Sunday’s Questions – from September 10.2017
Here are the questions from INTENTIONAL #3 About Our Strategy
Q – I have a friend who does not like secular churches; thinks they are too “cult” like. Believes all he needs is a one-on-one Bible study. Isn’t convinced from Hebrews 10:24-25. How can I further accountability with my Christian friend?
Admittedly, some can be stubborn about their spiritual diet and interaction. Still, if he/she does respond to one-on-one Bible study, it would be interesting to see this person’s response to passages like 1 Corinthians 12 (where no member of Jesus’ body is allowed to say to another, “I have no need of you”), or Ephesians 4:12-16, where we all grow through that “which every ligament and joint (of the body) supplies.
Perhaps the best place to start is not to argue about passages like these (which actually do call for “Body” involvement in our lives), but rather for the Holy Spirit to open the eyes and tenderize the heart to a more Biblically obedient point of view. God can convince in time when we can’t.
Q – How would you include these principles in leading at an office workplace, or in your work in general?
I take it that by “these principles” you are referring to the importance of small group interaction and accountability. In a secular workplace, there are likely very different spiritual viewpoints, and a spectrum of expectations (and comfort level) about accountability, sharing, etc. I guess it all depends on what the interaction and accountability ground rules are in any given workplace. If you’re the boss or supervisor, you may have some freedom to guide a work office group into the use of some of these healthy communication principles. It would be interesting to explore your individual context and see how some of the things we talked about this morning apply.
Q – How do you help people get past the fear of a Connect Group? Someone afraid of that intimacy with others?
This is an important question, and undoubtedly some stay away either because they are too proud to be vulnerable with others, or they are too insecure in their own skin. The latter may also have had some embarrassing group experiences which have left their scars on the heart. Others stay away because they are discouraged and depressed. I’d say this – if you have the trust of a fearful person, suggest starting with a very small group. Perhaps no more than 4. Ease into the experience, prayerfully. In such a smaller and safe setting, a person can experience the “grace, acceptance and humility” that can spawn new growth in Christ and new confidence with others.
Q – I have alot of friends who are not believers (agnostic, atheists, adamantly against Christians). I try to be a positive person in their lives, because I want to be in their lives. Is this wrong? How would you recommend I proceed in these circumstances?
Well, shucks…you’re on the right track. Hang with them. But even more, pray fervently for them. God can create in their lives, but working in their circumstances, a new found need to reconsider their attitude toward Christians, and Christ. Stay positive…but look for ways to “drip into” your conversations how God is working in your life in remarkable ways. A slow-drip approach (like in the story with Jane yesterday) can be used greatly by the Spirit.
Q – How do I gently encourage my friend to come to church if he prefers to watch worship at home?
Your word “gently” is a great start. Another great way is to share, little by little, why God makes “more than the worship service” so beneficial for you. Over the years, most people like going where their friends are; in fact, it is arguably the most important factor for choosing a church. I’ve heard so often after someone visits, “Oh…I saw my friend here, and I didn’t know he/she was coming. I’ll be back!” Perhaps there are some candidates who might be interested in befriending your friend…if you get what I mean!
Q – What do you do with a group that doesn’t meet? Do you leave and go to another?
Well, if the leadership of your current group is not being faithful to provide leadership that is consistent and life-giving, you may indeed have to. And, our posture at Christ Community Church is to make such a transition as easy as possible, if necessary. But perhaps a first step is to talk with the group’s leader(s), and discern why the inconsistency. If you need help, Pastor Mark Henderson is nearby to do some coaching (email@example.com).
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED DURING THE WORSHIP HOURS AT Christ Community Church, Ames IA Sunday September 10, 2017
Answers from David A. Staff, Lead Pastor