Unification News for July 2004
Tools and Ideas for Witnessing
by Rev. Phillip Shanker
As we work to renew our commitment and connection to witnessing, outreach and sharing our faith, some successful models are already emerging. One of those is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Here is a good example of Tribal Messiahs who did not wait for videos, new lecturing materials, or Power Point. They simply began with personal relationships, DP, investment, and sincerity.
Under the guidance of Regional Director Rev. Seo, TMs began inviting friends, neighbors and new contacts to attend and experience a personal, 1-on-1 3-day seminar of the Principle. Impressively, out of 10 guests who have completed this course, 9 have become members of our church!!! Let's look at the process more deeply:
1) The 10 guests have included 1 Jewish man, 1 strong Christian, 1 professional model, 3 international students, 2 other friends of members, and 2 encountered on the street (at least 1 Ambassador for Peace is included in this group)
2) The seminar has so far been taught by Rev. Seo. The entire Principle is covered in 3 days, using the color-coded Divine Principle book. Guests read the red and blue sections, followed by explanation & amplification from the "teacher," using the yellow or remaining text, diagrams or scriptural references. Questions are entertained whenever they arise. Each day includes 10 hours of study, plus meals, discussion, breaks, etc.
3) When Rev. Seo explained that the most difficult aspect is the dedication of 3 full days to each person, when there is so much other work to do, I asked why he didn't have others teach, or combine the guests into a group. He explained that he is simply establishing a successful pattern, even with his broken English, and will encourage others to follow. About his insistence on a 1-on-1 process, he explained that it was better:
A. Intellectually- it is possible to "tailor" the contents to the listener's foundation & point of view, and to separate open-hearted, "Abel-type" listeners from more critical & skeptical "Cain-type," in order to better educate both.
B. Spiritually- The content, spirit world, and atmosphere will be built around a particular person's foundation, and through 3 days of total investment and sincerity, the spiritual realm can support and special things can happen.
C. Heartistically- the investment, the 1-on-1 eye contact, and the deep dialogue and question and answer helps touch & move the heart of the guest.
4) At the end of the 3 days, a closing ceremony is organized, with the participation of spiritual parent and others to support. The "graduate" testifies about their experience, their commitment to the Principle and our church. They drink Cheon Il Geuk Holy Wine to sanctify their commitment, and are assigned to a 40-day period of study and worship. Through reading "God's Will and the World," personal meetings and further study, and Sunday Service participation, they will be raised up internally. They are anxious to receive a clear membership form from HQ, which will be issued this week.
5) Additional notes: after 3 days, it is easy for guests to be inspired by the Principle, but not easy to understand True Parents' messianic mission. So a 1-day extension on Father's life course has been added when possible. Also, Rev. Seo uses diagrams from the House of Unification material, as well as others developed in the region.
There is more we need to learn from this model in Minneapolis. While it seems that members are inviting either acquaintances or new contacts, the question still remains as to how such a deep commitment to 3-days of vertical study can be gained so quickly. But at the very least we can see that the spirit world is ready to cooperate and support our total investment and sincerity. These elements are far more essential than the tools we choose to use.
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