2Leading People to Christ Let Glory CrowntheMercy Seat
3Leading People to Christ The Salvation ArmyAn international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.Its ministry is based upon the Bible;Its ministry is motivated by love for God;Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His Name without discrimination.The Army’s mission statement.
4Leading People to Christ John 1:45 NIVPhilip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."The following slides deal with instances where disciples bring people to Jesus.
5Leading People to Christ John 1:41 NIVThe first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).
6Leading People to Christ Acts 8:34 NIVThe eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please,who is the prophet talking about, himself orsomeone else?“35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
7Leading People to Christ Matthew 4:19 NIV"Come, follow me," Jesus said,"and I will make youfishers of men."The command to all who would seek Him
8Leading People to Christ Mercy-SeatHebrew: kapporeth, a "covering;"the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The Holy of Holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).The origin and justification for the mercy seat. In many churches people hve sought the Lord at a specific place.
9Leading People to Christ Upon that Mercy Seat, on the great Day of Atonement in the ritual of Israel's worship, the blood was sprinkled.Paul says that Christ was a Mercy Seat'in His own blood.'The thing God was doing when Christ offered up His life on the Cross reveals the grounds on which in every age God has forgiven sinners. Those grounds are expressed in the single phrase, ‘a propitiation in His blood’.Christ came to fulfill the scriptures. He has become the way to God – the only way.Propitiation – The fear of the wrath of God which has been removed by Christ through the shedding of His blood on Calvary. We are delivered form the tyranny of death; the evil of the flesh has been has been crucified with Christ our lives are not in vain. Christ has overcome the world.
10Leading People to Christ The Mercy Seat, also known as the Penitent Form, is in every Army sanctuary. It is a place where thousands of boys and girls, men and women, have received God's pardon and strength to live right lives. William Booth always believed that it was good to confess one's surrender to God … in public.The public act of moving to the altar is not what saves a person. It is my personal belief that when someone rises to go to the altar the work has already begun. The significance is in the seeker having a specific event that can be remembered.
11Leading People to Christ There is no special value in the wood; nor is the Penitent Form merely a place in a building. A drum has often been placed in the center of an open air meeting ring to serve for the same purpose. Wherever anyone feels they must live as God wants them to live, that place can be their Penitent Form or Mercy Seat.We Salvationists do not ascribe significance to an place. Again the act and rising and then publicly kneeling can be beneficial in the life of the convert. Many are truly saved and yet may never have knelt at an Army penitent form. An observer once commented “ These Salvationists invite any who have good desires to kneel publicly at the penitent form … humiliating themselves and risking ridicule. And extraordinarily enough; this doctrine, these methods succeed!”
12Leading People to Christ General Point – 1Good groomingDo not offend by being improperly dressedAllow nothing to come between the seeker and his commitments. The devil will not give up his prisoner easily. Ladies need to be careful not to wear clothing that cold be regarded as provocative. The aptness of Army uniform cannot be too strongly emphasized
13Leading People to Christ General Point – 2Personal HygeneBe clean,well groomedand fresh of breathBe aware overpowering cologne may be just as offensive.
14Leading People to Christ General Point – 3BE MANNERLYIt may not be wise to touch the seekerespecially if the person is of the opposite sex.Many are troubled by being touched. Do not pry – confessions are for God to hear
15Leading People to Christ There may be those who know the seeker who will be most qualified to help.Allow God to use these people.
17Leading People to Christ Preparing the wayIt is essential to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit when constrained to talk to someone about the claims of Christ.Your usefulness will be enhanced as you bring to your task …
18Leading People to Christ GOD’S WORDKnow it, always carry itIt is your ONLY authorityThis cannot be too strongly stressed
19Leading People to Christ FAITHas alivealthough as seeminglysmall as a mustard seedYou cannot commend what you do have not experienced
20Leading People to Christ LOVEa burning, Christ-like love is the driving force behindsoul-winning
21Leading People to Christ UNDERSTANDINGno two people are alike in personality, problemsor needsIf you have taken the DiSC personality profiling you will be particularly aware of how different personalities react
22Leading People to Christ TACTbe approachable neverdogmatic,harsh orcriticalBe careful. A dear retired officer of my knowledge was the cause of many not going to the altar. She was a little deaf and inclined to speak very loudly at the mercy seat. Once crying out – “You did what?”Not the best way to go!
23Leading People to Christ SINCERITYYour life must match yourprofession.Shallowness and sham are soon detected.“How shall they hear if the preacher forbear or lack in compassionate zeal” General Albert Osborn’s song based on scripture.
24Leading People to Christ PRAYERSeeking God’s guidance is essential in soul-winning
25Leading People to Christ There is a calm, a sure retreat; 'Tis found beneath the mercy seat;SA Song Book 573
26Leading People to Christ COUNSELLINGIn finding a counsellor be aware of the age, sex and background of the seeker.If someone close to the seeker is qualified to act then make use of that relationship.In these sad litigious times it must be stressed that what may be intended as a caring gesture could be misunderstood and misinterpreted.
27Leading People to Christ COUNSELLINGKneel with the seekerBegin with a personal prayer for strengthYou are about to help in the greatest task of your life…Leading someone to ChristThis personal preparation should preface all aspects of mercy seat counseling. You can only do this work with God’s help.
28Leading People to Christ COUNSELLINGAvoid cliches such as …“look up” - “just believe” - hold on”“let go” or “plunge into the Blood”They may cause confusion or even offendWe may know what these things mean but you are dealing with a seeker who is unaware of his theological jargon. Speaking in tongues should only occur when an interpreter is available. Such talk can also be mumbo-jumbo to the uninitiated.
29Leading People to Christ COUNSELLINGGently introduce yourself by nameEncourage the seeker to tell you his/her nameThen when you pray you can pray for that person by nameBe careful here. You never get a second chance at a first impression. Do not force yourself on the seeker. Respect the request for privacy if that is what is wanted and offer prayer for the seeker.
30Leading People to Christ A needy sinner at thy feet,With broken heart I bowFor pardon at thy mercy seat,SA Song Book # 282
31Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONEmphasize God’s LoveJohn 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
32Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONEmphasize God’s LoveTestify to itShow how it is revealed in the BibleAgain a personal experience of God and knowledge of His word is vital.
33Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONOutline the Way of SalvationGod wants for man to live a full rich lifeJohn 10:10 I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.
34Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONOutline the Way of SalvationBecause man was created with free-will he chooses his own way which results in separation from God.Abundant life can only be found by living God’s way.Even when dealing with the sin issue remain positive with the offer of God’s abundant life
35Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONOutline the Way of SalvationNo-one is exempt from thisRomans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of theglory of God,Refer later to separate notes concerning excuses and objections.
36Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONPoint out God’s answer – Jesus ChristRomans 8:8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,Christ died for us.We do not have to be good to get saved. “He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good”. (SA Song Book 133)
37Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONPoint out God’s answer – Jesus ChristJohn 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.Jesus is the only way to God. Any other ideas smack of apostasy
38Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONStress the need to accept Christ personallyHe is a personal Savior and the individual seeker must accept him in that light.Revelation 3:20I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.Any talk of coming from a Christian family has no merit. The seeker may be a fifth generation Salvationist but must become a first generation Christian.
39Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONEncourage a Definite DecisionGently guide the seeker towards repentancePsalm 38:18I confess my iniquity;I am troubled by my sinWithout repentance there can be no forgiveness. The seeker must admit and confess sins - to God. You need not know what is being confessed. But try to ensure that the seeker has truly confessed all to God.
40Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONEncourage a Definite DecisionEncourage belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.The act of faith brings about a right relationship with God through Jesus.He becomes a living reality in the life of the seeker because of God’s grace.This is where it gets difficult – you must move the seeker to Salvation without forcing the issue. It would not be wise to allow the seeker to leave the altar without a full commitment to God having been made. The opportunity may never be repeated.
41Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR SALVATIONConsolidate through PrayerSalvation is God’s work in man’s life.It is natural for the new relationship to be established in prayer.A set of prayers will be studied later
42Leading People to Christ Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,Where Jesus answers prayer.SA Song Book 284
43Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize God’s PowerHoliness is not an impossibly high standard;it is not impossible to attain.Emphasize God’s power, show its revelation in Scripture and speak from your own testimony.As has already been stated, the counselor must have a real experience of his or her own Salvation.
44Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize God’s PromiseGod has pledged that holiness is possible in the life of anyone fully receptive to the Holy Spirit. Man is made Holy through the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ.see Ephesians 3 :
45Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEphesians 3 : 14 – 1714For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
46Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEphesians 3 : 17 – 21And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
47Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEphesians 3 : 20 – 2120Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
48Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize the Work of the Holy SpiritThe Spirit convinces man of his need of a deeper work within his life.Many take a long time before realizing their need for what is sometimes called the “second blessing”
49Leading People to Christ The spirit-filled man reveals –The peace and poise of a Christ-controlled life, steady in all circumstancesA ‘live’ prayer lifeEagerness for God’s WordReadiness to witnessA life marked by purity and powerThe immature Christian reveals –An unstable,unsatisfyingexperience, often being at themercy of circumstances.A static or inconsistent prayer lifeLack of eagerness for God’s WordPreference for the “Silent Witness”A life needing more purity and power
50Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize ConsecrationA positive commitment involving renunciation. There is a parallel with the discipline of the athlete or the musician - giving up trifles to attain true freedom.Often there will be things in the seeker’s life that are preventing spiritual growth. The seeker must honestly confront those issues – be they habits, possessions or relationships.
51Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize ConsecrationHebrews 12:1 … let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author andperfecter of our faith,The Christian life is exiting. Ours is not a faith of “Thou shalt nots”
52Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize ConsecrationClarify what must be consecrated and what must be given up.Encourage a Definite Decision.As well as dealing with what may need to be forsaken, stress the sense of freedom that will come as a result.
53Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR HOLINESSEmphasize ConsecrationSanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.It is natural to establish this in prayer.A set of prayers can be studied at this point. (separate hand-outs)
54Leading People to Christ Come, at the mercy seat fervently kneel;Here bringyour wounded hearts,
55Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONReasons for BackslidingAvoid too much pressure or probing.Confessions must be made but must also be treated in confidence.It might be necessary for the seeker to talk to the Corps OfficerIt is none of your business what the nature of the backsliding is. Avoid the pruriant tendency. If you find yourself out of your depth then seek a more experienced or better qualified person.
56Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONReasons for BackslidingNeglect of Bible reading and studyNeglect of prayerUnresponsiveness the the KNOWNwill of GodRegardless of the symptoms of backsliding – these are the reasons.
57Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONReasons for BackslidingDecline in personal faithSlackness in attending God’s houseBeing too SELF- reliantInviting temptation (“playing with fire”)Personal knowledge of the individual may help in centering in on these reasons.
58Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONAvoid being shocked by what you hearDo not condemnThe seeker is looking for a way back to GodThere is a need to be assured of man’s acceptance as well as God’sThis may be hard. In preparing for the task of counseling you may discover that you are not gifted in this area. Don’t despair - God has another task for you.
59Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONGod is ready to Save and to Keep1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.Again, the Word of god has the answer.
60Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONGod is ready to Save and to KeepRemember Jesus’ parable of the“Prodigal Son”This demonstrates God’s prodigious forgiveness of the backslider.If you do not know this story make sure you learn it. Avoid the tendency to be an “elder brother” as the restored one reenters the Corps family.
61Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONGod is ready to Save and to KeepEphesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.This is a direct command to become a man or woman of God.
62Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONEmphasize the Importance of FaithThe Bible constantly repeats the truth that forgiveness of sin is possible, because of God’s grace and may be experienced through faith in Jesus Christ asLord and SaviorAssure the backslider that God does forgive and that they need to accept that fact. They may need to be encouraged to make restoration to those who have suffered as a result of the backslider’s fall from Grace. Such conduct may help in the process of restoration.
63Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONEmphasize the Importance of FaithMan is saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus ChristMan is kept through faith in our Lord Jesus ChristFaith in our Lord Jesus Christ overcomes the worldThe Christian lives by faith in our Lord Jesus ChristIt would be beneficial to go through these points with all types of seekers
64Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR RESTORATIONEmphasize the Importance of FaithThe Salvation Army accepts the doctrine that it is possible for the believer to stray from God but that forgiveness is available to the truly penitent.Prayers should be made for forgiveness and for the gift of his keeping power.We do not accept “Once saved always saved”A set of prayers can be studied at this point. (separate hand-outs)
65Leading People to Christ So may wewith willing feetEver seekthemercy seat.SA Song Book 76
66Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR REDEDICATIONIdentify the NeedThere could be a specific need which may bePersonalFamily relatedWork relatedCorps relatedThis can be a personal moment for which no help need be given. You could perhaps offer silent prayer whilst kneeling, informing the seeker that this is what you are doing.
67Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR REDEDICATIONIdentify the NeedIn each case you are dealing with matters of a deeply personal, even intimate nature.Before assisting such a seeker be sure that you are the right person to deal with the situations.Better to pass the seeker to someone more qualified than to be the cause of frustration or even backsliding.
68Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR REDEDICATIONIdentify the NeedAs always stress the importance of communing with God through the Scriptures and prayer.Without a life of prayer and Bible study, any rededication will be based on shallow emotionalism.
69Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR REDEDICATIONIdentify the NeedAlthough there may be a specific need expressed it must be stressed that there is no such thing as selective consecration.The whole man must be dedicated to God“Not a fragment but the whole”One must be selective and careful. The motivation of the seeker has to be investigated. People have been known to come to the Altar because they want “Something in the Corps”. We Salvationists have often derided other churches of their abuse of the confessional but we too can be guilty of misusing the Mercy Seat.
70Leading People to Christ COUNSELLING FOR REDEDICATIONMeeting the NeedAttend Bible study and prayer meetingsGet involved in evangelism and visitationMake a concerted effort to bring people to the CorpsTake on the needed work of the Corps, being concerned with the work not a positionWe are very “position conscious” in the Army. Remember there are no small tasks in the kingdom but there are small people in all churches.
71Leading People to Christ DANGERIf you become involvedwith a seeker whoconfesses togross moral breakdownsor illegal activities itwould be well to allowthe Corps Officer to takeover or to seekprofessionalhelp.This cannot be too strongly stressed. Remember an ordained minister (an officer) has privileges than cannot be legally challenged. The writer is aware of a Salvationist, also a judge, who had to obtain an officer’s help for a seeker who was about to reveal criminal activity. Seeing a seeker cuffed and arrested at the altar could seriously hamper the work of the Corps!
72Leading People to Christ Come with happy facesto theplace ofprayer.
73Leading People to Christ The Young People’s WarAn old Army term for the ministry to children.In dealing with young people the counsellor will need to be gentle and very carefulIf you do not “get on” with kids then maybe you are not the person to lead them to Christ. Accept the responsibility of your personality. Youngsters can spot a phony who is trying to feign interest.
74Leading a child to Christ Whoever welcomes a little child … in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.Matthew 12:5 – 6 NIV
75Leading a Child to Christ Understand the child’s motive in taking this stepThe desire to be betterThe wish to be a follower of JesusGuilt about some wrong doing, to an adult this may seem insignificant but to the child it will be a major problemTo ease burdens or confusionAn emotional response to the Altar CallBecause friends have come forwardChildren can be worried about things which to us are of minor importance but to them are deeply troubling. Be aware than many of the young folk who come to us are from disfunctional or single parent families. They may be the subject on any kind of abuse. Unless you are professionally trained in these areas it would be wise to pass these problems to those who are. The authorities may need to be informed.Even if a child comes forward “with the others” a work can still be commenced.
76Leading a Child to Christ Understand …How the child feels about what is happeningDo not rush the processDon’t assume understanding when in reality there is confusionInitially guide the child to a simple decision to be a follower of JesusMany of us came to the mercy seat to get into the YP Band or Singing Company. It was wise counselling that allowed the work of God to begin. This was the case of the writer and many of his knowledge. Wise counseling can allow the work of God to begin.
77Leading a Child to Christ Understand …The hopes and needs of the childThe need to talk and the need for a listenerWork out what will happen nextHonor the trust which has been placed in you. A child may misinterpret any conversation you may have that seems to be about the decision made or confidence sharedA child will be very tender after this encounter. Do nothing that will cause them to feel that they are being mocked.
78Leading a Child to Christ Understand …That Jesus died for them, young as they areThat sins are forgivenThat Jesus can be trusted to help keep the child good and be the life’s pattern, guide and friendKnowing how he lived, through the Bible, can help the seeker to grow more like Him, day by dayMake the message clear and plain, Christ receiveth sinful men (women and children)SA Song Book 262
79Leading a Child to Christ Pray …for the child’s understanding of the guidance offeredfor forgivenessfor those near and dear to the childfor strength to deal with temptationthanking God for the life of Jesusthanking Jesus for dying for usthanking Jesus for His friendshippraising God and dedicating the child’s life to JesusUse these bullet points to guide the youngster to make his or her own prayer.
80Leading a Child to Christ TEENSIn dealing with teens you may need to initiate the conversationBe prepared to ask tough questions - they live in tough circumstancesMove the teen on to making a Definite DecisionFor a teen to make this move demands especially great courage. Do not be afraid of what might appear to be a bad attitude. They are seekers, seeking. You must help them find.
81Leading a Child to Christ TEENSIf the Teen makes a commitment to Christ with your guidancebe prepared to be available for future helpand supportYou may have become a spiritual parent. As with the physical kind it will not always be easy but the rewards are marvelous. The writer is still involved with one man who sought as a young person – 20 years ago.
82Leading People to Christ And Heavencomes down our souls to greet,And glory crowns the mercy seat.
83Leading People to Christ DISCIPLINGYou have been involved in one of themost significant events in the lifeof a human being.Your work is not overIt may never be over
84Leading People to Christ DISCIPLINGEven at the time of the decision you may feel that more counseling is needed immediatelyFind a quiet place where this can take placeSometimes it may not be wise, or comfortable, to spend to long at the mercy seat. Also remember the congregation, don’t impose on their patience for too long. If lengthy counseling is needed then move to another place. Maybe seek help in your task. Try to establish a recognized space in the Corps building that can be used and is known to all counselors.
85Leading People to Christ DISCIPLINGKeep in touchBy phoneBy visitationBy letter or cardBy being availableBy greeting the new convert at the CorpsNo-one wants to be “left at the altar” but that ’s how we sometimes treat our converts.
86Leading People to Christ DISCIPLINGThe great commission calls on us to“Make Disciples”who will in turn make others .Be or provide a mentor to help the new convert to grow in graceMaybe your Corps needs to establish a mentoring or discipling program. We will be held in account for these people.
87Leading People to Christ DISCIPLINGEncourage the convert in…Bible studyPrayer meetingAttendance at worshipThe social life of the CorpsThe writer was never SENT to the Army but TAKE. Take the new Christian to events such as these or assure them that you will be there. Don’t let them down!
88Leading People to Christ It is one of the great mysteries that God allows us to be involved in His great redemptive work.It is a privilege and an awesome responsibilityBe prepared for the greatest task of your life.