"What Does it Mean to Minister?" is the perfect way to start off this new program of ministering. As ministering brothers and sisters our focus needs to shift to Christlike love and service rather than reports and checklists. As we continue to understand what ministering really is and what it looks like we can all move forward with one purpose towards Christ.
The Church suggests the following when teaching this lesson, "What does ministering mean to the members in your ward or branch? To find out, you could write Ministering on the board and then invite members to write words around it that they associate with ministering. Members could find words or phrases to add to the list from scriptures like the following: Matthew 25:34–40; Luke 10:25–37; 2 Nephi 25:26; Mosiah 18:8–9; 3 Nephi 18:25; and Doctrine and Covenants 81:5. What do we learn from these verses about ministering? You could ask members to share examples of ministering they have seen. How can our ministering help meet people’s spiritual and temporal needs? How can it help people come closer to Christ?"
"Ministering" by President Russell M. Nelson
"Be With and Strengthen Them" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Ministering as the Savior Does" by Sister Jean B. Bingham
"A Holier Approach to Ministering" by Elder Neil L. Andersen
"The Needs before Us" by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
"Inspired Ministering" by President Henry B. Eyring
"Ministering with the Power and Authority of God" by President Russell M. Nelson
Questions to Ponder
- How would you like to be ministered to?
- What does it mean to minister?
- What scripture stories can you think of that demonstrate true ministering?
- How can you become more in tune to the needs of those you minister to?
- What modern examples have you seen of ministering?
- How does ministering benefit others? How does it benefit ourselves?
- How does ministering bring everyone closer to Christ?
- When you think of ministering to specific person (your old assignment for example), what would that look like now? How does it change the way we look at things?
- What kinds of actions or words would help you feel ministered to?
- What does ministering do that Home and Visiting Teaching didn't do? How is it "holier" than our previous assignments?
- How can you supplement your monthly visits so it makes a difference in the lives of those you minister to?
- What do you think the biggest challenge will be in ministering to others?
- What questions do you have about ministering?
- What can you do to create unity between you and those you minister to?
- What obstacles might arise as you strive to minister? How can you overcome them?
Please pin this so others can discover these helps too!
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Get your class involved in pondering what it means to minister before class starts. Ask specific people to ponder the recommended verses in the scriptures as mentioned by the Church and what it teaches them about ministering. I would recommend passing the same scripture to a couple of different people or even making sure everyone in your class has one to look up so you get a variety of different answers. You can cut the strips I made and hand them out the week before, just before class, or call people personally.
- Put the word ministering on the board then surround it with gospel library art pictures of Christ and other people from scriptures ministering. Ask people what ministering means when you put the images and stories with the word together. You could even ask a few people to briefly summarize the picture before putting it up on the board.
- Here's a few ideas to discuss what ministering means from Comfy in the Kitchen. You can read these and see if people agree or what they would add to it.
- Here's a cute treat handout idea to go with ministering and Mini M&Ms from Jonesing 2 Create.
- Sister Jean B. Bingham said it beautifully when she stated that ministering "looks like becoming part of someone’s life and caring about him or her." Use this beautiful poster with the quote as a visual in your lesson or an individual handout especially to those who can't attend your class due to sickness or other responsibilities. There is also this style with the same quote.
- Look up the word minister in the Dictionary, Topical Guide, and on ministering.lds.org. Then have your class come up with their own definition. Why is it important to clearly understand what ministering is? How does it change the way you look at things when you think about ministering instead of Home or Visiting Teaching?
- Check out the FAQ about Ministering (scroll down to the heading "Ministering Replaces Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching"). These are great questions to ask as well as get some good guidelines on appropriate answers and discussions.
- Reach Out with Love is a great video to discuss how we need to try a little harder to be a little better. You could show the first part, summarize the middle then show where he finally understands what he is supposed to do.
- Remember to also check out the general resources available for all the lessons.