Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Thompson
That's What Friends Are For
by Kevin Thompson-San Leandro, CA
This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you......You are my friends if you do as I command you. John 15:12,14.
Even after living in a town or neighborhood for many years, it is easy to find ourselves isolated and without a lot of friends who are not yet aware of the incredible message of Divine Principle and True Parents. Although most church members want to share the" good news", often they do not know how to begin friendshipping nonmembers or they are timid about discussing the church with others. I would like to offer these suggestions as a means to do the following 1) Catch the spirit of witnessing through Tribal Messiahship2) Gain confidence to share the Principle,3)Actually harvest some result through friendshipping.
People are more impressed by what you do more than what you say. If our lifestyle matches our beliefs this is the greatest testimony. Live a principled life in all that you do. Live up to the basic standard which True Parents have prescribed by their standard,i.e. church attendance, tithing, Pledge Service ( read Family Pledge every day),observe church holy days (offering table, financial offering, 7a.m. Pledge in holy robes, etc.) Live a sacrificial life. Be a model of righteousness, an example of what it means to be a Unificationist.
Set The Right Indemnity Conditions
1) Remember that there is no restoration without indemnity. Just as someone paid indemnity for us to meet True Parents, we must pay indemnity for the sake of others.
2) Make good Cain and Abel relationship yourself with your Central Figure.based on this you can stand as victorious Cain then can be a good Abel to your Spiritual Children.
3) Report your goals and conditions. Set clear goals of how and when you are going to meet people. Also set goals of when you would want your friends to hear something, read something, or attend something. This way you can get spiritual help. Reporting is your offering, without that there is no way to connect your activity vertically to True Parents. Give constant weekly updates on your progress, in writing if necessary. Don't wait until you get a call to report, take initiative, be aggressive to make your offering. True Father has asked us to have a uniform reporting system for our worldwide move ment. After all we cannot just exist in our movement without our own results.
4) The goal to keep in mind is that of getting people to make a Foundation To Receive The Messiah. As you know there aren;t too many people having revelations about who the True Parents are. Therefore we need to employ the tried and trusted method of helping people to make a Foundation of Faith(making small conditions of praying and studying God's word) and a Foundation of Substance(reaching out to give God's love to others while overcoming one's own fallen nature). Through these conditions they can bring God into their life, get rid of Satan, and understand who the True Parents are. Come to think of it many of us could do with a refresher course in this kind of activity ourselves.
Who To Make Friends With
Through prayer, Heavenly Father can guide you to meet those whom He is preparing to meet the True Parents. By just using our own sense we can very easily miss the family that God would like us to meet, and exhaust our energy with those who are not ready. The very ones who God wants you to develop a special relationship with may be your neighbours, your friends, new move ins, newlyweds, those who have recently experienced sorrows or family problems, spiritually searching people, business associates, societies leaders, socially conscious people. In other words there is not a fixed profile, it could be whoever the Spirit guides you to. The key is to have the spirit with you and to be always looking.
What To Do In The Friendship
1) Arrange activities at least once a month with your friends. Participate in activities that interest them, such as family activities( camping, barbecues, birthday parties), attending events( athletic events, rodeos, concerts, plays,musicals), or participating in sports and recreation(fishing, golf).
2) Invite your friends into your home, perhaps together with another Tribal Messiah couple, this can help to broaden the friendship.
3) Continually look for more people to be friends with.
How To Get Started
1) Pray for guidance
2) Perform an act of service, such as taking the family a loaf of homemade bread. offering to tend their children, helping them with their garden or car repairs.
3) Participate with them in community activities, especially when your children and theirs are involved together.
4) Participate with them in community service.
5) Help them when they are in need.
6) Connect them to other members who may be able to help them also( attorneys, school teachers, computer experts, Project Volunteer).
8) Let them know you are interested in them.
How To Deepen The Freindship
1) Be sincere.
2) Become thoroughly acquainted by learning their names, birthdays of children,etc.. Be a good listener, discuss their interests, show interest in their work, children, hobbies.
3) Serve unselfishly. Help with their needs.
4) Let them serve you if they offer to.
5) Be positive, don't share dirty laundry.
How To Introduce True Parents, Divine Principle, Unification Church.
1) Live the Principle. Be an example.
2) Invite them to a special evening at your home, at which time you can initiate a deeper conversation. One real possibility is to show them a Blessing video and share your own Blessing/matching testimony with them.
3) Give them some reading material(the 3 recent booklets put out by H.Q. are excellent for this).
4) Send a subscription to the Unification News.
5) Invite the parents to a Bible/Principle study evening.
6) Take them to a church picnic or other social event where they can meet many other church members.
7) Introduce them (through video perhaps) to many of the other projects of our movement. Especially the World CARP Academy video is a wonderful thing to introduce to parents.
8) Testify to your best experiences with True Parents and our movement.
9) Invite them to church service, or a seminar to hear about the Blessing.
What If They Say No?
Being well prepared, focused and clear will help to lessen the fear of approaching your friends about the Principle. Do not be afraid that they will be offended. Do not be discouraged if they do not respond positively. Continue to be their friend. do not be embarrassed if your friend turns down your invitation. The average convert to any church is asked four times before he says yes. He will not dislike you anymore than you would dislike him if he courteously invited you to his home to hear some message. if he says no, treat his response as you would if he had declined a dinner invitation. Asking the question will not hurt your friendship. Always pray for guidance for another opportunity to share the Principle. Do not forget that many will say yes.
After They Accept True Parents
Continue to be their friends, pray, study, fellowship and serve God's Will together. This broadens your base as Tribal Messiah. Together with your Spiritual Children.
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