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Spread the Word: NSD Discipleship Training
October 06, 2020

 From August 5 to 6, 2020, the Sabbath School & Personal Ministries (SS/PM) department of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) conducted a discipleship training, via the Zoom online platform. The original plan was to conduct the training in four different places: Ulaanbaatar, Tokyo, Taichung, and Seoul. However, due to the current pandemic, the training was done through an online platform. About 175 participants joined the training, including pastors from Japan Union Conference, Korean Union Conference, Mongolia Mission, and Taiwan Conference, and some department directors of NSD. 

Pastor Jim Howard, associate director of the General Conference (GC) SS/PM department, was the main speaker. He spoke two hours each day. On the first day, Pastor Howard highlighted the importance of spreading the word through different ways. He introduced the forthcoming book Spread the Word, one of the GROW series books published by the GC SS/PM department. Basically, the presentation covered the content of the book, which includes some seed-sowing essentials on sowing the seed bountifully, sharing the words with our friends, and the power of invitations. 

Part of the presentation was also on literature ministry. Pastor Howard emphasized the reason literature ministry is important in spreading the word and that every member is a literature evangelist. He also talked about how a local church can run a literature ministry. Along with literature ministry is the significance of media ministry in spreading the word of God. With many different social media platforms used by people these days, our local churches may train church members to be active in media ministry. However, although we can spread the word through social media, nothing can substitute the role of house-to-house ministry, offering people Bible studies. 

On the second day of the training, Pastor Howard talked about how to make our Sabbath School alive. He talked about the different roles of Sabbath School officers, the importance of Sabbath School teachers, and how to make our Sabbath Schools as centers of evangelism. The participants enthusiastically listened to the presentation, indicated by many questions that they asked at the end of the presentations. In order to answer all questions, the meeting was extended for another hour. 

Of the five books of the GROW series, the NSD has translated the book Discipleship Handbook into Korean and Japanese. A Mongolian translation is being done on the book. The other book that is in the process of translation is the Fundamentals of Faith. We are aiming to translate all these books to meet the needs of our church members in the NSD. 

The NSD SS/PM department appreciates the contribution of Pastor Jim Howard and the support of all SS/PM directors of the Unions/Conferences/Missions in NSD. We thank the NSD IT Committee under the leadership of Pastor Stanley Ng, and Polly Park, the SS/PM department assistant, for making the Zoom meeting a successful one. 

* GROW Your Church, an initiative of the GC SS/PM department, provides education and resources to help local churches in the great mission of making disciples. Following the growth model of Jesus, we can break down the process of making disciples into five essential phases: Prepare, Plant, Cultivate, Harvest, and Preserve. 

News Article by Richard Sabuin, NSD Education, SSPM Director