Monday, May 31, 2010

One-to-one: Chapter 6

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

One-to-one: A Discipleship Handbook
Chapter 6 - Making Conversations Count

Having dealt more than adequately with how we should prepare to read the bible with someone and what our time together could look like, De Witt now turns her attention to the conversations we have with them. She looks at 5 types of conversations we may have.

1. Gospel conversation:

It is probably fair to say that these times of 'quality catch-up' are the lifeblood of a well-functioning church, where individual members are taking seriously the command to 'love one another' by taking time out for other members of the church family ... We should never underestimate the needs in an average church for encouraging and supportive input, however outwardly confident people seem. (p130)
To have helpful conversations we need to be able to ask questions sensitively, and respond appropriately ensuring we have been listening.

2. Encouragement - for those who are struggling with circumstances, encouragement and comfort may be what we provide.

3. Sometimes it will be appropriate to rebuke someone and a tactfully given gentle word would be the first step that we would undertake. For those who are already aware of their sin or error, rebuke may not be necessary, but rather a pointing to the extent of God's grace.

4. Correction can be required when we encounter false doctrine. The basis for any such correction must always be the bible, and as such we must ensure we are also growing in our knowledge and understanding of God's word.

5. Finally, there may be times where we may need to challenge someone, perhaps to consider more involvement in a ministry area.

Then, she goes on to list some passages that are useful for specific issues, including depression, fear, forgiveness, guidance, and worry.

Things to think about*:
  • Would someone listening in on your conversations with others think they were conversations that counted for eternity?
  • If you already meet one-to-one with someone, what type of conversation do you think they need at the moment?
  • Which type of conversation should someone be having with you?

(* These are all adapted from the study questions in the book)

Next Week: Chapter 7 - Other considerations

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