The Spiritual Formation Weekend


Designer’s Guide

 

 

What is the Spiritual Formation Weekend?

This unique weekend assimilates your new and existing members into your cell group ministry as a “base camp” for cell life, discipleship and membership in your church. Many churches have made it their new member’s orientation, replacing the typical (and often poorly attended) 6-8 week Sunday a.m. schedule.

            Because the content of this weekend is unique to your church, vision, leadership style and goals, there is nothing to buy from our ministry and use “as is.”

            This guide will help you design your first weekend and give you the basics from which to build and refine. After you do two or three with your first design, you’ll see ways to increase communication and ministry, making the weekend an exciting experience for everyone.

 

 

What impact will this weekend have on my congregation?

The Spiritual Formation Weekend achieves numerous goals for new members in your church:

• It establishes a bonding connection between new members and church leadership.

• It fully communicates the vision and direction of your church.

• It verifies the salvation experience and schedules water baptism (if necessary).

• It places the new member in a cell group, and assigns a mentor for the first months of group life.

• It helps new members see what active participation in your church will look like.

 

This Weekend will also help your existing congregational members in the following areas:

• It casts a vision for the future direction of your church and removes gray areas of doubt or question.

• It will assimilate members into your cell group ministry and remove many unwanted expectations.

• It will help your members understand that cell groups are evangelistic, everyone is considered a future leader, and accountability is expected and encouraged.

 

 

What should be covered in this weekend?

 

Friday Evening:

• Pastoral staff introduction and roles.

• The vision and mission of your church.

• A word of encouragement (live or via video tape) from the senior pastor.

• Salvation.

• Lordship of Christ.

• Baptism.

• Stewardship.

• Assessment of spiritual maturity & Bible knowledge (many churches use The Journey Guide for New Christians and The Journey Guide for Growing Christians for this portion).

• The Lord’s supper (teaching on what this is, followed by a time of confession and the taking of the bread and the cup).

 

 

Saturday Morning (and possibly afternoon):

• Your cell ministry structure (ie. number of groups per coach, number of coaches per congregation, etc.)

• The composition of your cell groups (leaders, interns/apprenctices, worship leaders, core members, hurting persons, new believers, unbelievers, etc.)

• The discipleship/equipping track your church has adopted for all cell members.

• The weekend events and retreats all cell members attend throughout their first year in cell life.

• Cell leadership opportunities.

• Other ministry, leadership and missions opportunities at your church.

 

 

What is the typical time frame for this weekend?

Typically, this weekend begins after dinner on a Friday night at 7 pm and runs until 10 pm. On Saturday, the morning sessions begin at 9 am and conclude after lunch in the afternoon. Each church develops different content and some make the weekend last through dinner on Saturday, others through lunch on Saturday. It’s up to you and moreover, what you’re new members are willing to do.

 

           

How much ground should I cover in this weekend?

Some churches add more content to this basic list, and you should feel free to do so.

            With this said, be sensitive to your audience! Your members will reach “information overload” faster than you think. The best way to determine if you’ve added too much content is to ask each person to fill out a survey at the completion of the weekend the first few times you do it. Ask straightforward questions such as:

 

1. Was this weekend helpful to you?

 

2. What was the one thing you learned or experienced that helped you the most?

 

3. Was the amount of information received: a) too little b) just right c) too much (circle one)

 

4. We value your opinion. How could we make the Spiritual Formation better for new cell members?

 

 

Do you have any design tips for me?

Each person that attends your Spiritual Formation Weekend will need time to process what they are learning throughout the weekend. Discussion time at regular intervals during the event is critical to success and long-term memory reinforcement. So, after you teach on a particularly challenging subject, ask each person to share with his or her mentor or accountability partner. Some questions you might pose are:

 

1) From what has just been presented, what changes will you need to make in life to begin walking in this new direction?

 

2) Does what we just discussed concern you? Take a moment to talk about it with your partner and pray about it.

 

3) Share the most important thing you just learned and why it’s important to you.

 

 

 

Appendix

 

This information is supplied to you to as an example of what can be presented at the Spiritual Formation Weekend. Use it to create your own, unique sessions!

 

The information below was taken from TOUCH’s Advanced Cell Training Module 2. While this training is no longer offered, TOUCH has a number of assessment-based training modules for pastors. Call us or check our web site for more details.

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 1

 

Salvation

 

   A. Introduction

        1. Welcome to God’s family!

            “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household . . .” (Ephesians 2:19).

        2. Our dilemmas:

            Sin, dissatisfaction with life, blurred goals, the pursuit of these goals, disappointments, physical and spiritual bondage (Romans 3:12, 17, 23). (What was your dilemma?)

        3. God’s solution was to give us abundant life (John 10:10).

            a. The abundant life is an eternal experience (John 6:50-51).

            b. The abundant life is a present experience of joy and triumph (John 15:10-11).

 

   B.     What does it mean to be “newborn?”

        1. It means having a new personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God has only children and no grandchildren.

        2. This new relationship with God is established when:

            a. God convicts us of sins (John 16:8-11).

            b. We turn to God in repentance and place our faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21).

            c. We confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).

            d. We receive Jesus Christ through faith (John 1:12, Ephesians 2 :8-9).

 

   C. What happens when we are newborn?

        1. Redemption; i.e., we have the penalty of our sins paid for and the power of sin is broken in our lives (Ephesians 1:7).

        2. Cleansing; i.e., we have our sins washed away (Titus 3:5b).

        3. Regeneration; i.e., we are born anew (John 3:5).

        4. Justification;  i.e., we are seen by God as if we have never sinned before and thus have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

        5. Adoption; i.e., we become one of God’s children (Romans 8:15).

        6. Acceptance; i.e., we are received by the Father (Romans 15:7).

7.    Eternal life (John 5:24).

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 2

 

Baptism

 

   A. Introduction

        Baptism follows conversion in the New Testament. There were no unbaptized believers (Acts 2:38, 41; 8:35-38; 16:14,15, 33; 18:8).

 

   B. Understanding Baptism

        1. Baptism is a command (Matthew 28:19), not an option.

        2. Baptism does not save us but publicly declares that:

            a. We are saved by grace from eternal death (Romans 6:3-4).

            b. We receive salvation without cost (Ephesians 2:89).

            c. We are identified with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-14).

        3. Baptism is a positive declaration of Jesus Christ’s lordship over our lives (Romans 6:16-18). This act of obedience becomes a gateway to greater spiritual blessing.

        4. Baptism is a physical experience.

        5. Baptism becomes a marker in our spiritual walk with the Lord.

        6. Baptism is only administered to individuals who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

   C. The Mode of Baptism

        1. The mode of baptism is by immersion.

        2. Usage of the Greek in secular literature means “to dip,” as in dipping a cup into a bucket of water; “to plunge,” as in plunging a piece of cloth into a container of liquid dye or used in the context of a sinking ship.

        3. Immersion was the practice of the Jews who administered the tebilah (ceremonial washing) on gentiles who converted to Judaism.

        4. The context in which the word occurs verifies this: i.e., “coming up, out of the water” (Matthew 3:16, Acts 8:39).

        5. The effective use of symbolism in relation to the context requires immersion: e.g., Romans 6.

        6. The outcome of church history verifies it to be the proper mode of baptism. It was several hundred years before sprinkling replaced immersion. Baptismal pools have been found in the ruins of fourth century churches.

 

   D. Some Implications For Us

        1. Since baptism by immersion is the proper mode, this will be the practice of this church.

        2. While recognizing that immersion is the proper mode, the spirit of baptism and commitment to the Lord is of more importance than the form.

        3. Thus baptism by other forms (sprinkling, pouring) administered upon believers is recognized.

 

   E.     The Different Ways to Join the Church

        1. By baptism.

        2. By transfer from another church through means of a church letter.

        3. By statement.

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 3

 

Lord’s Supper

 

   A. What is the Lord’s Supper?

        1. It is a visible and tangible means of remembering the person and work of Christ.

            (1 Corinthians 11:23-34, Matthew 26:17 30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-20).

        2. It is a public witness to:

            a. the unity of members;

            b. the fact of Christ’s second coming.

 

   B. What do the elements represent?

        1. The bread represents Christ’s body.

        2. The cup represents His blood.

 

   C. How often do we have the Lord’s Supper?

        “As often as you do it.”

 

   D. Where do we observe the Lord’s Supper?

        1. In our worship celebrations.

        2. In our Cell Groups.

 

   E. Who administers the Lord’s Supper?

        1. The Pastors.

        2. Cell Leaders.

 

   F. Who may partake?

        1. Members of our church.

        2. Baptized members from other churches who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 4

 

The Lordship of Christ

 

There are two important decisions in the life of the Christian:

 

A. The Decision to be adopted.

   1. We are born as Adam’s children.

        a. This birth provides the abilities to live in this world.

        b. However, through our father Adam, death reigns.

   2. We’re born again as the children of God.

        a. This involves my adoption into God’s family.

        b. I now have eternal life.

            • I have an inheritance.

            • I enjoy the Father’s provisions.

            • He cannot disinherit me.

        c. I am provided with the spiritual abilities to live forever!

        d. This means I have become a part of the spiritual Kingdom of God.

        e. The “Kingdom of God” is a term also translated the “Reign of God.”

 

   B. My adoption makes me not only the child of God, but also the servant of God!

        1. The Greek word pais is translated as child and also as servant. Sometimes even the context does not reveal which is the better translation.

        2. Thus, to become the child of God is to accept the Lordship of Christ. I am to surrender to His reign over my life.

 

   C. Have you made the all-important second decision?

        1. It is the decision to become the servant of God.

            a. In the Bible, there is no difference between the word “servant” and “slave.”

            b. The word means, “I wholly belong to my Master.”

            c. Unlike forced slavery, this word refers to a voluntary surrender to Christ. I deliberately choose to come under His reign over my life.

 

   D. Have you said in your heart, “Jesus, I receive you not only as my Savior, but also as my Lord! I am Your servant. I choose Your will in the place of my own will in each decision I make.”

        1. How to make the decision to be a “slave” of Jesus Christ:

            a. First of all, realize that only God’s children can become His slaves!

            b. God’s character is involved!

        2. Mark 10:42-45: “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

            a. The greatest level of fellowship with Jesus is followship!

            b. In Romans 1:1, Paul calls himself “a slave of Jesus Christ . . .”

   E.     The choice is deliberate: read Exodus 21:5-6. The Lordship of Christ is not forced upon us.

        1. Example: Jesus, the Son, was a slave. It was His choice.

        2. He will always be a Servant, even in eternity. In Luke 12:37, we see Him at the final supper of the Lamb serving those who are at His table!

        3. Are you a pais? Are you not only the child of God, but also His “wholly owned slave?”

 

   F.     Illustration: Imaginary conversation between Joseph & Pharaoh.

        As you know, Joseph was Pharaoh’s slave. He was given great power by Pharaoh. Let’s imagine Joseph gives Pharaoh a golden chariot for his birthday. Pharaoh becomes very angry! Why? Because a slave owns nothing. In order for Joseph to give that gift to Pharaoh, he first had to steal from him!

 

   G. HAVE YOU MADE THE SECOND DECISION?

        Have you made the decision to let Jesus Christ be the Lord of your life? Have you prayed, “Lord, I choose Your will in place of my will in every decision I face.” If not, will you do it now?

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 5

 

Stewardship: The Relationship Between Your Ministry and Your Finances

 

   A. Stewardship:

        1. The Greek word for “Steward” is oikonomos, a “household servant.” This slave is entrusted with the wealth of his master. He is commissioned to provide proper rations at the proper time to all who are in the master’s household.

        2. Thus, a steward is one responsible for another’s property.

        3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that when we become the children of God, the servants (pais) of God, we are not to consider ourselves as being self-owned. We are stewards.

 

   B. Illustrations of a Steward’s Management Responsibilities

        1. Luke 12:20: “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”

        2. Matthew 25:26: “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?’ ”

        3. Matthew 25:21 and 23: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”

   C. Tithing: The Step for Financial Security

        1. Malachi 3:10: a Steward tithes what God has entrusted to him/her.

        2. Matthew 22:15-22: We are not only to honor our obligations to the governments of this world by paying our taxes, but we must also honor our responsibility to God by paying our tithes.

        3. Robbing God is the worst kind of thievery. Like all thieves, there are serious consequences to be faced sooner or later.

        4. God honors our obedience with His blessing.

 

   D. The Tithe Predated Moses

        1. Genesis 14:17-22

        2. Genesis 28:18-22

            Fill in the blanks from this scripture passage:

 

            “If God will be ________________________ and will ____________________ and will

 

            ________________ and I return ____________ and of all that thou gave me I

 

            will surely give _________________ to Thee.”

 

        3. The Tithe is an expression of love and gratitude for what God has done for you!

 

   E. The Tithe was prescribed by Moses. (Look up each of these scriptures and underline them in your Bible:)

        1. The Tithe demanded: See Leviticus 27:30: “All the tithe of _____________,

 

            of the __________________ of the land, of the        

           

            __________________ is the Lord’s, it is holy to the land.

        2. Underline Leviticus 27:32.

        3. Underline Numbers 18:26.

        4. Giving is desired; underline these verses:

            Exodus 25:1,2

            Exodus 35:5

            Exodus 35:21, 22, 24, 26

            Exodus 35:29

        5. The Tithe is not just an Old Testament pattern. It was preserved by our Lord. Underline the following scriptures:

            Matthew 5:17

            Matthew 23:23

        6. The Tithe was preached by the Apostles. Underline these verses:

            • Tithing was an expected act of believers:

               1 Corinthians 16:1-4

            • It was to be done on the first day of the week: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

        7. Giving was encouraged in these passages (underline in your Bible):

            • 2 Corinthians 8:9

            • 2 Corinthians 9:7

 

   F. Conclusions (Underline these verses):

        1. Malachi 3:8-10

        2. Philippians 4:17

        3. God does not need your money, but you need to tithe.

        4. See Romans 13, Mark 12:17: Pay taxes in

 

             __________________________ and

  

            on __________________.

 

        5. Save _________of net income.

 

        6. Live on ________________ of net income.

 

        7. Set aside ______________of net income for debt or future needs.

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 6

 

The Fullness of the Holy Spirit

 

Read  Ephesians 5:18 and complete these comments:

 

   A. The Fullness of the Holy Spirit is _________________________

 

        which must be ____________________________.

 

   B. The Fullness of the Holy Spirit is a

        _____________________________

 

        to be ________________________________.

 

   C. The Fullness of the Holy Spirit is to be ______________________

 

   D. Important questions for you to answer:

        1. Have I received the Holy Spirit?

        2. Have I been filled with the Spirit?

        3. How can I be filled?

 

            T______________(John 7:37-39)

 

            D______________ (John 12:24)

 

            A__________ (John 11:9-13)

 

   E. Am I being filled with the Spirit?

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 7

 

Growing As A Spirit Being

 

Introduction

 

The Lord is teaching us to minister to one another as a whole person. He is teaching us to minister supernaturally.

 

1. We Are Primarily Spirit Beings.

 

   A. God has created us to be spirit beings:

       • Genesis 2:7: “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

        • 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

   B. We are dead in our spirit before salvation:

        • Ephesians 2:1: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”

 

   C. Our spirit comes alive in Jesus Christ:

        • Romans 8:10: “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

        • Romans 8:16: The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

        • 1 Corinthians 6:17: “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

 

   D. We need to learn to operate in the Spirit:

        • Galatians 5:16: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

        • Note: It is interesting that the Bible is not clear in many places if “spirit” refers to the human spirit or the Holy Spirit.

 

2. Learning to operate in the Spirit

 

   To experience spiritual communication, most Westerners will have to do the following:

 

DETHRONE THE MIND (RATIONALISM)          ENTHRONE THE SPIRIT

                                                                       

 1. True reality is the physical world.                                  True reality is the spirit world.

                                                                       

 2. Reality is perceived through the mind.                            Reality is perceived through the spirit.

                                                              

3. My goal is to develop my mind.                                     My goal is to develop my spirit.

 

4. I live out of what my mind is telling me.                         I live out of what my spirit is telling me.

 

5. My mind directs thru calculated thought.                          My spirit directs me through spontaneous,

                                                                                    cognitive and analytical thoughts, flowing

                                                                                    thoughts that are placed in it by

                        the Spirit of God.

 

6. My mind is cultivated by using it in                                My spirit is cultivated by using it in

    academic study.                                                           communication with God.

 

7. Direction is received from my mind                                 Direction is received from my spirit by

    by analysis of stored knowledge .                                    waiting quietly upon the Lord, allowing

                                                                                    Him to spontaneously inject into my heart

                                                                                    His thoughts, burdens, and visions.

 

8. Out of the mind flows the Written Word.                          Out of the spirit flows the specific word of God for the now.

 

9. A Christian who has only developed                                A Christian with a developed spirit

    his mind, flows with a knowledge of                               flows with the power of the Spirit and             

    the written word.                                                         is grounded in a knowledge of the              

                                                                                    living as well as the written Word.

 

 

3. Going Beyond Rational Christianity

 

     RATIONAL CHRISTIANITY                                      SPIRITUAL CHRISTIANITY

    

     1. Code of Ethics.                                                      The power that works within.

 

     2. Laws.                                                                   Intimacy (Abba, Father).

 

     3. Works.                                                                 Romance (marriage of the Bride).

 

     4. Head Knowledge.                                                    Illumined truth.

 

     5. External guidance.                                                   Inner witness of the Spirit.

 

     6. Theology.                                                             Spirit encounter.

 

     7. Conscious level only.                                              Dreams, visions, communion.

 

 

4. For Review

 

   A. Think of the Christians you know who obviously show they have enthroned the Holy Spirit in their own spirit. In what ways do they show the contrast between believers who have enthroned the Spirit and those who have not?

 

   B. Prayer: “Lord Jesus, this day I choose to hear Your voice instead of listening to my own thoughts and opinions. I wish to grow in my spirit until I am lost in you! Teach me, Holy Spirit, how You will speak groanings for me when I cannot speak. Father, reveal more and more of Your greatness to my spirit, until I love only you and nothing else. Amen.”

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 8

 

Power for Your Ministry

 

The following scriptures share a single truth. God intends to empower every believer to perform His work with power from above. It has always been true. Whoever is assigned by God to do His work will, along with the commission, receive His power. You are included in that truth! In this seminar, you will be helped to step into the application of this truth.

 

The phrase, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon . . .” is used over and over in the Old Testament. Consider these verses:

 

Moses: Numbers 11:17, 25, 26, 29.

   “. . . I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone . . .  Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.  . . .

 

Balaam: Numbers 24:1-3

   “ . . . Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face toward the desert. When Balaam looked out and, saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him and he uttered his oracle: ‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly . . .’ ”

 

Othniel: Judges 3:9, 10

   “ . . . But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.”

 

Jephthah: Judges 11 :29, 33

   “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites . . . . He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.”

 

Samson: Judges 14:19

   “ . . .  Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of their belongings and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he went up to his father’s house.”

 

Samson: Judges 15:14, 15

   “ . . .  As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.”

 

Gideon: Judges 6:34

   “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon (Hebrew, “clothed in prayer”) Gideon and he blew a trumpet summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. (Gideon defeated the Midianites with but 300 men and trumpets.)”

 

Saul: 1 Samuel 10:6

   “The Spirit will come upon you in power and you will prophecy with them and you will be changed into a different person . . . ”

 

Saul: 1 Samuel 19:19, 23

   “. . . Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul’s men and they also prophesied . . .  but the Spirit of God came upon him and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.”

 

David: 1 Samuel 16:13

   “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”

 

Azariah: 2 Chronicles 15:1, 2, 8

   “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Hebrew, “to clothe with power”) Azariah, son of Obed. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah, son of Obed the prophet, he took courage . . . ”

 

Jahaziel: 2 Chronicles 20:14-15

   “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah . . .  as he stood in the assembly. He said, “Listen King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem, this is what the Lord says.” (N.B.: His prophecy was fulfilled in verse 22).

 

Zechariah: 2 Chronicles. 24:20

   “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.”’

 

Jesus: Luke 4:18-21

   “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Acts 1:8

   “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 2:17-21

  “In the last days, God says, l will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, l will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 

“YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES UPON YOU AND YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES  . . .” ACTS 1:8

   The promise of God’s power in the above scripture are the words of Jesus. They are our guarantee that we, too, are to receive God’s power for ministry. Consider these verses:

 

At Pentecost

  They spoke in tongues. Acts 2:3: “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

 

In Samaria

  Peter and John placed hands on them. Simon the Sorcerer saw the power that was released.

   • Acts 8:7: “With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed.”

   • Acts 8:14 ff.: “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom l lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’”

 

Saul’s Conversion

   Acts 9:17: “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ ”

 

Cornelius’ House

   Acts 10:44-46: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God . . . ”

 

The Disciples at Ephesus: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?”

   Acts 19:1-6: “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

Observations:

 

   1. Three out of the five accounts of the fullness of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the speaking in tongues.

 

   2. One other time in the case of the Samaritans, nothing was mentioned but it was an observable phenomenon.

 

   3. In the case of Paul, he received healing when filled with the Spirit. Some time later, he began speaking in tongues. Paul said of himself in 1 Corinthians 14:18, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.”

 

Conclusions:

 

   1. The fullness or baptism of the Holy Spirit is an empowering of ministry. It is not a second work of grace but rather an appropriation of the power available to us at salvation.

 

   2. We cannot gain from scripture that you must speak in tongues as a sign of the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

 

   3. Nevertheless, since speaking in tongues is available for all, it is one of the most common ways by which the fullness of the Spirit may be appropriated.

 

   4. Consider 1 Corinthians 12:46: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

 

 

THE STRUCTURE OF A CELL GROUP

 

Cell groups tend to form three distinct levels of spiritual maturity. The scripture we use to learn about this is 1 John 2:12-14:

 

I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.  

 

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.

 

I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

 

I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.  

 

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.

 

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

 

Cell members who are children have a goal: to “overcome the evil one.” They know their sins have been forgiven, but they must learn to gain victory over Satan, “the accuser,” who comes to use weaknesses in our characters to defeat us.

 

Young men have mastered the evil one, and are to be helped to win friends to Christ who are not believers, but who are searching for peace.

 

Fathers, by definition, have caused a child to be born into the Kingdom of God. They know the power of God and can be sent to reach those who reject Christ, who are not open to the gospel.

 

 

 

THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR EQUIPPING JOURNEY:

 

The Importance of a Mentor

 

During the “Equipping Journey,” you should have a Mentor. This person will have already completed the material you are using. This gives you a companion on your journey. Ask your Cell Leader to arrange for this if he/she has not already done this for you.

 

OUR MOTTO:

“EACH ONE EQUIPS ONE,

WHILE BEING EQUIPPED BY ONE!

 

The Four Parts of a Cell Meeting

 

Welcome: We share together to bond to one another.

Worship: We are bonded to God through joint worship.

Word: We receive words from God that which will build up others.

Works: We pray and plan to share Christ with unbelievers.

 

These four parts are sometimes described in this way:

 

Ice Breaker: We share to get to know one another once again.

Worship: We sing and pray as we meet God.

Edification: We listen to one another, then listen to God, and then let His life flow through us to enrich others in the cell group.

Sharing The Vision Time: We reach those in our oikoses for Christ.

 

The three major things that a cell group seeks to do:

 

1.    The Cell must equip each person for ministry.

2.    The Cell must minister to the needs of each person.

3.    The Cell must multiply by winning the lost.

 

More About Edification:

 

“. . . from Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

 

Edification Illustrated in 1 Corinthians 14:26:

 

“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”

 

REVIEW

 

The Four “W’s: The Major Activities of a Cell Group:

 

1.    A time of WELCOME, with an “ice breaker” which bonds the members to one another.

 

2.    A time of WORSHIP, where the Cell members meet the Lord.

 

3.    A time of WORD, where the members build up one another as the Lord flows His gifts between them.

 

4.    A time of WORKS, also called “Sharing the Vision” time, when all Cell members share the names of those who will be contacted during the coming week.

 

 

YOU ARE EXPECTED TO MEMORIZE OUR VISION BEFORE RECEIVING CREDIT

FOR THE SPIRITUAL FORMATION WEEKEND!

 

 

THE VISION OF (YOUR CHURCH NAME HERE)

 

CLEARLY WRITE OUT YOUR OWN CHURCH’S VISION HERE

 

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 10

 

Growing As A Community In Worship

 

A. The Weight of Worship

   1. Study Psalm 149 as we write in the answers to the following sentences:

 

   2. Worship is a ______________________________ (Psalm 149:1-3)

 

   3. Worship is a ______________________________ (Psalm 149:4)

 

   4. Worship brings ___________________________________ (Psalm 149:4-9)

   5. Deliverance from personal weakness: Psalm 149:4b, Isaiah 6:18.

   6. Deliverance from external oppression. (2 Chronicles 20).

 

   7. Worship is a ___________________________ (Psalm 149:9; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18).

 

B. The Way We Worship

     1. The laughing mouth (Genesis 21:6, Psalm 126:2).

     2. The singing mouth (Psalm 89:1, Psalm 105:2).

     3. The bent knee (Psalm 65:6, 2 Chronicles 7:13).

     4. The bowed head (Nehemiah 8:6; 2 Chronicles 29:30).

     5. The clapping hands (Isaiah 55:12; Psalm 98:8; Psalm 47:1).

     6. The shouting voice (Psalm 47:1; Psalm 95:1; Psalm 98:46).

     7. The uplifted hands (2 Chronicles 6:12-13; Lamentations 3:41; Ezra 9:5; Psalm 28:2; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 141:2; 1 Timothy 2:8).

     8. The grounded face (1 Kings 18:39; Job 1:20; Rev 11:16-17).

     9. The uplifted head (Psalm 24:7; Psalm 121:1).

  10. The dancing body (Exodus 15:20; 2 Samuel 6:13-14; Psalm 149:3; Psalm 150:4).

 

C. “I Like the Cell Groups, but I am not used to the way you worship. What can you say to help me?”

   Answers:

   1. People who do participate are not that much different from you.

   2. Please understand how crucial our worship is to the general atmosphere and ministry of this congregation. We have carefully considered the elements of worship as given in the scriptures. We know they please God. This is why we do them. It is not just “a different way of worship.” It is the biblical way.

   3. Feeling awkward about expressive worship is a common feeling at the beginning.

   4. If our style of worship is too objectionable, perhaps you have not found the right church home.

   5. Conclusions as you pray through your membership with us:

        • Examine God’s Word, not just the worship patterns of traditional churches.

        • Embrace His Discipline, realizing Scripture tells us much about worship.

        • Expand in His Worship, abandoning yourself to exalting His name.

        • Express His Love, feeling the bonds of unity in worshipping with fellow believers in our services.

 

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION 11

 

REVIEW: The Vision of (INSERT YOUR CHURCH’S NAME HERE)

 

(Note: This Strategy is to be written from memory before you leave this Spiritual Formation Weekend!)

 

VISION

 

YOUR VISION GOES HERE.

 

STRATEGY

 

YOUR STRATEGY GOES HERE.

 

 

PRIORITY OF OPERATION AT OUR CHURCH

 

Staff

Program

Facilities

 

PRIORITY OF MINISTRY

 

Worship

Evangelism

Discipleship

 

 

Form A

 

SPIRITUAL FORMATION WEEKEND

 

YOUR CONVERSION EXPERIENCE

 

Name:_________________________________

Date: __________________________

 

Telephones: (H)_______________ (O) ______________

   (P) _____________________

 

1. Where did your conversion take place?

 ______________________________________

 

2. What was the occasion (in a Cell meeting, gospel rally, work situation, social outing, during a church activity, etc)? ____________________________________

 

3. Who shared the gospel with you?

    _________________________________

 

4. What need/s prompted you to receive Christ?

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

 

5. What did you do and say?

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

6. What three benefits have you experienced since your conversion?

 

   1. _________________________________

 

   2. _________________________________

 

   3. _________________________________

My Testimony: (Please use additional sheets if necessary)

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

 

 

Form B (For Transfers from another Church)

 

SPIRITUAL FORMATION WEEKEND

 

Name: _________________________________

 

Date: __________________________

 

Telephones: (H)_______________ (O) ______________

        (P) _____________________

 

   1. Have you attached your written testimony to this questionnaire?  Yes ___No ___

   2.      Which church are you transferring from?

 

__________________________________

 

3. What is the full address of the church?

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

4. What ministries were you involved in while a member of your former church?

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

5. Are you presently involved in any of those ministries?

     Yes ____ No ____

 

6. Have you sought counsel from pastor/elders/deacons/council members regarding your transfer? Yes ____No ____

 

7. If Yes, what was their response?

 

 ___________________________________________

 

8. If No, why not?

 

        _____________________________________________________

 

9. What is/are your reason/s for transferring your membership?

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

 

10. How long have you been regularly worshipping with us? 

            _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

    _______________________________________________________

 

11. By what mode were you baptized? 

 

      Sprinkling ___ Pouring ___ Immersion ___

 

12. Were you baptized as an infant? Yes ____ No ____

 

FOR THOSE COMING BY STATEMENT:

 

 1. Which church were you previously regularly worshipping in?

 

       _______________________________________________________

 

 2. Why are you not able to transfer your membership?

       _______________________________________________________

 

 3. By what mode were you baptized?

 

     Sprinkling ___ Pouring ___ Immersion ___

 

 4. Were you baptized as an infant? Yes ____ No ____

 

 5. How long have you been regularly worshiped with us?                                          _______________________________________________________

 

Spiritual Formation Forms And Procedures

 

1. Form A: Everyone must complete this form.

 

2. Form B: For those coming by transfer or statement, attach your Form B to your Form A.

 

3. Membership card: Please write down your citizenship status and attach your photograph. For baptism candidates only - state your Christian name if you wish to include it in your baptismal certificate as subsequent request will not be considered.

 

4. Cell Group card:

        a) If you are already in a cell group, write your leader’s name and District/Ministry down on the card.

        b) If you do not have a group, you can select a group near your home from the Cell Group’s list that will be put up on Saturday.

 

 5. Parent’s Consent Form: If you are below 21 years of age, please collect the Parent’s Consent Form.

 

 6 Letter of Transfer: If you are transferring your membership to (your church name goes here) please write to your church and have them transfer your letter of membership to us. Our address is: INSERT YOUR ADDRESS BELOW)

 

 7. By Statement: If you are coming by statement, please write to your church to have them explain to us why your membership cannot be transferred.

 

8.    Cell Groups:

        Remember to bring your Form A (& Form B) to your cell group leader to read. Please ask your leader to indicate on the “Remarks” section of the Cell Group card that he has interviewed you and that you have attended at least 4 cell group meetings.

 

 9.   Deadline:

        Once your leader has interviewed you, he will hand your Form A, Form B, Parent’s Consent Form and Cell Group card to the church office. Your name will be published in the weekly bulletin before the baptism date. If you have already submitted your document to your cell leader and have been interviewed but your name is not in the bulletin, please check with your cell leader immediately.

 

ALL DOCUMENTS MUST REACH THE CHURCH OFFICE BY THE CLOSING DATE.

 

 SUMMARY

 

A.    Documents to be handed in on Saturday to the duty Secretaries:

        1. Membership Application Card (duly completed with photo and citizenship status).

        2. Cell Group Card (white copy only).

B.    Documents to be handed in to your cell leader for action:

        1. Forms A (& B if  applicable), along with your written, memorized “Our Vision” statement.

        2. Parent’s Consent Form.

        3. Cell Group Card (2nd & 3rd copy).

C.    Letter of Transfer/Recommendation

        If you are coming by transfer/statement your letter of Transfer/Recommendation from your church must reach the office before the closing date.