One of the beautiful things about ministering is how it will bring each of us closer to Christ as we strive to become more like Him. In "The Savior Is Our Perfect Example of Ministering" we learn just how much we need to emulate Him in our efforts to serve, be kind, and cherish each other.
The Church suggests for teaching the following for this lesson, "To learn about how to minister effectively, members could share stories from the scriptures in which the Savior ministered to others—several examples can be found in John 4–6 and Mark 2:1–12. Members could share what impresses them about these stories and what principles they learn about ministering. For example, how did the Savior personalize His service to others? How did He meet people’s spiritual needs as well as temporal needs? Class members could share times when they have seen people use these principles in their ministering."
"The Savior's Ministry" by Elder Delbert L. Stapley
"Ministering as the Savior Does" by Sister Jean B. Bingham
"Personal Ministry: Sacred and Precious" by Sister Bonnie D. Parkin
"Be an Example and a Light" by President Thomas S. Monson
"You Are My Hands" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
You may also want to read the thoughts at Book of Mormon Central about "Why Did Jesus Minister to the People One by One?"
I also recommend "One by One" by Elder David A. Bednar (it's included in your Deseret Bookshelf PLUS subscription)
LIGHTtheWORLD- Follow the Example of Jesus Christ. Share His Light- serve as He served (about 2 1/2 minutes)
#LIGHTtheWorld: A Christmas Messsage from Mormon.org (about 2 minutes)
Service (about 20 seconds)- Great side by side of Christ serving and ways we can
Ministering to Spiritual Needs (about 5 minutes)- Clip from President James E. Faust
Questions to Ponder
- How did the Savior minister when He was on the earth?
- How does the Savior minister to us now?
- "How did the Savior personalize His service to others?"
- "How did He meet people's spiritual needs as well as temporal?"
- When have you seen someone minister as Christ did?
- What can we learn from the way Christ ministered?
- Why do you think the way Christ ministered worked so well?
- How can we follow Christ's example of being in tune with others's needs and how to fill them?
- What can we learn from those Christ ministered to?
- What limits do we sometimes put on our own ministering? How can we overcome them?
- How can we be sure to minister to the spiritual needs, not simply the temporal needs?
- If our goal is to help all come unto Christ, how does that change the way we minister?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- There is a great free handout that talks about how we should minister like the Savior available at All Things Bright & Beautiful.
- The last few Christmases the Church has asked us to #LIGHTtheWORLD. We've been preparing to minister without even realizing it. You can show the videos from #LIGHTtheWORLD to talk about the way Christ ministered and how we can follow in His footsteps.
- To continue with the light theme, I came across this great idea from Rhonna Farrer the other day that talks about being a "light bringer." That's what Christ did- He brought light to those He interacted with. People wanted to be better when they were in His presence. That's exactly what we should be doing for each other- sharing light wherever we go, especially when we minister to others. It's not just the temporal needs we need to met- it's the spiritual!
- Use the great Bible videos or the Service video I mentioned above. Show one then discuss some of the questions I've mentioned as well as questions like, "What did you notice? How did you feel? What does that mean? How would you apply that? Has anyone had an experience like that?" (These questions come from a podcast by Leading LDS with DeAnna Murphy- totally recommend it if you struggle with good questions and engaging people).
- Hand out my Story Strips from Christ's life to several groups in your class. I recommend breaking into groups of just 2 or 3 to really allow conversation to flow. Ask each group to discuss what that story might look like in today's term. How would Christ minister to these people today? How can you be His hands to allow that ministering to happen?
- Discuss how you would help an individual with an obvious temporal problem then ask your class to dig deeper and focus on what spiritual needs they might need help with as well. You can start with an example of Christ healing someone physically first but then He forgave their sins as well (see the recommended scriptures in the Church's suggestions for this lesson). It's really the spiritual healing that made a big difference in people's lives and it's the spiritual needs our focus today.
- Use Gospel Art pictures to discuss several stories of Christ. You can check them out from the library or print some at LDS.org. Hand pictures to several different people in your class and ask them to briefly summarize the story (the Gospel Art pictures will have the summary on the back so most should be able to do it). Then discuss with your class that picture- how does it make us feel, what do we notice in it, what makes it worth painting? What we can apply in our ministering to each other from this story? Hang each picture on the board so people can further ponder these stories throughout your discussion. You can also choose to do this in groups.