Developing a Ministry

May 5 was our last meeting for the school year.  Out topic was how to develop a ministry.  We started by asking the question, “What is ministry?”  It is simply serving the Lord by serving others!

“Ministry is giving when you feel like keeping; praying for others when you need to be prayed for, feeding others when your own soul is hungry, living truth before people even when you can’t see results, hurting with other people even when your own hurt cannot be spoken, keeping your word even when it is not convenient.  It is being faithful when your flesh wants to run away.” —Author Unknown

IMG_8718We talked about four areas of ministry every believer should focus on:

1. Prayer

Praying for others needs and the Lord’s work.

Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. ” (Col. 4:12, NKJV)

Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes. 5:17, NKJV)

“Prayer isn’t preparation for the work, it is the work. Prayer isn’t preparation for the battle, it is the battle.” —Oswald Chambers

2. Evangelism/Witnessing

Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.

…and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NKJV)

3. Discipleship

Helping others grow in their walk with the Lord.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.(Matt. 28:19-20, NKJV)

4. Good works

Can open doors to share the gospel with unbelievers; is a blessing to believers.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” (Titus 3:8, NKJV)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16, NKJV)

We also had a handout of practical ministry ideas that we can start with.

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The point really isn’t about “developing a ministry,” rather it’s about having an eternal focus.  If we focus on earthly things rather than the eternal, we will be sorry one day; we are missing the big picture (Matthew 6:19-21, 33).  There are many people God brings into our path each day who desperately need the gospel, teaching, and encouragement.  It is important for us to develop a ministry mindset or we will not be ready for the opportunities that God puts in our way.

So many Christians have the wrong focus and live their whole lives without doing anything to serve the Lord.  God does not want lukewarm Christians; He desires Christians who take up their cross and live lives totally dedicated to Him.
Our goal should be not just be to serve the Lord some, but to give Him our entire lives!  Our goal is not only to bear fruit, but to bear much fruit that our Father may be glorified (John 15:8).  Life on earth is only a vapor—it passes quickly.  Are we living our lives in such a way that count for eternity? Or will we be ashamed of the life we wasted?IMG_8719

For our activity time, we had a fun Bright Lights Quiz!  We divided into six teams.  Two teams competed against each other at a time.  We had three questions per lesson that we had this year.  We would read the question and the teams had 20 seconds to come up with their answer.  Whichever team rang the bell first, got to answer the question.  Each team had two rounds, then we had a tie-breaking round.  The winning team got to be first in live for ice cream sundaes!  It was a fun way to review what we learned this year.

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Each girl brought a topping to share and we had a lot of fun building our ice cream sundaes, and then eating together one last time.  It’s been a wonderful year of studying God’s word, growing in Him, and building relationships with other sisters-in-Christ.

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We also managed to get a group picture!

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May each one of you girls continue seek the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to grow in Him!

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Colossians 1: 10-12, NKJV)


Thank you, Havala, for taking pictures! :)

Sharing the Gospel – Part 2

March 24 was a great meeting as we talked about practical tips and ideas for sharing the gospel with others.  Most of the girls seemed excited about the topic!  It was a wonderful evening learning together.

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We know how important it is to share the gospel, but many of us struggle with fear.  In Matthew 28:18-20–the Great Commission–Jesus reminds his disciples that He is one who is in control and that He would be with them.  Why?  Because it’s natural to be afraid.  We have to remember that we aren’t doing this alone.  God is right there beside us, supporting us as we go.  Giving into fear dishonors God because it implies that we don’t trust Him to carry us through.  If we’re truly concerned for the lost, we will be willing to share the gospel no matter what.

What is courage?   It isn’t an absence of fear; it’s facing your fear.  If we waited until we felt ready or weren’t afraid at all, we’d never get around to sharing the gospel.  We need to be courageous. Some practical ways to battle fear are to pray for courage.  Pray that the Lord would give His heart for the lost.  Memorize Scripture to deal with fear.  (Examples: 2 Tim. 1:17, Joshua 1:9, Psalm 118:6).  It really comes down to this: fear of the Lord vs. fear of man.  Let’s be strong and courageous for the glory of God!

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Helpful Tips & Tools for Sharing the Gospel

Use your personal testimony–Remember this isn’t really about you, it’s about what Jesus did for you! Try to keep the focus on that, and make it simple so others can understand how they can be saved through hearing your testimony.  Use Scripture.

Use the 10 commandments–A lot of people think they’re pretty good.  They hope that one day their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds and God will let them into heaven.  Using God’s law shows people that they don’t even come close to God’s standard of holiness and perfection, and why they so desperately need a Savior! (Rom. 2:14-15, Rom. 3:20, James 2:20)

Use questionnaires–Questionnaires are perfect for parks, neighborhoods, etc.  Approaching strangers is less awkward this way and often springboards into longer discussions.  Having a questionnaire to follow helps keeping the conversation going.

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Use questions–Many people who claim to be Christians aren’t truly saved.  Asking open ended questions helps you know where they’re at spiritually, as well as making them think deep!  Asking questions is also a great way to start a conversation with someone: “Can I ask you an interesting question?” … Who do you believe Jesus Christ is?  What do you think happens when someone dies? Is eternal life a free gift or something you have to earn?  If you were to die today and God were to ask you why He should let you into heaven, what would you say?

Use Tracts–Tracts go where we cannot and keep speaking when we leave.  When you pass out tracts know what you’re going to say, be confident, smile, and look them in the eyes. If you act comfortable, they will feel more comfortable, too.  Treat it like a gift you are giving them, because that’s essentially what it is.  Don’t leave home without them.

Find tracts you like. If you have tracts that you are excited about, you will be more confident with them and more eager to give them to others.  Be picky about your tracts!  Make sure they use Scripture and share the gospel clearly, and are Biblically accurate.  Or write your own like these young ladies:

Take Advantage of Holidays–People are often more receptive around the holidays… especially if its a holiday themed tract. Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, etc.  My family has gone door to door handing out tract on Halloween because people are expecting a knock on their door.

As bright lights seeking to valiant for God’s truth, we need to be prepared to share the gospel with others. We can prepare by memorizing Scripture verses that you can use when you are witnessing to people, practicing sharing the gospel with friends and family so that you can be ready when God gives you an opportunity, carrying “tools” to keep with you all the time (i.e. tracts, Bible, wordless book, cube, etc.), learning how to answer common questions people have about the Bible, and praying that God will bring people into your life who are searching for the truth.

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Remember, the goal in witnessing isn’t to make sure someone makes a decision for Christ.  That’s not our responsibility!  We are simply called to be faithful in sharing the gospel.  We might just be planting seeds that God will use to bring someone to salvation later.  We plant and water, but God gives the fruit (1 Cor. 3:7).  We can be the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) that makes people thirsty for the Living Water–Jesus Christ!

Practical assignment: Give away at least one tract to an unbeliever before our next BL meeting!

We watched this video about the Mallys witnessing on St. Patrick’s day a couple of years ago.  Its really inspiring and so encouraging to see young people sharing the gospel with others.  This is a great challenge for us!

Helpful Resources:

For our activity we practiced one-on-one witnessing to each other.  It was a great way to get a feel for sharing the gospel with others.  We were also reminded that even though it seems like we “failed” God can still use our obedience to Him.

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Sharing the Gospel – Part 1

As young people, we are in a special position to share the gospel with others.  Adults usually aren’t intimidated by young people and so they are often willing to talk about spiritual things.  They are often curious about young people and enjoy conversing with them.  Since many young people today are immature, irresponsible, people notice a difference when they see a young person who takes a stand for truth and articulates what he or she believes.  As young ladies, we have energy, we have time, we have enthusiasm.  Let’s use it for Christ!

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The word gospel means “good news.”  You can’t appreciate the good news without the bad news.  Many people don’t like to talk about the bad news.  They don’t like to tell people that they are heading for death and hell.  But it’s doesn’t make sense to tell someone God loves them and Jesus died for them unless they first understand the bad news.
When sharing the gospel, there are three things people people need to know:

1. The Bad News: Man’s sin and need for a Savior

  • God is holy and perfect, cannot allow sin into heaven.  (Rev. 15:4)
  • Man is sinful, has broken God’s law. (Rom. 3:10)
  • Man cannot meet up to God’s standard of perfection. (Rom. 3:23)
  • There is a penalty for sin. (Rom. 6:23, Rev. 20:15)

2. The Good News: The Savior, Jesus Christ

  • God loves us, He made a way for us to be right with Him. (Rom. 5:8)
  • Jesus came and lived a perfect life.  Because He had no sin of His own, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for us.  He took our place and became our substitute.
  • His death satisfied the payment that had to be made, and God raised Him up on the third day showing His power over death. He offers eternal life to all who believe on His name.

3. Man’s response

  • God has given each of us a free will.  Although God has done everything necessary to save us, He has also given us a choice to either receive Christ as our Savior or reject Him.
  • To receive Jesus, one must place their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross  (Acts 16:31, Rom. 10:13)
  • It’s not a prayer that saves us, it’s not our parents’ faith that saves us, it’s not simply knowing about Jesus that saves us.  Only by realizing that we are totally unable to save ourselves and by putting our faith and trust in what Christ has already done—that is the only way we can be saved.  Christ alone!

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God has given us the exciting privilege and responsibility of sharing His message of truth to the world.  Each one of us is called to be a missionary, ambassador, witness right where God has placed us.  We have been entrusted with the most valuable news in the world—the saving message of the cross.  When we think about the eternal destiny of those who don’t know the Lord, how can we keep the message of life to ourselves?  How can we think that it’s too inconvenient, requires too much sacrifice, or is too difficult?  It’s a matter of life and death.

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”

—David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

What will matter a million years from now?  The only thing that will matter is who is in heaven and who is in hell.  What are we doing to share the gospel with others?

We also listened to the story of “The Man on George Street,” Frank Jenner–a man who faithfully shared the gospel with others.  You can listen the audio clip on YouTube here.

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Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

—Fanny Crosby

For our activity, we made “Beautiful Feet” bookmarks and poster to remind ourselves to be sharing the gospel with others.

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Developing a Ministry (and program for families)

June 7 was our last meeting for the summer.  We had our last lesson, talking about how we as young ladies can be serving the Lord in ministry. As young people, we have so much potential for ministry.  The world often listens to young people rather than adults, and young ladies who are mature and wise will stand out in today’s culture.

The enemy doesn’t want us to be fruitful or productive and tries to distract us.  We should be taking advantage of time that we have now as youth and devote it to the work of the Lord before we have the many different obligations that come with adulthood.

Often times we think of ministry as something for missionaries.  However, God calls all of His children to serve Him wherever He places us.  Developing the skills and talents that God has given us is a wonderful place to start.  Also, we need to as be open and attentive the opportunities that Lord brings our way.  I handed out sheets with a list of ministry ideas for the girls to use throughout the summer.

Following our lesson, we presented a program for the families of what we learned in Bright Lights over the winter/spring.  Each small group gave a presentation on one of the lessons that we had.  As a large group we sang some of our Bright Lights songs and recited the Bright Lights theme verse: 1 Timothy 4:12.

Sharing during the program
Gaining a Clear Conscience
Truthfulness
Presenting the Gospel (Witnessing)
Understanding the Fear of the Lord

We enjoyed a special time of fellowship following the program, as families got to meet and visit.

Snacks and fellowship
The younger siblings enjoying snacks

We were very blessed by all the families that came out and supported their daughters.  A special thank you to all of the parents who have allowed their daughters to come to Bright Lights this year, some of which have driven quite a ways to join us each meeting.

It has been such a blessing to have each on of you girls a part of our Bright Lights group this year.  May the Lord bless you as you seek and serve Him, shining as bright lights in this dark world.

“Together we will be bright lights!”

“Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers,
in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
I Timothy 4:12

Presenting the Gospel

At our Bright Lights meeting on May 10th, we talked about sharing the gospel with others.  As young ladies, we are in a special position to share the gospel with others.  Adults are not intimidated by young people and are often willing to talk about spiritual things.  Not only are we in this special position, we also have an important responsibility and exciting privilege to share God’s truth with others.  Lots of people are searching for the truth.  We are the ones who have the truth and we need to be ready to share it with others.

Lesson time

In order to share the gospel with others, it is important that we know the gospel well to share it with others.  Because of this, we did a quick review of the gospel using three important points:

1.  Man’s sin and need for a Savior

God is holy and perfect and cannot allow sin into heaven (Rev. 15:4).  Man, on the other hand, is sinful having broken God’s law (Rom. 3:10) and cannot meet up to God’s standard of perfection (Rom. 3:23).  There is a penalty for sin – death (Rom. 6:23).

2.  The Savior, Jesus Christ

As a good Judge, God must punish sin.  But because He loves us, He made a way for us to be right with Him (Rom. 5:8).  Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life.  Because He had no sin of His own, He died on the cross to pay our penalty  He took our place and became our substitute.  His death satisfied the payment that had to be made.  He rose again three days later, conquering death and the grave.

3.  Man’s response

Although God has done everything necessary to save us, He has also given each of us a free will to either receive Jesus as our Savior or reject Him.  To be saved from the penalty of sin, one must place their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross (Rom. 10:13).

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

Reading a skit demonstrating a witnessing conversation

As bright lights, seeking to be valiant for God’s truth we need to be prepared to share the gospel with others.  There are different ways that we can prepare for this, such as memorizing Scripture for sharing the gospel; carrying “tools” such as a Bible, tracts, etc. with you all the time; and practicing sharing the gospel with your family and friends.  It is important that we are ready to share when God gives us an opportunity.  Witnessing can seem scary or intimidating at times, but we can do it with God’s help.

Katey sharing a witnessing story

Each small group had a time of discussion about some of the difficulties of witnessing, different ways we can start a witnessing conversation, and how our personal salvation testimonies can be a tool in sharing the gospel with others.

For our activity, we practiced witnessing to each other.  Everyone got a chance to be the Christian witness and the unsaved critic.  It was a great way to practice what we had just learned in our lesson.  Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures… probably because we were having so much fun! :)

Over lemon bars (made by Louisa and Olivia), chocolate dipped strawberries (made by Lily), and lemonade, each small group discussed ideas for a lesson presentation for our upcoming program for our families (details will be posted on the blog soon).

For some great witnessing stories and ideas, visit Grace Mally’s blog and view the category Witnessing Stories.