I’ve been meeting on Wednesday nights this fall with a group of young believers about 30 minutes east of here who wanted to get together and discuss the journey. Most of these spilled out of various more traditional congregations over the last few years. Instead of holding a teaching seminar of some kind, we’re creating an environment were people can freely discuss their own personal journeys and ask any question they or make any comment they think will be helpful.
As a loose framework to hang our thoughts around we’ve used a small handout called ‘Getting It, which you can download as a PDF document here. I’ve gathered a lot of these observations over the last few years in trying to help people discover how to live free in Christ and to engage real and effective fellowship with other believers. I find conversation on these topics are helpful to people sorting out their journeys.
Our conversations have been incredibly real, practical and free over the first three weeks ’ve been refreshed and encouraged in my own walk. We’ve talked about a number of things that have helped people sort out the journey including:
- What it means to let God work in us rather than try to control the growth process ourselves.
- How do we reconcile the love of the Abba Father with the Scriptures of God’s sternness and discipline.
- The freedom to acknowledge things as they are not the way we think they should be, nor even the way we want them to be.
- The role of disciplines that bore people to (spiritual) death and finding reality in a relationship that captures our hearts throughout the day.
We have to literally put a ‘pause’ on the discussion at our cut-off time, encourage people to process what we’ve shared as they live on the next week. What I have enjoyed most is seeing how effective this environment is to help people on the journey. We go from hilarious laughter one minute, to deep tears and discovery the next. I used to think lectures were the best way to help people ‘get it’. Over the last few years I’ve seen that people learn far more in an environment of dialogue where they can freely struggle, question and get input in their time, not when it fits someone’s curriculum. No wonder the gospels are filled with simple conversations Jesus had with people. Yes, there were times he spoke to crowds, but the most effective instruction came when he helped people sort out what God was doing in them.