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Principles of Personal Christian Witnessing. Lay Training Seminar. Sabbath School/Personal Ministries Department General Conference. PURPOSE OF STUDY. Learn why witnessing is necessary. Learn when and how to share personal spiritual insight. Learn how to lead others to decide for Jesus.

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Presentation Transcript

Principles of Personal Christian Witnessing

Lay Training Seminar

Sabbath School/Personal Ministries DepartmentGeneral Conference

purpose of study
  • Learn why witnessing is necessary.
  • Learn when and how to share personal spiritual insight.
  • Learn how to lead others to decide for Jesus.


●Motivating Personal Witnessing

● Jesus’ Method of Witnessing

● Knowing the Law of the Mind in Witnessing

● Sharing Faith

● Giving Personal Bible Study

● Bringing People to Decision

church growth in the new testament
120 disciples

3000 new converts

5000 men

More and more


Grew in numbers

Church planting

Many thousands

Acts 1:15

Acts 2:41,42

Acts 4:4

Acts 5:14

Acts 6:1,7

Acts 9:31

Acts 16:5

Acts 21:20

Church Growth in the New Testament

We read in Acts 21:20 that there were many thousands of Jews (the Greek word means myriads, multiples of ten thousand). Why was the church growing so fast? It was because everyone was involved in witnessing.

Through the promises of God, the Lord will bring a harvest of souls as lay members become involved.

why are people not involved
Why Are PeopleNot Involved?
  • Lack of confidence
  • Problem of unknown potential
  • Have never been asked
  • Have no training
  • Limited understanding of role
  • No motivation
problem of unknown potential
Problem of Unknown Potential

The History of Yates Pool


Have Never Been Asked

It is possible that some pastors like to do everything themselves and are very poor at delegating responsibility to other people.


No Training

“Many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin.”- Christian Service, p. 59


Limited Understanding of Roles

“The dissemination of the truth of God is not confined to a few ordained ministers.” - Christian Service, p. 68


“The idea that the minister must carry all the burdens and do all the work is a great mistake.”

- Christian Service, p. 68

limited understanding of roles
  • Evangelism is the role of pastors
  • Membership’s role is to

support the pastor financially.

m istaken d ivision
Spiritually Strong

Spiritual Calling

Special Rewards

Spiritually Weak

Secular Calling

Ordinary Rewards




gratian died 1160
Gratian(Died 1160)

“Two kinds of Christians.”

Stephen of Tournai (Died 1203)

“Two kinds of people: one lower and one higher.”

martin luther
Martin Luther:
  • God wants to accomplish His work through the laity.
  • Christ does not have two bodies or two different kinds of bodies.
biblical meaning of laity
Biblical Meaning of Laity
  • Laos means - “A special people”

or God’s own people.

  • Old Testament - Israel

God’s Remnant

  • New Testament - Those who believe in Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
understanding the roles of laity
Understanding the Roles of Laity

“The idea that the minister must carry all the burdens and do all the work is a great mistake.”- Christian Service, p. 68.

the gospel commission
The Gospel Commission

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”

- Matthew 28:19, 20

the priesthood of believers
The Priesthood of Believers

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”- 1 Peter 2:9

the body of christ
The Body of Christ

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

- 1 Corinthians 12:12

spiritual gifts
Spiritual Gifts

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.”

- 1 Corinthians 12:4,5.

the first task of the pastor
The First Task of the Pastor
  • Within the church
  • To equip, teach and strengthen the laity to carry on its ministry in the world

Christian Service, p. 69

“The minister should not feel that it is his duty to do all the talking and all the laboring and all the praying; he should

educate helpers in every


greatest help
Greatest Help

“Let the minister devote more of his time to educating than to preaching. Let him teach the people how to give to others the knowledge they have received.” - (7T 20)

“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.” - (7T 19)

too many sermons
Too Many Sermons

“The people have had too much sermonizing; but have they been taught how to labor for those for whom Christ died?” - 6T 431

the role of the laity
The Role of the Laity

Primarily Ministry To The World

  • Proclamation
  • Service
  • Fellowship
working together
Working Together

“Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields.”- Christian Service, p. 67


“Every soul whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of the lost.”- Christian Service, p. 10


“To everyone work has been allotted, and no one can be a substitute for another.” - Christian Service, p. 10


“Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver.”- Christian Service, p. 9.


“The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work, and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers…” - Gospel Workers, p. 352







Church growth ratio: 1988 Statistical Report

Europe, Japan, North America, One pastor to 169 members, the growth rate is only 1.25%.

In South America, the pastor-member ratio is 1 to 628, the growth rate is 8.92%




Church Growth





Church Growth

East Africa, South Mexican, and the South Philippine Unions: One pastor to 1,000 members: The growth rate is 12%.


No Motivation

What will motivate our membersto witness?


Witnessing is a Biblical Command

Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”


“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”- Isaiah 60:1

“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” - Acts 13:47


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 1:8


The Lord calls each of His followers to be:

Witnesses-Acts 1:8

Ambassadors-2 Corinthians 5:20

Participantsin the ministry of reconciliation-2 Corinthians 5:17-19

Co-laborers with God-1 Corinthians 3:9

The light and the salt of the earth-Matthew 5:13, 14


Witnessing Is the Heart’s Response to Love.

“The Love of Christ constrains us.

- 2 Corinthians 5:14


Witnessing Is a Biblical Command

Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”


“No sooner is one converted than there is born within him a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus. The saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart.” - The Desire of Ages, p. 141


Witnessing Gives Joy to God’s Heart

Parables in Luke 15: The lost sheep and the lost coin. Any time the lost is found, there is joy in heaven.


Luke 15:7: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

Luke 15:10: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


In the parable of the lost son, Luke 15:32 says: “But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.”


Witnessing Contributes to Spiritual life

There is a relationship between witnessing and character development.

“God could have reached His object in saving sinners without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like Christ’s, we must share in His work. In order to enter into His joy, the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice, we must participate in His labors for their redemption.” - TheDesire of Ages, p. 142


“Strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service.”-The Acts of the Apostles, p. 105


1 Peter 4:10: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”






“Little in the hands of Jesus is much.”

For that reason we must “use whatever we have in our hand.” However simple, the Lord can use it. Knowing that one can achieve something for God’sglory will motivate people to work for Him.


Witnessing Is Related to the Coming of Jesus

Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony of all nations, and then the end will come.”


“Time is short, and our forces must be organized to do a larger work.”

-Testimonies, Volume 9, p. 27


“We are now living in the closing scenes of this world’s history. Let men tremble with the sense of the responsibility of knowing the truth. The ends of the world are come. Proper consideration of these things will lead all to make an entire consecration of all that they have and are to their God.” - Review and Herald, July 23, 1895


There is a relationship between witnessing and the latter rain.

The essential latter rain cannot come until the “largest portion of the church are ... laborers together with God” - Ellen G. White - Review and Herald, July 21, 1896


Other Motivating Factors:

“We are to encourage souls, to attract them, and thus win them to the Savior. If this is not our interest, if we withhold from God the service of heart and life, we are robbing Him of influence, of time, of money and effort. In failing to benefit our fellow men, we rob God of the glory that should flow to Him through the conversion of souls.” -Testimonies, Volume 6, p. 427


Jesus’ Method of Witnessing

It is important to learn from the methods of Jesus how He was successful in His witnessing activities.

Christ’s method alone will give success in reaching the people.-Ministry of Healing, p. 143


He mingled with men as One who desired their good.

He showed sympathy.

He ministered to their needs.

He earned their confidence.

He bade them, “Follow me.”

Five Steps That Jesus Followed in His Witnessing Activities


Mingling– means doing things together. This may be visiting, working, playing, or just talking and sitting together. By mingling we will discover others’ needs.

Sympathy – an attitude of personal concern. Sympathy does not wait until the person asks for help, but it is always expressed by some kind of action that communicates an honest, unselfish concern for someone who has a need.

Minister to their needs– means meeting the needs of people, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. This is done by serving, waiting on, or attending to another. Real needs are not always easily recognized.


Win their confidence.This will be the result of meeting people’s needs.

“Follow me”– was the appeal to follow Christ in His future. The appeal came after He met their needs and won their confidence.


Jesus Used Different Methods

“From Christ’s method of labor we may learn valuable lessons. He did not follow only one method; in various ways He sought to gain the attentionof the multitude, that He might proclaim

to them the truths of the gospel.” -Welfare Ministry, p. 59

jesus discovered a felt need and met it
Wedding feast


Woman at the well

Man at the pool

Hungry multitude

Social embarrassment

Genuine spirituality

Emotional security

Divine healing

Physical food

Jesus Discovered a Felt Need and Met It

“What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will.”- Steps to Christ, p. 47


The law of human compassion

The law of receptivity

The law of divine providence

The Law of the Human Mind Includes Three Important Things


The Law of Human Compassion

Lessons from the life of Jesus

To the scribe he said:“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

To the Canaanite woman, “Great is thy faith.”

To the Roman centurion, “I have never found such great faith, not even in Israel.”


Effective Communication

Content - 7%

Tone - 38%,

Body language - 55%


Why Adventist Ministries of Compassion?

Adventists’ work is to “first meet the temporal needs,” and “then find an open avenue to the heart” where they can “plant good seeds of virtue and religion.” -Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 227


Community Service Work

Because many people are touched through the ministry of compassion, it is important to be involved in various activities.


Community service work is a great umbrella under which all our acts of helping other areincluded.


Feed the hungry - Matthew 14:16

Clothe the naked - Luke 3:11

Welcome the stranger - Matthew 25:35

Visit the sick - Matthew 25:36

Visit the prisoner - Matthew 25:35

Visit the widows - James 1:27

Visit the orphan (fatherless) - James 1:27

Refresh the thirsty - Matthew 25:35

Comfort those in trouble, the bereaved and dying - 2 Corinthians 1:4

Health education

Disaster relief

Nutrition classes

Friendship camps


“The term medical missionary work as often employed by Mrs. White stretched far beyond the bounds of professional medical service to embody all acts of mercy and disinterested kindness.” - Welfare Ministry, p. 36


“Any human being who needs our sympathy and our kindoffers is our neighbor.

The suffering and destitute of all classes are our neighbors; and when their wants are brought to our knowledge, it is our duty to relieve themas far as possible.” -Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 266


The Law of Receptivity

People have different levels of receptivity. Some are very receptive and some are not at all interested.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

God May Exist, Not Personal

Truth Seekers

Regular Attendance As Religious Duty

No Spiritual Interest

Adventist Church Attender; Unbaptized

Occasional Church Goers

Committed Christians; Spiritual Openness

Receptivity Differences


The Keys to Discovering Receptivity

●Personal crisis

● World trauma

A personal crisis occurs when someone has a family dilemma, emotional crisis, financial crisis, or health problems. People are more receptive at these times.

the bridge

People Who Care


Mental, &






The Receptivity Rating Scale

The highest receptivity rate is at:

Death of a spouse -100%

Divorce -73%

Marital separation - 65%

Jail term - 63%

Death of close family member - 63%

Personal injury or illness - 53%

Marriage - 50%

Fired from work - 47%


Emotional –

If the individual is experiencing grief or divorce, there are grief recovery and divorce recovery programs.


Physical –

Some people are heavy smokers. They need Breathe Free classes.


Some of these programs can be introduced through the church Members who have particular talents or spiritual gifts can help according to the needs of the people.


The Law of Divine Providence

The Lord will help us to meet people who need the Savior.

Jesus said to them, “My father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”- John 5:17


Consider the divine providence in the biblical examples of the conversion of Paul, Cornelius, and an Ethiopian eunuch.


God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are working with us, and because everyone is working, the Lord will bring us to meet people who need the Savior so that we can share the goodness of salvation with them.


Sharing Faith

Tell to all: “Christ died for all.”


We Are Not Righteous

None of us deserve salvation.

God gives the gift to all who come to Him.

The richThe church memberThe poorThe degradedThe dejectedThe sickThe dirtyThe drunkenThe homelessThe abused child






The FORT Principle

A simple way of witnessing is to use the FORT principle.


We speak of family first because people are usually interested in talking about their family.

  • Then we can ask about their occupation or work, followed by what church they may attend.
  • And finally, share a personal testimony.

Three Essential Elementsof a Testimony

My life before accepting Christ

How I became a Christian

My life since I became a Christian


The Need of a Forceful Testimony

The Christian can be an effective witness for Christ if he has a forceful testimony.

A consistent life as a Christian is a tremendous witness.


Make Your Testimony Brief

If you should be invited to witness by your testimony, and you feel frightened and inadequate, write out your testimony. Use the three points suggested above as your main points to discuss. Make your testimony brief (from three to five minutes) and to the point.



It consists of



. What is the most important

word in the first place? .

is the beginning of everything--

the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:1)

and the beginning of salvation (Psalm

3:8; 68:20).




God loves you. This is a positive, effective way to begin your presentation.

God has a special plan for your life. This is a message the people need to hear.



This brings us to the sin problem.Sin brings separation and death. (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). And since all have sinned (Romans 3:23) all are separated from God.


Jesus is God’s answer to man’s problem of sin and separation. Christ came to be the solution to the problem.


To know about God’s and man’s problem of separation because of sin, and that Christ is God’s answer to man’s problem will not be enough unless we receive Christ as our salvation.


“Present the gospel in its simplicity. Follow Christ’s example, and you will have the reward of seeing your students won to Him.”

-Counsels to Teachers, p. 255


“Even the great men are more easily drawn by the simplicity of the gospel than by any effort made in human power.” - Evangelism, p. 443

“Even the great men are more easily drawn by the simplicity of the gospel than by any effort made in human power.” - Evangelism, p. 443


“What you need is a living experience in the things of God and simplicity in presenting the love of Christ to the lost.” - Sons and Daughters of God, p. 266


Finding Interests

The OIKOS Principle

The Greek wordoikos means house, but in the Bible it is often used in the broader sense of the household, or extended family.


Biblical Examples of the Oikos Principle

From the life of Abraham, Joseph in Egypt, until the time of the New Testament - how people come to the Lord from every family.



“This was the way the Christian church was established.

Christ first selected a few persons and bade them follow Him. They then went in search of their relatives and acquaintances, and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others.” - Welfare Ministry, p. 60


How Do People Join the Christian Church?

According to some studies, the results show that the majority of people who have joined the church because of friends or relatives is between 75-90%. This indicates that the oikos system is still valid at the present time.


Oikos identification worksheet

Put your name in the center circle, and then put the Oikos members (from 1-5), friends and relatives with whom you have some influence.


Circle of Influence








Another way we can find our Oikos system is by using a circle of influence:


●Visitors who attend Sabbath School and any other programs

●Individuals who have completed any of our Bible correspondence programs

●Parents of children who attend Vacation Bible School

●Friends from the Ingathering Program


●Non-SDA students studying in our Adventist schools and their parents

●Regular customers of our literature evangelists

●Those who have attended our evangelistic meetings who have not made their decisions for Jesus


Network Bible Study

A simple method is needed

It has proven very successful around the world.

Anyone can master it very quickly.

The student learns better and faster.

The student is soon trained and equipped with completed study guides to study the Bible

god s instruction
God’s Instruction

“Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles and go forth to warn the world.” - 9 Testimonies, p. 150.

ellen g white s prophecy
Ellen G. White’s Prophecy

“Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.”- 9 Testimonies,p. 126.

heart preparation the example of jesus
Heart PreparationThe Example of Jesus

Before every major event in

His ministry, Jesus prayed for guidance and help. - Mark 1:35; Luke 9:18, 28, 29

Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. - John 16:13

God wants us to pray for wisdom. - James 1:5; Hebrews 4:16

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me...unto the uttermost part of the earth” - Acts 1:8.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” -James 4:7, 8
“The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we

do yield ourselves to the control of

Christ, we shall be dominated by

the wicked one. ” - TheDesire of Ages, p. 324

preparation of materials the basic tools
Preparation of Materials The Basic Tools

Bible - preferably one with a concordance

Bible Study Guide

Pictorial aid for Bible study or other devices

mental preparation
Mental Preparation

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

- 2 Timothy 2:15

home visitation
Home Visitation

“How can the great work of the third angel’s message be accomplished? It must largely be accomplished by persevering, individual effort, by visiting the people in their homes.”

-Welfare Ministry, p. 97

“There are families who will never be reached by the truth of God’s word unless His servants enter their home.”- Evangelism, pp. 435,436
new testament method of creating and building interest
New Testament Method of Creating and Building Interest

“The more closely the New Testament plan is followed in missionary labor, the more successful will be the efforts put forth.”- 3T , p. 210

christ s method
Christ’s Method

Our Savior went from house to house:

healing the sick,

comforting the mourners,

soothing the afflicted,

speaking peace to the disconsolate,

blessing children,

speaking words of hope and comfort to the weary mothers. - Christian Service, p. 114

the method of the early christian church
The Method of the Early Christian Church

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”- Acts 5:42

They grew -Acts 2:47

The whole city was evangelized -Acts 17:6

More baptisms -Acts 2:41, 4:4; 5:14

Penetrating unentered areas -Acts 8:4

Paul: “taught publicly and from house to house.” -Acts 20:20

making friends with people jesus example
Making Friends with PeopleJesus’ Example

Jesus loved people and never failed to help them - Mark 1:41; 6:34, Matthew 4:14

Jesus was able to be friendly to all kinds of people -Matthew 9:10; Mark 2:15

Jesus showed interest in every one he met and tried to give them spiritual help. -John 3:1,2, John 4:7

be friendly to all people
Be Friendly to All People

If we want to win people to Jesus, we must be friendly to them. -Proverbs 18:24

When we meet someone: on the road, in a bus, at the market, in the village or at a store, always be friendly: smile, talk to people, inquire about family, give help if needed.

make use of every opportunity to help others
Make Use of Every Opportunity to Help Others

There are many opportunities for us to offer help and friendship:


Family death

New neighbors

People in prison


Elderly people



Prospects for Bible Study

Children of church members

Close relatives of church members

Graduates of the Bible Correspondence School

Interests of Colporteurs

Interests of hospital or medical outreach

Branch Sabbath School Interests

Sabbath School members who are not yet church members


Tips on Finding Bible Studies

Distribute a series of tracts or a single tract.

Place enrollment cards in the doors.

Mass mail enrollment cards to postal areas.

Encourage all church members to carry enrollment cards at all times.

Give, or better, lend books.

Share a video or audio-cassette.

Use a Religious Interest Survey.

Use a Community Service survey.


To awaken the interest of the hearers, let your introduction statement make a lasting impression. It can be:

●A short story

● Important world events

● An arresting text that introduce the topic

● An appetizer that will make people crave the main dish

the body
The Body

The body is the main dish

●The body should satisfy the craving which is created by the introduction.

● It must be solid and in logical sequence from

beginning to end.

● Present the subjection with conviction and leave

room for the Holy Spirit.

● Pick up verses that are simpler and have a

direct connection to your next verse.

● Be brief and direct to the point.

● End your study before interest fades.

● Ten to 15 texts in each will be sufficient.

appeal or conclusion
Appeal or Conclusion




Forecasting the next topic


What to Do at the Study

●Be Punctual

● Be enthusiastic, cheerful, relaxed and friendly

● Sit at the right place (with a group, it is best to sit in a circle)

●Short introduction (make sure everyone is introduced and comfortable)

● Be understanding

● Speak wisely


How to Present the Bible Study

1. Begin with prayer.

An opening prayer is brief but sincere.

Establish a friendly spirit before beginning the Bible study.


◘You will want to ask each question: How, When, Where, Which, What, Who, Why

◘Bible Study is not a sermon, don’t preach

◘Ask them to read Bible texts

2. Give the introduction or review its high points; Speak slowly clearly and with conviction.

3. The best method: question and answer.


4.Compliment good answers.

5. After participants read their answers, you might say, “Does anyone have a different answer?

6.Always listen and ask questions.

◘Encourage each one to participate in the study.

◘Encourage discussion.


10. If question deals with a future, controversial lesson

◘Do not hurry through a Bible study; make each point clear before you move to a next topic


7.Make brief and relevant comments as you go along;

◘Stick to the subject

8.Never introduce ideas for which the Bible student does not have sufficient background.

9.Read each Bible text clearly; you have God’s Word in your hands


The Use of Illustrations

An illustration drives home the point.

It creates a deeper and more lasting impression in the heart and mind.

It’s like the window that brings in fresh air.

It must be short.

Avoid comical illustrations.

Refrain from using cheapjokes.


Tips for Success

◘Be understanding


◘Get a firm decision for Christ before you introduce testing truths.

◘Know how to meet opposition

◘Be tactful and refined

◘Don’t argue

◘Be sincerely interested in the person

◘Offer compliments

◘Agree on every point possible

◘Don’t be embarrassed about questions you can’t answer.


Dangers to Avoid in Giving a Bible Study

Do not give too much information in one Bible study

Keep to the topic you are presenting


Length of Bible Study: 30-40 minutes

After the Bible study, don’t stay too long.

Number of Questions: 10-15 texts

Do not preach, lecture, shout at your listener.

Never -

argue with your listener

become angry

criticize or speak disrespectfully about other people


Arranging Topics

Choose the topic to meet the needs of the hearers.

Make the topic Christ-centered. Learning about Jesus and His will for our lives is the object of all Bible study.

Follow a correct order of topics.

the wrong way
The Wrong Way





Second Coming

the right way
The Right Way

Jesus first

Then the doctrines

suggested order of topics
Suggested Order of Topics

The Bible as God’s Word

The Second Coming of Jesus

The Signs of the Second coming of Jesus

Heaven and the New Earth

The Plan of Redemption

How to Be Saved

God’s Holy Law

God’s Holy Sabbath



Secret Bible Concordance

The Key to SuccessfulBible Studies


The Purpose of Bible Study – to Help the Student Make a Decision for Christ

The Lesson:Christ centered

When does the decision take place?

At the first Bible study-

Begin with a smaller decision; this prepares for bigger decisions


The Need for the Right Words

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learner, that I should know how (method) to speak a word (what is said) in season (when it is to be said) to him that is weary; he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back (the kind of person Jesus was).” - Isaiah 50:4, 5.


ABCs of Obtaining Decisions





Steps in Making Decisions






How the Mind Works

Information: Accumulate facts about the decision to be made. Adequate information is necessary, but there are two problems:

1. Information Overload

2. Programmed Non-response


“What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will.” - Steps to Christ, p. 47


Overcoming Information Overload

Present testing truths gradually. If possible do not present three or four new truths back to back in the same week.

Visit people in their homes immediately after presentation of testing truths to answer any major questions.


Two Ways to Avoid Programmed Non-Response

●Make regular systematic appeals including hand-raising, kneeling, standing, and altar calls.● Use response cards often.


Implanting Conviction

Clear information - Is this clear to you?










Important Points for Obtaining Decisions

Ask, “Is it clear that . . .?”

Help student to make a decision in every lesson

Show the benefits of the right action

Always stress the blessing over the requirements of God

Show the consequences of wrong action

Show the expectation of the God who loves us

Lead students into a relationship with God


Reasons for Asking for Prompt Decisions

Truth is most clear when it is fresh in the memory.

 Satan is working to lead the thoughts away.

 Conviction may completely disappear if one is not bought to decision at the earliest period possible.


 A decision may be turned in another direction or toward another church.

 Relatives or members of other churches may confuse the issues or the truth in the mind.

 Circumstances may place the student beyond your reach in a very short time.


Fanning the Flame of Desire

Inner peace as opposed to inner turmoil -John 14:27; Psalms 119:165

Receiving the Holy Spirit -Acts 5:32

True happiness -John 13:17

  • Heavenly home -Hebrews 11:24

Forgiveness of sins and freedom from guilt -Acts 2:37-39


“Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish.”- Ministry of Healing, p. 509

“It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would bestow did we not thus ask.” - The Great Controversy, p. 525).


Prayer does four things:

Prayer puts us in touch with divine wisdom. - James 1:5

Prayer enables God to work more powerfully than if we did not pray. - Daniel 10

Prayer enables God to speak to us about sins in our lives which hinder successful soul winning

Prayer deepens our desire concerning the thing for which we are praying


The Need for Prayer

“God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.” - 1 Samuel 12:23

Prayer in Groups

“Why do not two or three meet together and plead with God for the salvation of some special one, and then still another.” -7 Testimonies, p. 21


“I can’t leave my church.”Rev. 18:4; John 10:26, 27; 12:42, 43; Matt. 7:22, 23

“I can’t make a living if I keep the Sabbath.” Matt. 6:33; Ps. 37:3; Isa. 65:13,14.

“You require too much of people in your church.” 2 Cor. 8:9; Matt. 13:45, 46; Luke 14:33.

“I will lose my job if I keep the Sabbath.” Matt. 16:25, 26; I Tim. 4:8


Know How to Respond to Objections

Use the FFF Technique

I understand exactly how you feel.

Many others in your present situation have felt the same way.

But they have found . . .


“I can’t find a job with Sabbath off.” Matt. 6:30-33; Ps. 37:3, 25; Isa. 65:13, 14; 58:13, 14; 1:19, 20.

“It is inconvenient to keep the seventh day and follow this doctrine.” Matt. 16:24; 10:38

“I am too great a sinner.” 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25; Isa. 1:18

“I am afraid I can’t hold out.” Jude 24

“I can’t live up to the truth.” 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 12:8, 9; John 1:12


“I am not good enough.” 2 Cor. 8:12

“People would talk about me.” John 17:14; Luke 6:22, 23, 26; Prov. 29:25

“I agree with all you teach except for one thing.” Matt. 19:16-22

“I am in business and Saturday is my best day. I will ruin my business if I close on Saturdays.” Matt. 16:26; Ps. 37:16; Prov. 16:8; Mark 8:35; John 6:27; Isa. 56:2-5; Luke 12:19, 20


“My friends would ridicule me.”John 15:19; Mark 8:34; James 4:4.

“My husband, wife, father, mother, brothers, and sisters will oppose me.” Matt. 10:36, 37; Luke 14:26, 27; Ps. 27:10; Isa. 41:10; Mark 10:29, 30.

“There are so few who keep Saturday. This way is so different from what the majority believe and do.” Deut. 7:7; Ex. 23:2; Matt. 7:13, 14.


“My parents were good________. What was good enough for themis good enough for me and besides, I have been greatly blessed in my present church.” Rev. 18:4; John 10:26, 27; 12:42, 43; Acts 4:19; John 1:35-40.

“Keeping the seventh day was only for the Jews.” Mark 2:27; Gen. 2:3.


“I am afraid of new doctrines.”Gen. 2:1-3.

“We are living under the New Testament. Keeping the seventh day passed away with the old covenant at the cross.”Heb. 8:20; 4:4-9; Acts 13: 14, 25.

“The law of the land has settled that Sunday is the day to keep. Acts 4:18-20; 5:28, 29.


“We can’t be sure that the seventh day which God has commanded is identical with the day now called Saturday.” Luke 23:56; The testimony of history, astronomy, the calendar, and the witness of the Jews.

“Sunday seems right to me.” Prov. 16:25


“My minister and my friends advise me against this.” 1 Kings 13:1-26; Acts 4:19; 5:29.

“It doesn’t make any difference what day I keep; just so I keep a day.” Exodus 20:8-11; Rom. 6:16; Leviticus 10:1, 2; Deut. 4:2.

“It will cause trouble and division in my home if I take my stand for this teaching.” Luke 12:49-53; 1 Kings 18:17, 18.


“No, not now.” Prov. 27:1; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:13; Isa. 55:6; Gen. 6:3.

“I am waiting for my husband (or wife, or friend) so we can accept it together.” Eze. 14:20; 18:20; Rom. 14:12.

“There is one thing (movies, jewelry, tobacco, pork, caffeine, etc.) that I cannot give up.” Matt. 19:16-22; 6:24; Luke 14:33; Matt. 13:45, 46; 1 John 5:4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Phil. 4:13.


“Too late, I have waited too long.” Eze. 33:19; John 6:37; Rom. 10:13

“I will wait until I have the right kind of feeling.” Isa. 48:18; 1 John 2:3

“I tried once, I’m afraid to try again.” Dan. 3:17; Rom. 4:21; 2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24

“How can I know that my sins are forgiven?” 1 John 1:9; Prov. 28:13

“Some things are not yet clear.” John 13:7; Acts 1:7


“I’m not so bad.” John 3:18; Rom. 3:23

“The world couldn’t manage its affairs if everybody kept Saturday.” John 2:22

“Why don’t the other great ministers or learned and influential people accept and keep the seventh day Sabbath if it is right?” 1 Cor. 11:1; 1:26-29; Matt. 11:25


“Sunday seems right to me.” Prov. 16:25

“God is love, He will save me anyway.” Luke 13:3; 2 Peter 2:4.

“I will lose many of my friends, my social standing and people will class me as a fanatic.” Ps. 119:165; 111:10; Gal. 1:10; John 15:14; Luke 6:22, 23, 26; James 4:4; Prov. 29:25; Phil. 3:8; Matt. 10:37; John 15:19.


“There are too many hypocrites in the church.” Matt. 7:1; Rom. 14:12.

“The step will cost me too much.”Luke 18:29, 30; 1 Peter 2:24

“My job may be at stake.” Isa. 51:7; Job 13:14, 15; Ps. 119:72, 127

“God will not condemn me if I live a good life in every way except to keep the seventh day.” James 2:10; 1 Chron. 15:13; Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46


“I can’t leave my friends and relatives.” Ex. 23:3; Prov. 13:20

“I’m too old to change my way of life.” Gen. 6:3

“If I take Saturday for the Sabbath, I won’t be able to support my family.” Matt. 6:30-33; Ps. 37:3, 25; Isa. 65:13, 14; 58:13, 14; 1:19, 20. (Also the narration of actual experiences of how God has helped others who stepped out in faith to keep the Sabbath.)


“I believe it is not necessary to unite with a church.” Acts 2:47

“I will wait until the Spirit of God convinces me.” Matt. 25:1-13

“I can’t afford to lose one day’s pay each week. This will interfere with my plans for getting ahead in the world.” Matt. 16:26; Ps. 37:16; Prov. 16:8; Mark 8:35; John 6:27; Isa. 56:2-5; Luke 12:19, 20.


“I have a railroad job. That work has to go on every day.” Ex. 34:21.

“God will not condemn me if I live a good life in every way except to keep the seventh day.” James 2:10; 1 Chron. 15:13; Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46.


“I will be in better shape to do it a little later; I need more time to arrange my affairs.” Prov. 27:1; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 4:7; 3:13; Isa. 55:6; Gen. 6:3; Ps. 18:44; 119:60; Matt. 25:1-13