A New Beginning - pt2

January 6, 2007 Ephesians 4:11-16


1. Today is a new day in the life our ABF Ministry – a fresh start to the new year

- this is a good time for what I call an ABF Chat – or “Here are a few things that I wanted to say” to prepare us for this years theme

- before we go any where, I want to quickly review Ephesians 4:11-16 [Read]

2. This passage is about ‘equipping the saints to DO the WORK of the ministry” – this whole ministry is not about the pastors doing it all, but equipping the saints (YOU) to DO the WORK as a body!

Q: How does that get done? – through teaching & preaching & modeling it (we can’t do it all, and we’re not expected to – we’re suppose to be training others as we go!

3. In our worship service, Steve is going to present (@ 11:00 – has already) our 2007 Theme

Q: Are you ready for 2007?

one of the passages in the NT that will help us have the right attitude is Hebrews 11:6:

  • Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Input: How does Hebrews 11:6 help us to prepare for this upcoming year?

- whatever we get accomplished it will be done through FAITH in Him – not in ourselves.

Q: Can you say in your heart as one person did with their life: ATTEMPT great things FOR God and EXPECT great things FROM God!”

> He is a rewarder of those who seek Him!

- He will not only reward you at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), but He has a way of rewarding us while here on this earth

Input: How does God reward His children who seek Him and live by faith?

[various answers – His blessings with people, resources, goals achieved, good health, specific answers to prayer, etc.]

[in addition – talk about a love for God, love for people, a willingness to walk by faith – and that is dependant upon your view of God – is He big enough to help you in your situation?]

4. One of things we need to remind ourselves of is our church’s Mission Statement – quote it?

> The mission of FBC is to bring glory to God by winning people to Jesus Christ and equipping them to be more faithful disciples!

- there are a lot of ways to accomplish that –

5. One of the keys to us accomplishing our mission is our ABF Ministry – Adult Bible Fellowship (emphasize each word)

- especially BIBLE- this is our the study of the Scriptures and knowing God through knowing His Word – that is one of the primary ways in which He has revealed Himself to us – therefore, we should study it, meditate on it, learn it, and OBEY it!

- also, FELLOWSHIP – the Greek word koinwni,a (koinonia) = fellowship, a close mutual relationship; participation, sharing in; partnership

- that’s the value/importance of being part of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:6)

POINT: We’re in this together – folks . . . we NEED EACH OTHER!!

- you can’t grow spiritually and not be an active part of the body—or be accountable to the Body (Matthew 18)

- it’s like what the writer of Hebrews wrote:

  • Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

> that’s the point of all the ‘one another’ uses in the NT – love, encourage, pray for, show hospitality, serve, etc.!

> the Body can’t do that unless we are interacting/engaged in each others’ lives

6. I want us to look at another passage that we touched on briefly last Sunday: John 15:1-8

- before we do, this is a passage that helps us understand our KEY WORD for our ABF Ministry:


- that’s what ABFs are all about – they are the ‘bridge’ or the ‘connection’ road to discipleship and/or assimilation in FBC!

- it’s similar to the concept Jesus spoke of in John 15:1-8 [READ IT]

Note the emphasis on abide” = remain, stay, live, dwell; last, endure, continue

- you could use the word ‘connect’ to the Vine – if you don’t, what’s the result?

Answer: NO FRUIT

- but if you do (abide in the vine – stay ‘connected’ to the Vine), what’s the result?

Answer: You can bear MUCH FRUIT!

7. Q: What can the ‘much fruit’ look like? I think some of that looks like God blessing our ABF Ministry with new people, souls who love the Lord and want to grow!

- I want you to look at the following stats (I’m not really big on this, but at times, it’s very helpful to “do the math” on a situation!

ABF & Children’s S.S.








*Note: i.e. actual head count in ABFs



10.6% +

Grand Total: ABF AND Children's Ministries



7% +

Worship Services



% of Worship that go to ABF/Children Ministry

Goal: 85% of Worship Service go to ABF/Children’s Ministry

72 %

74 %

Input: What implications can you draw from these?

> God blessed us with some great growth (thank you for your faithfulness)

7. Input: What is the purpose of ABFs? [how would you state that purpose – various answers]

Mission: The purpose of our ABF to bring glory to God by proclaiming the truth of His Word and exalting Jesus Christ in our lives.

Goal: To provide a small group environment where people of all age groups can learn more about God and how His Word applies to one’s life in all situations and to build relationships with others who are in similar life-situations.

- This small group setting allows us to do a lot of things you can’t do in a worship service:

1) to interact in the study of the Bible

2) to pray together

3) to do the ‘one anothers’ each week!

4) to ask Q’s and learn from others in your class about Who God is and how He is has worked and is working in the lives of His people

8. Q: What are ABF’s all about? [remember – the Key Word is . . . CONNECT

  • Connect to God: Knowing Who God is and what He’s done – and as a result praising Him and seeking to glorify Him in all we do
  • Connect to His Word: Developing a better understanding of God’s Word and how it applies to problems and situations of everyday life!

- To help us with that: [explain] Teaching Schedule 2007

NEW SERIES: “Too Busy NOT to Pray!” [3 weeks]
[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to . . . Our Faithfulness to Pray]

  • Jan. 14, 21, 28 Developing Practical Prayer Skills [NEXT WEEK]

NEW SERIES: “Delighting in God’s Word” – How to Be Disciplined in Bible Study” [4 weeks]
[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to . . . Our Commitment to Scripture – Psalm 119]

  • Feb. 4 – 25 [4 weeks]

NEW SERIES: “Walking with the Master” [NT Study] [6 weeks]
[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to . . . Our Love for Our Savior – John 18-21]

Emphasis: People reaching people, specific situations Jesus faced, and what we can learn from Him!

  • Mar. 4 – Apr 8:

NEW SERIES: “Growing Your Family & Relationships God’s Way” [7 weeks]
[[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to : . . . Building Strong Families and Relationships

* Focus on specific family examples in the OT and NT

  • Apr. 16 – May 27[Community Center Opens!] A Family or Relationship of _________TBA

NEW SERIES: “The Attributes of God in the Life of _______” OT or NT Characters[11 weeks]

[[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to : . . . Our Knowledge of God]

  • June 3- Aug 12 [Summer]

NEW SERIES: “Facing Your Giants” [10 weeks]

[Sunday Morning Worship: 2007 Theme applied to . . . Understanding How to Grow]

  • Aug. 19- Oct. 21 – Fear, Anger, Worry, Temptation, Pride, Greed, etc.

NEW SERIES: “Stewardship & Christmas” Facing Your Giants” [10 weeks]

  • Oct 28 – Dec. 30: Stewardship Study and Christmas Study

- Finally: In our ABFs Ministry we want to . . . .

  • Connect to People: Being a part of a smaller group – a ‘community’ of people and building friendships, getting to know other people

IMPORTANT: ** To help us with this – place a heavy emphasis this year on our Teams (explain how our class is divided up into TEAMS!

- We are in the process of finalizing (or selecting) our TEAMS / making sure each person is on a TEAM / the Team Leaders know who is on their TEAM / and the TEAM is functioning properly

> Encouragers: I plan to present all that to you on Jan. 21 – two weeks away

- By that time we hope to have all (1) the Team Leaders confirmed, (2) 3) revised Team Lists and (3) Any Update Reps for our ABF

Goal: By March, that I could ask anybody in our ABF, “Who is your Team Leader?” and they would know the answer and make positive comments about the process!

9. Close by talking about some of the goals we have for our ABF Ministry

Q: What about our ABF setting a goal to see our ABF grow 20- 25 % in the people who come to our ABF because we worked hard at our faithfulness AND our outreach to others new to our church or do not have an ABF yet?

[teachers, you’ll have to decide this number for your ABF]

- what do want to look back on at the end of 2007 and say that we’ve accomplished?

? how about accomplishing 2 service projects as an ABF

? have 2 Sunday Breakfast days (Calvary Chapel will be out of the gym by end of April)

Other ideas??

** Prayer Time: Asking God to help us bring glory to Him as we bear ‘much fruit.’.

– for our ABF, it’s growth, spiritual maturity, our church family to grow, etc.