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Archive for the ‘Spiritual growth’ Category

how-do-i-initiate-spiritual-conversations-helpful-questions

How do I initiate Spiritual Conversations?  Do you ever feel awkward as to how to talk to someone about spiritual matters and you don’t know what to say?  Is there someone you want to talk to about spiritual matter but don’t know how to start?  Or you are starting to disciple someone but you realize the discipleship can be more personal so it is more than just a one-on-one book reading club.  I think by nature I am an introvert.  I write this with them in mind.  I’m also a preacher and I realize the danger that what can begin as a spiritual conversation suddenly transform into a one-way sermon with an audience of one.  I found that what helps me in both those situations is the importance of initiating a spiritual conversation by asking the other person questions and then listening.

The following are questions that I found helpful to asks to initiate spiritual conversations.  I must add that there are no magic bullets here.  One must not forget the importance of Christian love that drives one’s spiritual conversation.  If you ask these questions merely to go through them, well, you won’t get far.  But asking question with Christian love does make an impact.  Don’t forget the words of Jesus on the duty of Christian love: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Here are the questions:

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Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 states:

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

We begin first with looking at the two commands then ask with what shall we carry out the commands.

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Grow in Grace , by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Order your copy of Grow in Grace over at Amazon

I read this book as a tool for discipleship with one of the guys in my church who suggested we go over this together.   I was pleasantly surprised at how good the book turned out to be.  An individual’s spiritual growth is the subject of this book and it is biblical, devotional and readable.  I appreciated that Sinclair Ferguson (a great preacher by the way!) approached this subject in a manner that is Christ centered and Grace driven.  Since it is Christ driven, it is appropriate that the first section on the book is on Jesus as the pioneer of our spiritual growth and also of how Jesus in His humanity actually grew in grace.  I think we must not forget that Christ was fully man (of course while also fully God), and because of His humanity that identifies with us in every way, we can see His life as a model for our holiness and spiritual growth.  It was delightful and with a worshipful heart that I read the first section.  Section two of the book focuses on the basic principles of Christian growth and I imagine it would make for some great discussions if one were to use it for one on one discipleship or small group.  I also appreciated Ferguson putting in section three of the book that remind believers that growing in grace require us to grow in the context of others, which is an excellent reminder in our day and age with our individualism and low church commitment.  I was cautious at first with the fourth section that went over case examples in Scripture because of my fear of how some people enagage in hero worship of Bible characters rather than seeing God is the hero in redemptive history.  Ferguson did a good job with the exemplar for us with Daniel but he also balances that with a chapter on Peter.  The biggest thing I got from this book was how Ferguson pointed out with Peter’s life that he had many failure even after he became an apostle after Jesus’ resurrection—and yet he was genuinely growing in grace.  This is a good lesson for us too that even in our sin, even in our failure it is possible to still continue to grow in the grace of God.

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