One of the interesting things to realize is how differently people interpret what ministering is to them. There are so many ways we can reach out and minister to each other. It's visiting, texting, going on walks together, picking up things from the grocery store, sending a card, sitting together at church, and so many more things. Be sure to brainstorm ideas as you discuss, "There are Many Ways We Can Minister to Others."
When teaching this lesson, the Church suggests the following, "To help members consider the many ways we can minister to one another, you could invite them to review Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s message “Be With and Strengthen Them” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2018; see also “Ministering Principles” in other 2018 issues of the Ensign and Liahona). Members could divide into small groups, and each group could think of several scenarios in which a person might need help. They could then brainstorm various ways in which people could minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of the individuals in the scenarios. Ask the groups to share their ideas and ponder whether any of the ideas discussed could bless the people to whom they minister."
A Vision of Ministering (about 1 1/2 minutes)
Simple, Individualized, and Led by the Spirit (about 2 1/2 minutes)
Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention (about 7 minutes)
Questions to Ponder
- Why is it important to realize the multitude of ways we can minister?
- As we expand our view of ministering, does it open your eyes to more ways others have ministered to you already?
- What is ministering not?
- Why are there so many different ways to minister?
- What helps you feel loved?
- What happens when we choose to minister in more ways than one?
- How can you come to understand the different needs and ways to minister to your people?
- What can you do so you don't get stuck in a rut of ministering in only one way?
- Why might those we minister to need more than one method?
- Why is it dangerous to minister in only one way?
- How do you not want to be ministered to?
- How can you minister to the spiritual needs of others?
- How can you minister to the temporal needs of others?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Discuss one way that ministering can be done by turning to the Support Guide: Help for Spouses and Family of Those in Recovery section 6, "Thy Friends Do Stand by Thee." Discuss ways we can minister to one another without shame during a trial like this.
- Study the three scriptural examples of friendship included in "Real Friendship" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. You can divide into groups or list them all on the board in chart form. How did they minister to one another? What made their friendship real? What can we learn from them?
- I loved listening to Virginia H. Pearce's book, "A Heart Like His" where she discusses an experiment she and a group of sisters did to open their hearts more and what happened as a result. It'd be great to extend that experiment to your class (It's included in your Deseret Bookshelf PLUS subscription).
- Being a minister essentially means being a real friend to one another. When we are truly friends with each other, how does our behavior towards that person change? What do we do differently? How can we become friends with those we minister to? How do we regularly (even automatically) minister to our friends?
- Have everyone write down a few ways they would prefer to be ministered to on slips on paper anonymously. You can use my handout to jump start ideas. Then collect them and read a few out loud. It can be quite eye-opening as well as helpful to understand how others would appreciate being cared for. You could also do this as a pre-opener by giving people markers to write on the board a few words of what they would like ministering to look like to them.
- Discuss the small and simple things you can do as you minister instead of the big acts. Why are these small things important? How do they build your relationship even though they are small? How do we feel when the Lord answers our prayers about the little things? You could also watch the video, Simple, Individualized, and Led by the Spirit
- An interesting scriptural example of ministering comes from the life of Joseph Smith. He was in Liberty Jail for several months when he wrote a letter about the horrible circumstances he and his friends were in as well as their families when he received D&C 121-123. Interestingly, in D&C 121:9-10 the Lord points to Joseph's friends. His friends still stood by him- they would help him get through these hard times. Ministering to Joseph Smith at this time was done through letters, being with him in jail, and others helping his family while he was away. Ministering is done in any circumstance and can make all the difference.