • #6284

      coopertlc123
      Participant

      The doctrine of election is a very cool thing. We know there will be people saved and the harvest is in the bag because, as they say, God has “stacked the deck”. If we witness to enough people, eventually we will witness to one of those God has chosen to be saved. Awesome.

  • #6281

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 8 It is the conviction of the Holy Spirit that brings people to Christ. We witness, the Holy Spirit convicts, God draws them, and Jesus seeks them. Our part is clear and with these expectations we should not get discouraged.

  • #6283

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    lesson 9 I have never seen my witness as part of a cooperative effort with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What a team! This reality helps empower me to increase my efforts to witness. With the team I participate with can not be beaten. At the end of the day it becomes the choice of the individual if they will receive Jesus or not. If this team doesn’t win someone to Christ I am certainly not going to feel responsible. I will just move on to the next one.

  • #6285

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Lesson 10 All things work together for the good of those that are called has a whole new meaning to me. I praise God that I was chosen. It would not be bearable to not be chosen and never find my way to the Kingdom of God. It does make me sad for those who were not chosen but I suspect they would not have agreed anyway. God knows best!

    • #6295

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      I feel exactly the same way… Thank you, God for choosing me!! But I also am sad. It does explain why there are people in my acquaintance that know my strong belief, listen to me praising Jesus and singing church songs as I go about my life and are not the least bit interested to know about my Savior, and in fact, let me know that they are happy for me but don’t want to talk about it! Now I understand why!!

    • #6296

      MeriLynn
      Participant

      oops… Printed twice so I erased but it wouldn’t delete!

  • #6297

    MeriLynn
    Participant

    Lesson 10 – making Disciples

    This last teaching on Election was very interesting to me. I had never really noticed all those references to being “elected”. I especially liked the “spiritual blessings” mentioned in Romans 3-5 and Romans 9:11 says “God’s purpose in election”…that we were the foreknowledge of God, predestined by God and called by God to bring about His Works… and we are Justified by God and then Glorified by God into Eternity, that was so overwhelming to hear!! To be one of His Elect puts my life in a different perspective…and that, knowing that He sought me even as I thought I was seeking Him!! Hard for me to put that all into words! Now knowing that we are Multitudes as it says in Revelations, and yet some are not His Elect, makes me sad for them but certainly takes the pressure off! I liked that he spoke of preaching to all because we don’t know who the Elect are, but that the Elect will respond to our message. That and that God is in charge of the Harvest, makes this Evangelism task a lot easier to carry.
    As for Baptism… I was baptized as a baby by water on my head in the Marathon Methodist church, came to love and accept Christ as a child in the Big Coppit Baptist Church, but had never done communion until Baptism at Bahia Honda in the late 90’s with the Vineyard Church. I knew that it was in obedience and compliance and I’m happy that I am but until Pastor Steve started saying that to the church (after accepting Christ, you MUST be Baptized), I never put it all together! I love that we now can walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4). I loved that “there is more “interest in fishing when the fish are biting”…so now we need to actually become “fishers of men”. These lessons were a blessing and I feel so much more confident in my ability to Witness! Good stuff!!

  • #5778

    coopertlc123
    Participant

    Paul’s definition of a Christian, Those who worship in the Spirit, rejoicing in Christ and put no confidence in the flesh, sets the stage of those things we need to aspire to. If we constantly remind ourselves of this we can stay focused on the most important aspects of being Christians.

  • #5909

    PBob
    Participant

    Constantly is the key. Nice

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