Sabbath, December 10, 2005
“Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12.
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2.
• To motivate church leaders to educate all believers to take part in some type of missionary activity.
• To educate ourselves to become more effective gospel workers.
• To train those newly come to the faith to become laborers with God.
EDUCATING THE CHURCH
1. What great need is there among God’s people?
Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
“The greatest help that can be given our people is to teach them to work for God, and to depend on Him, not on the ministers.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 19.
“There should be no delay in this well-planned effort to educate the church members.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 119.
2. Whose responsibility is it to motivate and instruct the church to be successful soul-winners?
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
“Great care should be exercised in selecting officers for the new churches. Let them be men and women who are thoroughly converted. Let those be chosen who are best qualified to give instruction, those who can minister both in word and in deed. There is a deep-seated necessity for work in every line.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 85.
“The elders and those who have leading places in the church should give more thought to their plans for conducting the work. They should arrange matters so that every member of the church shall have a part to act, that none may lead an aimless life, but that all may accomplish what they can according to their several ability…. It is very essential that such an education should be given to the members of the church that they will become unselfish, devoted, efficient workers for God; and it is only through such a course that the church can be prevented from becoming fruitless and dead…. Let every member of the church become an active worker,–a living stone, emitting light in God’s temple” –Christian Service, p. 62
3. Who especially should be trained to become effective and faithful witnesses for God?
1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
“When men of promise and ability were converted, as in the case of Timothy, Paul and Barnabas sought earnestly to show them the necessity of laboring in the vineyard. And when the apostles left for another place, the faith of these men did not fail, but rather increased. They had been faithfully instructed in the way of the Lord, and had been taught how to labor unselfishly, earnestly, perseveringly, for the salvation of their fellow men. This careful training of new converts was an important factor in the remarkable success that attended Paul and Barnabas as they preached the gospel in heathen lands.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 186, 187.
“ ‘The best help that ministers can give the members of our churches is not sermonizing, but planning work for them. Give each one something to do for others. Help all to see that as receivers of the grace of Christ they are under obligation to work for Him. And let all be taught how to work. Especially should those who are newly come to the faith be educated to become laborers together with God’.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 82.
VARIOUS TYPES OF TRAINING
4. What else can the church members do to educate themselves to work for the salvation of souls?
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
“Church members must work; they must educate themselves, striving to reach the high standard set before them. This the Lord will help them to reach if they will co-operate with Him.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 140.
“We should not let slip even one opportunity of qualifying ourselves intellectually to work for God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 334.
5. What instruction and training, that will contribute to the evangelization of the world, should be given to all believers?
2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
“Those who labor in visiting the churches should give the brethren and sisters instruction in practical methods of doing missionary work.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 117.
“Many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin. They need to be instructed and encouraged. Every church should be a training school for Christian workers. Its members should be taught how to give Bible readings, how to conduct and teach Sabbath school classes, how best to help the poor and to care for the sick, how to work for the unconverted. There should be schools of health, cooking schools, and classes in various lines of Christian help work. There should not only be teaching, but actual work under experienced instructors. Let the teachers lead the way in working among the people, and others, uniting with them, will learn from their example. One example is worth more than many precepts.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 149.
6. Besides the church’s offering training by dedicated elders and ministers, what other supremely important place needs to be a missionary training center?
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
“Parents, help your children to fulfill God’s purpose for them. In the home they are to be trained to do missionary work that will prepare them for wider spheres of usefulness. Train them to be an honor to the One who died to gain for them eternal life in the kingdom of glory. Teach them that God has a part for them to act in His great work. The Lord will bless them as they work for Him. They can be His helping hand.
“Your home is the first field in which you are called to labor. The precious plants in the home garden demand your first care. Consider carefully your work, its nature, its bearings, its results, ever remembering that your looks, your words, your actions, have a direct bearing on the future of your dear ones. Your work is not to fashion beauty on canvas, or to chisel it from marble, but to impress upon a human soul the image of the divine.
“Give your children intellectual culture and moral training. Fortify their young minds with firm, pure principles. While you have opportunity, lay the foundation for a noble manhood and womanhood. Your labor will be rewarded a thousandfold.
“This is your day of trust, your day of responsibility and opportunity. Soon will come your day of reckoning. Take up your work with earnest prayer and faithful endeavor. Teach your children that it is their privilege to receive every day the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let Christ find you His helping hand to carry out His purposes. By prayer you may gain an experience that will make your ministry for your children a perfect success.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 130, 131.
THE PURPOSE OF TRUE EDUCATION
7. What should be the true purpose of education obtained at seminars, missionary schools, and in local churches?
Matthew 5:14, 16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid…. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“The purpose of education should be to take in light in order that you may impart light by letting it shine forth to others in good works. The highest of all education is the knowledge of God.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 352.
“He who strives to obtain knowledge in order that he may labor for the ignorant and perishing is acting his part in fulfilling God’s great purpose for mankind. In unselfish service for the blessing of others he is meeting the high ideal of Christian education.” –Pastoral Ministry, p. 238.
8. Who should be the center of attention in all our educational and missionary training programs?
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
“No other light ever has shone or ever will shine upon fallen man save that which emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Saviour, is the only light that can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin. Of Christ it is written, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ John 1:4. It was by receiving of His life that His disciples could become light bearers. The life of Christ in the soul, His love revealed in the character, would make them the light of the world.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 39, 40.
• What instruction have you recently received from a church leader that has helped you to become a more effective witness for God?
• What Bible themes and missionary methods have you personally studied that have motivated you to work with greater zeal and power?