DISCIPLESHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE

u THE REAL DEAL by W m . M arshall D uke . . SEPTEM BER 2 2012 u GOD USES IMPERFECT PEOPLE by Rev. John Comstock . 3 u DEFINING EVANGE...
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u THE REAL DEAL by W m . M arshall D uke . .

SEPTEM BER

2

2012

u GOD USES IMPERFECT

PEOPLE by

Rev. John Comstock .

3

u DEFINING EVANGELISM &

DISCIPLESHIP by dr .

Lyle Pointer . . . . .

5

Connection

SUNDAY SCHOOL & DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

SDMI

DISCIPLESHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE BEYOND PREACHING...OR WHY THE SERMON ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH by Dr. Woodie J. Stevens

“I have found by experience that one of these (brothers) has learned more from one hour’s close discourse than from ten years’ public preaching.” John Wesley’s words are actually an adaptation of Richard Baxter’s sentiments about disciple-making. Baxter used the expression “close discourse” years before Wesley. Both men shared a passion to see the lives of those under their care truly transformed. Both were powerful preachers. Both concluded there was no substitute for faceto-face and heart-to-heart contact if real transformation was to take place. You probably haven’t used the expression “close discourse” lately; most people don’t talk that way. Yet the concept of sharing deeply personal spiritual truths in private conversation with another is still critical. Intentional discipleship requires intentional close conversations. Disciplemakers ask personal questions and clarify answers. They hold each other accountable. That simply cannot happen from the pulpit or class lectern. Perhaps that has been your experience as well. You may teach and preach as clearly and plainly as possible and yet be misunderstood, misheard, or misconstrued. I have watched people sit under anointed, powerful, convicting preaching for years and still not seem to comprehend the transforming and liberating truths proclaimed. John Wesley and Richard Baxter discovered one-way proclamation of truth and information was not an efficient way of making disciples. Wesley said, “For, after all our preaching, many of our people are almost as ignorant as if they had never heard the gospel. I speak as plain as I can, yet I frequently meet with those who have been my

hearers many years, who know not whether Christ be God or man. And how few are there what know the nature of repentence, faith, and holiness! Most of them have a sort of confidence that God will save them, while the world has their hearts. I found by experience that one of these has learned more from one hour’s close discourse, than from ten years’ public preaching.” Public preaching matters and is essential. But meeting with Jesus and then meeting with a small group of accountability partners - listening, asking hard questions, and holding each other accountable - produces a more effective disciple. It produces a disciple who has learned to meet with Jesus and knows how to help others meet with Jesus. Proclaiming the Gospel so that they might come to faith is essential. But preaching alone will not produce reproducing disciple makers.

TEACHER OR DISCIPLER? by Melia Hammerstrom

Wouldn’t it be great if anyone who picked up teaching materials automatically became a discipler? Sadly, they don’t. The truth is that they do not automatically even become a teacher. So, how is it that those who teach in our Sunday School classrooms can attain the sacred responsibility of discipler? There are many things that would be convenient for teachers to have, but two heart-felt essentials for a discipler are a passion for WHAT they teach and a passion for WHO they teach. I am sure all of us, in our experiences as school students, can remember a time when a teacher had one without the other. Having both can change lives.

If we are to be disciplers, we must be passionate about the Word and what it is doing in our lives right now. Yet, if we don’t have the passion to care about those we are teaching, our words are just empty noise. One of the greatest joys in my career was when a mother told me her eighth-grade son had chosen a career—he had decided he wanted to teach history. It brought me to tears when she credited that to me. How much greater it is when the lives we touch in our Sunday School classes decide they too want to follow Jesus because of our example. A true teacher/discipler is a conduit. They bridge the gap between the Word they love and the students they love.

I am a retired teacher of American history. In my active teaching days, it always amazed me how much of a difference it made to my students if I had been to a place we were studying. They loved the pictures and loved to ask questions about places they had never been to. Perhaps it made my teaching of history more alive when I could share where I had been.

HE’S THE REAL DEAL! While visiting his children’s high school, Pastor Kerry Willis engaged Clayton Justice in conversation. Clayton, a 30-year-old deputy sheriff, responded affirmatively when Pastor Willis asked if he was a “believer,” but he failed to speak of his anger at God because of a cousin’s tragic death caused by a drunk driver. Sensing Clayton’s sincerity to find the heart of God for his life, Pastor Willis silently began to pray that the Lord would bring him to the church according to His perfect will. Struggling in their spiritual lives, Clayton and his wife, Marsha, decided to to accept Pastor Willis’ invitation to visit Harrisonburg (VA) First Church of the Nazarene. Amazed at the reception they received, the Justices returned. Following a Wednesday evening service in which Clayton sensed Pastor Willis’ passion for the lost, Clayton says, “I was drawn to the church. It is one thing to say, ‘I’m praying for you,’ but then to do it on the spot was completely unexpected...but appreciated.” Clayton’s grandparents had modeled the sig-

by Wm. Marshall Duke

nificance of prayer, and those seeds have taken further root in Clayton through his involvement in the “Pastor’s Prayer Patrol,” eventually serving as one of the leaders in this important ministry. In the 12 years since that “chance” meeting with Pastor Willis, Clayton’s passion for the Word has also grown and has been described as “off the charts, saturating himself with scriptural principles!” The father of three daughters, Clayton has responded to the biblical call for men to provide spiritual leadership in the home. He has served in church leadership and taught Sunday School. He demonstrates passion for the unsaved, hosting 3 to 4 men for lunch, where the conversation invariably turns to God. Recognizing the changes God has brought into the lives of Clayton and Marsha, 12 family members - including his parents, her parents, and his sister’s family - are now worshipping at Harrisonburg First Church of the Nazarene. Not only is he a leader in his family and the church, but God is also using him to be salt 2

and light in the community. Recently, he was promoted from Sergeant to Major and named second in command in the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department. The community word is that Clayton Justice is what you see... he’s the real deal. Summarizing, Pastor Willis says, “Clayton is loyal to God, loves his family, and lives with steady integrity. Most of all, Clayton Justice is a man of prayer and is poised to be even a stronger witness for our Lord.”

FROM COAL MINES TO JUNIOR BOYS’ MINDS by Rev. Larry R. Morris As a coal miner, Joe guided huge machines weighing tons through dangerous veins of coal hundreds of feet underground. Each day he and his crew risked death from pockets of hidden explosive gas or tons of coal hanging on the ceiling or mine wall. His own life was nearly taken when a multiton block of coal fell and pinned him between the mining machine and the cave wall. His chest was crushed and his aorta ballooned under the pressure. The skilled hands of a surgeon, guided by the prayers of his wife and church family, restored his heart and life.

It was not too long after his conversion that Joe accepted the “unique opportunity” to teach a junior boys’ class. As a junior boy, I was thrilled that he would be our teacher. Each Sunday I looked forward to being in his Sunday School class. It wasn’t because he was a masterful Bible teacher. Most of us knew more about the Bible than he did. We looked forward to his class because he talked to us as equals. As a new Christian, he spoke to us out of his fresh experiences of God’s grace. Every Sunday School lesson wasn’t just about things long ago; it was about today – our attitudes and actions.

Joe showed us his heart. Every boy in that class knew that Mr. Joe loved him. He showed it through his smile and his willingness to talk about what was going on in our lives. And Mr. Joe included his prayer request for his son’s salvation with our requests.

After this near-death experience, Joe gave his life to the Lord. The transformation was immediate and profound. After his conversion Joe was present for every church service and was quick to testify to God’s transformative power in his heart and life. His testimony widened the eyes of many children and teens in our small church.

He was real. Although Joe was a mine supervisor who held in his hands the responsibility for the lives and livelihoods of many men and their families, he did not try to impress us with his position. When we were together we were co-learners before the feet of Jesus. As a result, we were real with him about our heart desires, fears, and hopes. Joe died several years ago. While I saw Joe a couple of times after graduating from college, I never got a chance to fully thank him for the year he taught the Junior Boys Sunday School class. But someday I will. When I do I will say, “Thank you for teaching a junior boys’ class, Mr. Joe. You made Jesus real.”

GOD USES IMPERFECT PEOPLE by Rev. John Comstock

Tom grew up in a home that was committed to God. Regular church attendance gave him plenty of exposure to the main tenets of the Christian faith. Having accepted Christ at an early age, he began to develop an understanding of what it meant to follow Christ by watching his parents. Tom’s mother was a perfectionist and an avid “people pleaser.” He often observed his mom’s emotional outbursts when she felt others were demanding too much of her or when she felt overwhelmed by the demands of her perfectionistic standards. She would often rage for hours on end, possibly a result of unmet needs and unhealed wounds. As a child growing up in such a dysfunctional environment, the idea that God demanded perfectionism and that obedience to Him meant pleasing others at all cost was burned deeply into the core of his being. Tom became a disciple with a skewed understanding of God. In college, Tom began to build a relationship with a professor who radically challenged his view of God. He began to see Christ through

the revelation of God in Scripture; as a result, healing took place. This all came from a college professor who was transparent with his own journey of brokenness and through this began to see that God was seeking wholeness (holiness) in our lives, not perfectionism. For Tom, transformation was inevitable because God was being allowed into new spaces in his life. As a result, he was released from a sexual addiction that had held him hostage. The lesson from Tom’s story is clear. Discipling another individual comes with a great deal of responsibility. If we are misguided in our understanding of Christ and the truth of Scripture, it is very possible to create obstacles in another person’s life. Therefore, we need to be constantly asking the Holy Spirit for divine understanding. The good news is that God can use imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will in our lives, so don’t be paralyzed by thinking you have to know it all before discipling someone else. The Holy Spirit is our guide into all truth and will be there to give us discernment and correction when needed. 3

AN ANSWERED PRAYER by Nerky Thomas

When I was eight years old, I had a desire to honor God with my life. My Sunday School teacher at Docine Church of the Nazarene in Haiti talked about heaven and helped me have a strong foundation in the Lord that built my faith in God’s Kingdom. I prayed that one day He would use me for His Kingdom. When I turned 15, my prayer was answered. I began working in children’s ministries, where I taught Bible stories and Christian songs. I saw God work in powerful ways to touch children’s lives many of whom are serving the Lord today. At the age of 18, I moved to the United States to live with my father. I again prayed that God would help me honor Him with my life. While attending the Church of God with my family, I began working in youth ministry, where I volunteeered by teaching the Word of God and leading worship services. My father encouraged me to serve God and was a model for me in his faith. During my senior year of college, I met the man who would become my husband. I turned back to the Nazarene Church, where he was assistant pas-

tor. Working alongside my husband (who became senior pastor in May 2012), I have served in children’s, youth, and women’s ministries. God has used me to touch many lives. I am confident He will provide me more opportunities to influence others for His Kingdom. He gives me peace and joy as I trust in Him every day to do His will. Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing me to serve You. Help me to keep trusting You. Help me to know that You plan to prosper my life. Thank You in advance for answering my prayer. Thank You for always answering when I call on Your name. Amen. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!” (Philippians 4:13)

SUNDAY SCHOOL HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE by Rev. G. Dan Harris I serve as a Ministry Coordinator for Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries, and I also am an active participant in Sunday School at my local church. There are few hours during the week I look forward to more than the hour I spend in my adult Sunday School class. It is one hour a week where I am given the opportunity to watch God transform lives.

reasons he tries to always be present. Reflecting on how the busy world we live in tries to pull us away from our daily devotions and time in the Word, he commented, “I love how in Sunday School we have the opportunity to look at and really discuss the Bible.”

I recently took note of three separate events on three separate Sundays that to me displayed the transforming power of Sunday School. The first of these events came when one of my fellow classmates, a mother of two grown children, became absolutely over-joyed when she once again experienced a new truth about God during our class discussion time. The exact words she used were, “This is why I love Sunday School; I always learn something new.”

These three events were not surprising to me, nor do I feel they are in any way unique to the Sunday School experience. They did reinforce my belief in the transforming power of Sunday School.

In both cases above, these two individuals gave meaningful and spontaneous testimonies to the value Sunday School has in their lives. In the third and final event, though, I saw evidence of what I am confident takes place in Sunday School classes and small groups everywhere. A young mother, overwhelmed with emotion from the difficulties in life, was reduced to tears as we shared our prayer requests. At the same time, through those tears, she also found comfort from her extended family – her Sunday School class.

For a number of years of my early adult life, I did not attend Sunday School. I felt I could get all God had for me by attending worship only. What I came to realize was that there are certain transforming events and blessings from God that you simply cannot experience except through a Sunday School class or small group. They only occur when you and fellow Christians spend time together discussing God’s Word and sharing together the highs and lows of life.

The very next week, a father of two teenagers, who spends most of his week working long hours at a demanding job but who still makes time to attend Sunday School each Sunday, witnessed to one of the main 4

IDEAS FOR PARTNERING WITH INNER-CITY CHURCHES 1. Provide activities for children and youth: game nights, table games, ball games, and movies. 2. Organize service projects: clean up, home repair, painting. 3. Start neighborhood gardens. 4. Offer guidance classes: parenting, money management, dating, personal relation- ships, home ownership, decorating on a budget. 5. Provide after-school homework and tutor- ing support. 6. Host block parties in specific parks and neighborhoods. 7. Adopt a family by giving gifts on special occasions, planning activities together in the park, praying for family members. 8. Organize food pantries and clothing give- aways. 9. Provide free clinics staffed by health care providers within the church. 10. Affirm God’s love and faithfulness in every circumstance.

LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD by Janice H. Abla

Cordell grew up in one of the most depressed, dangerous areas of our nation. The streets are filled with violence, drugs, prostitution, crime, and despair. In spite of the cataclysm around him, Cordell has a Master’s degree from a prestigious university, is principal of a K-8 school, and is on the pastoral staff of his church. He is a husband, a father, and a godly man. In the midst of the carnage around him, Cordell’s family and church made the difference. When asked, “What exactly did your church do to keep you from the streets?” his reply was, “They kept me so busy I didn’t have time to get in trouble. And they replaced despair with promise.” The church can make a difference wherever it is located, for there are hazardous areas in inner cities, towns, and rural areas. The church must see the depressed areas as its

mission and act accordingly. Jesus gives us the best example of seeing these depressed areas. Matthew tells us that, “Jesus went through the towns and villages, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:3536, NIV). If we, as followers of Christ, are to be Christlike, we must see the harassed, helpless crowds around us and have compassion. Like Cordell’s church, we must work to provide means in which lives can be filled with meaningful activities, hope, and promise. The task will not be easy; things worthwhile seldom are. It will take commitment to the mission. When God calls, He gives strength, means, and passion to accomplish the task.

DEFINING EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP by Dr. Lyle B. Pointer When the Church invites unsaved people to follow Jesus, are we talking about evangelism, or are we describing discipleship? We might define evangelism as the Church introducing unforgiven people to a forgiving God through word, deed, and sign. Such witnessing includes preaching and story-telling (testimony). It also involves acts of mercy, giving to the poor, and accepting the rejected. However, evangelism is inadequate if not accompanied by divine interaction. The New Testament Church pointed to miracles, answers to prayer, and unexplainable phenomena as evidence of God’s presence and power. While we cannot orchestrate God’s schedule so that He shows up at just the right time when we are evangelizing, we can imitate the New Testament practices of praying, fellowshipping, serving, and giving. These are not mere biblical practices; they are characteristics of God. Could it be that when we act godly, He will be present among us? So, the Church evangelizes by pointing to God. By introducing people to God, we are used by His Spirit to invite the unsaved to follow Jesus in discipleship. Now God’s grace

that invites sinners into a transforming fellowship with Him can operate without us, but God tends to use His Church in this sacred task. Furthermore, God continues to use the Church in the discipling process. We will humbly invite recent converts, as did the apostle Paul, to “follow me as I follow Christ.” This is discipleship. We cannot separate discipleship from evangelism nor evangelism from discipleship. They go together. Woodie Stevens calls it “divangelismship.” Discipleship took place on the hillside, in a boat, and in the temple and synagogues. Life circumstances provided the teaching opportunities. Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well gave Him the chance to instruct His followers in evangelism. The boy whom the disciples could not heal provided the opportunity Jesus needed to emphasize prayer. The religious leaders who tried to trap Jesus offered a combat zone in which to teach conflict management. When James and John, by asking for a place of prominence, incited the other disciples to anger, Jesus taught humility. 5

As the Church lives life together, we learn to follow Jesus. As the Church lives in the world, we are to do as Jesus did—He preached the Gospel and went about doing good. God confirmed and affirmed His ministry of making disciples. Jesus in turn delegated the same mission to us, “As (for the same purpose) the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21)— to announce Good News and to make disciples.

THE SERVANTHOOD OF TEACHING by Rev. Denise Burns Mrs. Lynn Weaver of the Las Vegas Church of the Nazarene has been an inspirational small group leader, Sunday School teacher, and disciple maker. Nominated by her local church, Lynn was chosen for the SDMI Teacher of the Year Award on the Arizona District. Lynn exemplifies using the talents and passions God has given to reach people. A dedicated teacher, Lynn uses her ukulele as a tool to create opportunities to reach beyond the church walls. A convert from Mormonism, Lynn passionately embraces her new faith. She has fallen in love with God and desires to share the Good News.

PRISON FELLOWSHIP & ANGEL TREE The Board of General Superintendents has officially endorsed Prison Fellowship and the Angel Tree program as a ministry partnership with the Church of the Nazarene. Angel Tree is a program of Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families and the only nationwide, year-round effort that reaches out exclusively to children who have a parent in prison. More than 1.7 million children in America will have a parent in prison this Christmas, but it’s the kids who are suffering as they are separated from mom or dad. These children often have behavior and performance problems at school, as well as experience social stigma and shame. Keeping them connected to their parent lowers the likelihood of recidivism for the parent and encourages parent-child bonding – helping to break the intergenerational cycle of crime. While Prison Fellowship works to reconcile prisoners and ex-prisoners to their families,

communities, and God, the Angel Tree program addresses the need of every child to feel loved by mom and dad. Through Angel Tree, prisoners register their children to participate in the program and churches register to participate in Angel Tree, indicating the preferred areas they will serve. Children are assigned to a church based on the child’s location and number of children requested. Then volunteers at local churches across America purchase and deliver gifts in a variety of ways and present the gospel message to children in the name of their imprisoned parent. The Church of the Nazarene is actively seeking to increase congregational participation from 130 churches in 2011 to 500 Nazarene churches in 2012. With more than 5000 churches across the US and Canada, chances are there’s room for your church to get involved. Angel Tree is simple, it’s easy, and it helps to share the Gospel message to a parent and their child. Find out how you can get involved. Visit, www.AngelTree.org or 1-800-55-ANGEL (1-800-552-6435). 6

From Lynn’s pastor: On Lay Appreciation Sunday, March 11, we presented the Scott Stearman statue “The Teacher” to Mrs. Lynn Weaver for the following reasons: • Lynn lives out and follows the Great Commission by sharing His truth with others in love. • Lynn is concerned with the salvation of her family and others. • Lynn has a special love for her family, teaching, and music. • Lynn volunteers as a Sunday School teacher and leads/hosts a ukulele club at our church. • Lynn is a truth teller with a vast knowledge of the Bible. One of the staff pastors wrote, “Lynn shows her love for God through her servanthood of teaching. She is completely dedicated to dig deep into God’s Word and teach and share her treasure with others in her class. Lynn also shares her love for Jesus by living out her life in front of her ukulele group each Saturday. Lynn is always willing to share her faith and pray with anyone who is seeking.”

RAISING CHILDREN TO EXTRAORDINARY FAITH by Debbie Salter Goodwin

For Christians, parenting is about more than just raising good kids. It’s about raising God’s children God’s way. It’s about keeping trust with God and His Word. Christian parents need to raise disciples who want to follow Jesus as long as they live. Parents don’t have to guess where their disciple-making mission takes place. It’s at home with their children. Home should be where children expect to hear the salvation stories of their parents. It should be the place where words about God and the actions and attitudes of our lives deliver the same message. Home is where we learn how to be disciple makers. However, God doesn’t just dump this discipleship responsibility into the laps of parents without support. Nor does He want a child without Christian parents to be like the seed that dies for lack of a nurturing

context. He expects the faith community to be an integral part of discipling His children. God knows that it will take more than parents and extended family to raise a lifelong follower of Christ. It will take every pastor, every teacher, and every volunteer who intersects a child’s life. It will take a focused, consistent, and ongoing approach from every Christian who has influence with children. Think about children as fledgling followers. Think about their eagerness for adventure, their innocent trust, their boundless energy. Think about channeling everything that childhood offers with the goal of growing disciples. What would happen if innocent trust keeps growing? What would happen if energy fuels mission? What would happen if the adventure of following Jesus never waned? They would not only change their world - they would change ours as well. Anyone who touches a child’s life is on call for Jesus to use as a disciple maker. However, it takes a disciple to make a disciple. It takes those who have made fol-

lowing Jesus a daily commitment to lead someone else along the same road. That’s where it gets up close and personal. That’s where those who work with children must examine their own lives as disciples and ask some serious questions: • What happens if children follow Jesus in the same way I do? • Am I willing to be transparent about my own journey as a disciple of Jesus? • Where do I substitute knowledge for relationship? This text has been excerpted from Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith by Debbie Salter Goodwin. Other chapters include “Hearing Jesus Call,” “Affirming Faith,” “Making Prayer a Life Skill,” “Discovering the Joy of Giving God All,” and more. Available for purchase through the Nazarene Publishing House, there is also an accompanying free, downloadable 13-week Leader’s Guide. This informative book offers parents and teachers an opportunity to come together, learn together, and plan together to make discipleship the first priority in ministry to children.

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? by Becky Brown

Do you ever wonder if you are making a difference in the lives of the people you are trying to encourage as they walk with Christ? How many Bible studies have you started, feeling so excited about helping someone find the peace of Christ for their life, only to get frustrated in the process of spiritual growth? The Bible has changed my life! Because I know what the Lord has done for me through His Word, I want others to experience His transforming power in their lives! I often ask, “What difference does it make that Christ is in your life?” Discipleship is not an option for the believer. We are responsible to reach the lost, to help them know the Word of God, and to be in community with the family of Christ. You may think you aren’t gifted enough to help someone grow in their faith; yet if you are willing, God will provide the tools. The Holy Spirit will lead when we are willing to connect with others, share what we have learned, and be open to learning more from God as we lead others. When you walk alongside someone in their faith journey, you will be amazed and encouraged by the blessing you get from helping them. The faith walk can seem intimidating to a new believer. Some of my best teachers have been willing to let me know of their own struggles on their way to teaching me life changing truth! As we are all on this discipleship journey, some of us are ahead on the path, leading the way to freedom. To those who are new to the journey, or have strayed from the path, we are making a difference. When you are engaging in leading someone in their faith journey, remember these words from Acts 2:42: “And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s supper] and prayers.” (Amplified Bible) You are making a difference, as the Holy Spirit leads you to those people God has ordained for you to lead. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the transformation will be life changing! 7

5 QUESTIONS JESUS USES TO DISCIPLE US by Rev. Hal Perkins

Jesus disciples His followers by His Spirit through His Word and His Body. The following five questions help us to be discipled by Him. “Who do you say that I am?” As we sit at Jesus’ feet and stare into His eyes, He continuously asks us, “Who am I?” A good answer will empower relationship with Him, faith in Him, love for all, and all the good that comes from these, including eternal life (Galatians 5:7, John 17:3). “Did you see what I did?” Jesus says, “Every good and perfect gift comes from my Father and me” (John 5:17, James 1:19). “In fact, all day yesterday I was doing good things for you. Did you notice? If you did, you will experience My love for you, and your heart will be warmed toward Me” (Romans 1:18-32). “Did you get my message?” Jesus speaks to us very clearly through His Word, His personal message to us. Our task is to sit at His feet, stare into His eyes, and listen with utmost

sensitivity to Him speak by His Spirit through His Word. “Are you prepared for action?” “Let’s talk about today. I have good works prepared for you to do” (Ephesians 2:10). • Ministry Priority 1: Be discipled by me. • Ministry Priority 2: Disciple your family. • Ministry Priority 3: Disciple some of your church family. • Ministry Priority 4: Disciple 2-3 lost people. Do you trust Me?” We realize how desperately we need Jesus’ empowerment to be His Body all day and all week. We legitimately cry out, “Jesus, will You help me?” Jesus says, “Let’s check to see if you are meeting my conditions to answer your prayer…” To read the full article, please go online to The Discipleship Place (http://amc.nazarene.org/).

MEET THE CONTRIBUTERS

DR. WOODIE J. STEVENS, “Beyond Preaching...,” page 1: Director of Sunday School & Discipleship Ministries International. MELIA HAMMERSTROM, “Teacher or Discipler,” page 2: Retired school teacher & master Sunday School teacher from Ainsworth, Nebraska. WM. MARSHALL DUKE, “He’s the Real Deal,” page 2: Director of Men’s Ministries and Prime Time Ministries for SDMI. REV. LARRY R. MORRIS, “From Coal Mines to Junior Boys’ Minds,” page 3: SDMI Mission Strategy Director. REV. JOHN COMSTOCK, “God Uses Imperfect People,” page 3: Coordinator of Continuing Lay Training (CLT) for SDMI. NERKY THOMAS, “An Answered Prayer,” page 4: Pastor’s wife (Seaford, Delaware) & Haitian representative to Women’s Ministries Council. REV. G. DAN HARRIS, “Sunday School Has Made a Difference,” page 4: Ministry Coordinator for SDMI. JANICE H. ABLA, “Like Sheep Without a Shepherd,” page 5: Retired school teacher and pastor’s wife from Decatur, Illinois. DR LYLE B. POINTER, “Defining Evangelism & Discipleship, page 5: Nazarene pastor from Mount Vernon, Washington. REV. DENISE BURNS, “The Servanthood of Teaching,” page 6: Associate Pastor from Chandler, Arizona. DEBBIE SALTER GOODWIN, “Raising Children to Extraordinary Faith,” page 7: Author and pastor’s wife from Portland, Oregon. REV. HAL PERKINS, “5 Questions Jesus Uses...,” page 8: Nazarene evangelist, author, and public speaker from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

SUNDAY SCHOOL & DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE Nazarene Global Ministry Center 17001 Prairie Star Pkwy Lenexa, KS 66220 PH: 913-577-2800 / 800-221-6317 FAX: 913-577-0866 Email: [email protected] Website: sdmi.nazarene.org 8