East-Central Africa Division (ECD)
—Noah Musema, Personal Ministries director
ECD leaders are challenging their membership to organize a health seminar, small group, Bible study, or evangelistic series in their homes using the New Beginnings DVD. Another ECD small group resource is called Harvest in Sheaves.
Euro-Asia Division (ESD)
—Dmytro Zubkov, Personal Ministries director
In ESD, the number of small group Bible studies has more than doubled. The division provides a model of small- group outreach for congregations to follow. Small groups have increased from 2,774 in 2002 to more than 10,000 groups today. ESD has voted to make small group ministry the main basis for evangelism throughout the region, believing that small groups are the future of evangelism in their territory.
• Lessons for small groups http://sspm .adventist.ru/document_groups/3173
• Seminars for small groups http://sspm .adventist.ru/document_groups/3337
• Books for small groups http://sspm .adventist.ru/document_groups/3200
Inter-American Division (IAD)
—Melchor Ferreyra, Personal Ministries director
IAD has more than 92,000 small groups in operation, aiding the growth of the 20,000 churches and congregations in that territory. IAD maintains that groups of 6–12 people in a home, meeting to pray, study the Bible, spend time, and testify together of God’s goodness, once every week, serve to strengthen marriages and aid in raising missionary-minded children.
• Inter-American Division, Lord Transform Me: A Special Study on the Righteousness of Christ, small group Bible study guide, centralja.org/media/27048/righteousness-of -christ-study-guide.pdf.
• Grupos Pequeños, Ministerio Personal y Grupos Pequeños, grupospequenos.interamerica.org.
• Libna Stevens, “In Inter-America, Small Groups Are Strengthening Church Membership,” Inter-American Division, December 1, 2014, interamerica.org/2014/12/03 /in-inter-america-small-groups-are -strengthening-church-membership/.
Inter-European Division (EUD)
—Paolo Benini, Personal Ministries director
In EUD, small groups are helping the church grow by providing nurture for intimacy with God and each other. In Spain, small-group meetings are creating a bonded group of women. Belarus has more than 300 Adventist small groups, Moldova has more than 600, and in Ukraine, there are well over 3,000 small Adventist outreach groups throughout the country.
• Paolo Benini, Making Disciples for the Lord: Vocation, Biblical Principles, and Practical Applications for Discipleship through the Dynamics of Small Groups (Berne, Switzerland: Inter-European Division, 2016).
• Frühstückstreffen für Frauen CH and Denise Hochstrasser, My Tree of Life (French, Spanish, Dutch, English).
• “Resources,” Women’s Ministries of the Inter-European Division, women .eud.adventist.org/en/resources/.
Israel Field (IF)
—Emanuel Lascu, Oleg Elkine, Personal Ministries directors
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Israel has nearly 800 followers, gathering in 21 churches and groups under the leadership of seven pastors. Despite the challenges and limitations, the church in Israel is steadfast. It moves ahead by faith, believing in God’s protection and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
• Resources are coordinated by the Israel Oversight Committee, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA (see “Resources” listing for General Conference).
Middle East and North Africa Union Mission (MENA)
—Michael Eckert, Personal Ministries liaison
In one particular Asian city in this region, small groups meet to study the Bible with the help of DVD players and special software. Four thousand five hundred people have been taken through small-group Bible studies, culminating in 30 small, one-week public meetings, a safer alternative to one huge public meeting. Here they believe that the strength of the church lies in the training and participation of lay people who have the ability to make congregations sustainable.
• Resources are coordinated by the Middle East and North Africa Union Oversight Committee, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA (see “Resources” listing for General Conference).
North American Division (NAD)
— J. Alfred Johnson II, Personal Ministries director; Eduard Schmidt, director, NAD Evangelism Institute (NADEI)
NADEI is the tangible expression of the North American Division’s commitment to inspire a love for evangelism. One NAD conference developed a plan for small groups in 1997; now there are 350 groups that meet each week. They have baptized more than 12,000 people and organized a total of 49 churches, 13 companies, and nine mission groups. Small groups build an extended community and multiply church membership. People aren’t looking for a pastor or a priest, but they are looking for a group of friends. They love the sense of belonging. The Prayer Ministries Department also provides prayer training for small groups to support evangelism.
• “Small Group Resources,” NADEI, nadei .org/article/329/evangelism-services /small-groups/small-group-resources.
• “Prayer Ministries Resources, Bulletin Inserts, and Suggestions,” Seventh-day Adventist Church North American Division Prayer Ministries, nadadventist.org /article/200/ministries-services /ministries/prayer-ministries /prayer-ministries-resources-bulletin -inserts-and-suggestions.
• Elizabeth Anderson , “Small Groups Boost Church Membership: What’s the Science Behind Their Success?,” Columbia Union Visitor, October 2014, nadministerial .org/article/975/for-nad-pastors /articles/small-groups-boost-church -membership-what-s-the-science -behind-their-success.
• Advent Source, adventsource.org /as30/search.results.aspx?search=sm all§ion=store.
• Milton Adams, Growth Groups: Equipping Small Group Leaders (Multimedia Kit), AdventSource, adventsource.org/as30/store -productDetails.aspx?id=35828.
• Chris and Yolanda Blake, Reinvent Your Sabbath School (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 2001), adventistbookcenter.com /reinvent-your-sabbath-school -discover-how-exhilarating-a-ministry -driven-class-can-be-srr.html.
• José H. Cortés, As Jesus Did It: How to Plant New Congregations and Promote Growth in Established Churches Through Small Groups (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2012), amazon.com/As-Jesus-Did-J -Cortes/dp/1619969211/ref=sr_1_3 ?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510285977 &sr=1-3&keywords=as+jesus+did+it.
• Don James, “Cell Groups and Holistic Small Groups,” adventistlearningcommunity .com/media_resources/5145.
• Kurt Johnson, Prayer Works: Small Group Bible Studies (Fallbrook, CA: Hart Research Center, 1993).
• NAD Men’s Ministries, “Building Effective Small Groups,”
Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD)
—Richard Sabuin, Personal Ministries director
NSD has experienced gradual growth in recent years, but now the church is employing relational evangelism, Christ’s method of mingling with people. The church is organizing small groups and engaging in team ministry, while inviting new people to church. NSD maintains that the Holy Spirit is poised and ready to reignite an end-time people in their quest for truth through small groups. As this is done, they believe that a significant spiritual revolution can begin at the local church level, by the lives they live and the burden they have for the lost.
• FAST Catalog (FAST, 2014), fast.st/fast /files/store/catalog.pdf.
• “Resources ,” FA ST Missions, fastmissions.com/welcome/resources.
• “Focus on Prophecy” online study guides, Voice of Prophecy, voiceofprophecy .com/study/focus-prophecy.
• Pacific Press, “Clouzet Affirms Adventism’s Greatest Need,” April 18, 2011, pacificpress.com/pp/news /content/newsReltpl.php?relID=146 -ClouzetAdvGreatestNeed.htm;
South American Division (SAD)
—Everon Donato, Personal Ministries director
In the SAD, there are more than 70,000 small groups, and great effort has been made so that small groups become the basis of the church’s missionary outreach. Between 1996 and 2005, SAD membership increased 180 percent, contrasted with the global Adventist growth rate of 54 percent over the same period. Though many factors are involved in this growth, SAD considers small groups to be one of the most effective. They have brought spiritual growth, growth in relationships, growth in preparing disciples, and growth in planting new churches.
• Spanish: “ Lección Protót i p o : Multiplique Esperanza,” Adventistas .org, downloads.adventistas.org /es/ministerio-personal/manuales -y-guias/leccion-prototipo -multiplique-esperanza/.
• Portuguese: “Protótipo Pequenos Grupos ,” Adventistas.org, downloads.adventistas.org/pt/kits /prototipo-pequenos-grupos/.
• Spanish: “Multiplique Esperanza,” Adventistas.org, downloads.adventistas .org/es/kits/multiplique-esperanza /page/3/.
• Portuguese: Materiais: “Escola de líderes—Aprofudado a caminhada,” Adventistas.org, adventistas.org/pt /ministeriopessoal/projeto/pequenos -grupos/#1459874096472-289adb3c -b17b.
Weekly lesson studies
• Spanish:“Buscar Archivos,” Adventistas .org, downloads.adventistas.org /es/?orderby=date&order=DESC &post_status=publish&post _type=post&seemore_title =Vea+m%C3%A1s&xtt-pa-projetos =grupos-pequenos.
• Portuguese: “Procurar Arquivos, Adventistas.org, downloads .adventistas.org/pt/?orderby=meta _value_num%25pa_thema_materiais _download_count&order=DESC &post_status=publish&post_type =post&seemore_title=materiais +pequeno+grupo&xtt-pa -projetos=pequenos-grupos&xtt-pa -sedes=dsa.
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID)
—Michael Ngwaru, Personal Ministries director
SID surpassed the 2,000,000- member mark in large part due to small group evangelism. Small groups are considered the key to evangelism in the region. Some 52,000 groups of approximately five people are regularly meeting in homes. SID claims that 92 percent of the people won through small groups are now winning others to Christ. Adventists don’t have a lot of friends who aren’t already members of the church. Members are challenged to increase their network of unchurched friends by making friends in the wider community.
• Small groups for children 12 and below (Every Kid Club), Small groups for teenagers (Young Champions Club), Small groups for young adults (Homes of Hope and Healing)
• Small groups for newly baptized (Fishers of Men)
• Seventh-day Adventist Church News, October 8, 2009, news.adventist.org /en/all-news/news/go/2009-10-08 /in-southern-africa-adventist-evangelism -focuses-on-discipleship/.
Southern Asia Division (SUD)
—Hidayat Masih, Personal Ministries director
In India, the predominant religion, Hinduism, makes it difficult for many to make the decision to follow Christ. However, an Adventist pastor formed small prayer groups, and church members started prayer groups in their homes and in their workplaces. A few months later, small-group leaders encouraged their prayer partners to attend church. That church has had 4,000 people baptized and 16 church plants, a result the pastor attributes to small-group ministry.
• Victor Sam, Essentials of Small Group Ministry
• In southeastern India, laymen have been equipped to minister through small groups with “Bible Speaks” lessons, setting the stage for multiple small groups to study and fellowship together.—C. S. Marandi/ANN staff, “Laymen in Southeastern India Become Equipped to Minister Through Small Groups,” Seventh-day Adventist Church News, January 9, 2017, news .adventist.org/en/all-news/news /go/2017-01-09/laymen-in-southeastern -india-become-equipped-to-minister- through-small-groups/.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD)
—Hermogenes Villanueva, Personal Ministries director Integrated Evangelism Lifestyle
(IEL) is SSD’s comprehensive strategy to share the love of God through small groups, or care groups. In some predominantly Buddhist countries of SSD, small groups where people can study together and make discoveries are a vital part of SSD’s strategy. Here, speaking one-on-one with a person and asking them to make a decision for Christ is often going against the culture. The small group allows discussion, answering questions people have in their hearts, and calling people to decisions in a gentle way.
• To launch this program, the first material being used is that of Dr. Wes Youngberg and Drs. John and Millie Youngberg, WIN! Wellness Homes of Hope & Health. This program is designed to promote healthful living and prevention of disease in families and communities. It seeks to recapture the wholistic model described in The Ministry of Healing, which encompasses physical and mental health, spiritual growth, and family enrichment.
• WIN! Catalog of Materials, WIN! Wellness, 2015, winwellness.org/site/1 /docs/2015_CatalogofMaterials.pdf.
• “Programs: Integrated Evangelism Lifestyle,” Adventist.asia, adventist .asia/programs/integrated -evangelism-lifestyle/.
South Pacific Division (SPD)
—Leigh Rice, Discipleship Ministries director
The process working wonderfully in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Territories to facilitate small group Bible reading is Discovery Bible Reading. It is being used effectively in branch Sabbath School settings, by chaplains in schools, by parents in family worship, and members in community Bible outreach. It is also transforming members’ engagement in Sabbath School Bible study time. Two churches in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, used the Discovery Bible Reading plan in small groups, and 30 new branch Sabbath Schools were started. These are now developing into new church plants.
• Peter Roennfeldt, Making Disciples and Planting Churches that Multiply, newchurchlife.com/wp-content /uploads/Planting-Churches-that -Multiply-20111.pdf.
• Institute of Church Ministry, Avondale College of Higher Education, “Introducing Small Group Ministry in Your Local Church.”
• “Institute of Church Ministry,” Seventh- day Adventist Church for the South Pacific Division, www-adventist-org-au.adventistconnect.org/institute -of-church-ministry.
• AdventSource Video, “Holistic Small Group With Doug Franske,” adventsource.org/as30/plusline.video .item.aspx?id=1513.
• AdventSource Video, “Holistic Small Groups With Wayne Krause,” adventsource.org/as30/plusline.video .item.aspx?id=1424.
Trans-European Division (TED)
—Patrick Johnson, Discipleship coordinator
Bible study and prayer are the lifeblood of the TED. Women all across the territory, such as Ljijlana Jovanovic- Arandjelovic in Nish, Serbia, are involved in small-group ministries to encourage each other in their Christian journey and growth in God’s Word. She leads a group of nine women once a week for Bible study and prayer. In addition to study they have also been able to help many in need as a result of prayer and sacrificial giving. “I am not suggesting that small groups offer a magic formula for completing the Gospel Commission, spreading unity and love in the church, and leading us individually to spiritual maturity. I am simply suggesting that small groups are a divinely ordained means which can help us to achieve these goals.” —David Cox, England (see resources below).
• Gavin Anthony, One Ambition: How Was I Designed to Live? (for groups up to 6 people), June 2017, reflectingjesus.org/wp-content /uploads/2015/08/OA-Book.pdf.
• David Cox, Think Big, Think Small Groups: Building Christian Community (Watford, UK: South England Conference of Seventh- day Adventists, Department of Personal Ministries, 1998), sabbathschoolpersonalministries .org/02-small-group-ministries-in -the-local-church-textbook.pdf.
West-Central Africa Division (WAD)
—Vincent Roger Same, Personal Ministries director
WAD has placed an emphasis on small group evangelism, bringing thousands into the family of God. Cameroon supported 3,800 evangelistic sites: 511 were public, 3,300 were small groups. A record 5,042 baptisms were recorded. Women of the Republic of Bénin used small groups to reach out to friends and neighbors, followed by reaping meetings. More than 90 women preached and 117 persons were baptized, including a wealthy Muslim woman and her son. Thrilled to encounter truth and find peace in Jesus, she said her motto is “No turning back.”
• Developing Dynamic Small Groups in Your Church (see Trans-European Division resources [David Cox])
• Keys to Small Group Ministry (see General Conference resources [Sabbath School])
• Homes of Hope and Healing (see General Conference resources [Women’s Ministries]).
General Conference (GC)
GC Family Ministries—Willie and Elaine Oliver, directors
• Family to Family Guides for Church and Family (English and Spanish), family.adventist.org/ mission-to-the-families-in-the- cities-family-to-family.html
GC Ministerial—Anthony Kent, Ministry in Motion Host
• Balvin Braham, “Creating Effective Small Groups in Your Local Church,” video, revivalandreformation.org /resources/all/creating-effective -small-groups-in-your-local-church.
• Clifford Goldstein, “How to Lead a Small Group Study,” video, revivalandreformation.org/resources /all/how-to-lead-a-small-bible-study- group.
• Sergio Gonzalez and Oleg Kostyuk, “Growing a Young Adult Interactive Bible Study,” video, revivalandreformation .org/resources/all/growing-a-young -adult-interactive-bible-study.
GC Personal Ministries and Sabbath School—Ramon Canals, director
• General Conference, Keys to Small Group Ministry (AdventSource), adventsource.org/as30/store -productDetails.aspx?ID=36330.
• Jim Howard, Discipleship Handbook and Mentor’s Guide, trainingcenterchurches .com/discipleship-handbook.
GC Presidential—Mark Finley, assistant to the president
• Mark Finley, Life-Changing Bible Studies (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.). Contact: Melinda Worden 301-393-3000 (United States), [email protected]
GC Women’s Ministries—Heather-Dawn Small, director
• Lavelle Whitehouse, Small Group Dynamics (General Conference Women’s Ministries), adventsource .org/as30/store-productDetails .aspx?ID=34963.
• General Conference Women’s Ministries, Homes of Hope and Healing: 8 Weeks of Bible Lessons for Small Groups, adventistwomensministries .org/assets/files/Homes%20of%20 Hope%20and%20Healing/HHH _booklet_copy_2nd.pdf.
GC Youth Ministries—Gary Blanchard, director Resources
• Starter kits for your youth groups or small group meetings: “Starter Kit Downloads,” Youth Ministries Department, youth.adventist.org /Resources/Starter-Kit.