Learn Christ's Method
In The Ministry of Healing, Ellen White writes that Christ’s method alone will bring true success. She summarizes that method in five steps.
- Mingle with People - Centers of Influence place us where people live. Literature, public evangelism, radio, TV, and Internet will play a vital role in the mission of the church. But while they can support other ministries, they can never replace personal, hands-on, mingling ministry. Workers in Centers of Influence must be prepared to move out of their comfort zones and form relationships with people who are different from them.
- Show Sympathy - “You must come close to those for whom you labor, that they may not only hear your voice, but shake your hand, learn your principles, feel your sympathy.”
- Minister to People’s Needs - Types of ministry will vary from place to place. They will include services such as counseling, feeding the hungry, caring for kids, teaching life skills, conducting community activities, and teaching language-learning groups. The possibilities are as varied as the needs. Health ministry will almost always connect to people’s needs. Jesus spent time ministering to people’s needs, physically touching their lives.
- Win People’s Confidence - Through mingling, showing sympathy, and ministering to needs, we show people that we care. Of course, we hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and lead them to a full commitment to Him. But our care and love doesn’t depend on them accepting Jesus. When we show people that our care has no strings attached, we build confidence.
- Bid Them to Follow Jesus - This is a vital step in Jesus’ method. Leading people to Him is a natural result of wholistic ministry. It arises from the first four steps, where relationships are built. When people start questioning our motivation and why we live the way we do, it is natural to start talking about the Source of our spiritual commitment. Every center will include intentional plans to start small groups and plant new Seventh-day Adventist congregations.