This Sunday morning there are a lot of good things going on and there are a lot of jobs that we need to fill but as important as those jobs are none of them are more important than people. Serving people is what the jobs that we want you to fill are all about. If all of us take a task, it will be easy for us to have plenty of time to connect and build relationships with folks. So keep this in mind and I want you to consider these thoughts as we pray and prepare for the weekend.
Have you ever sat in discussions and found it incredibly difficult to get a good conversation going? I've found it can be very challenging to move conversations along, especially when you're trying to get to know someone. Here are a few principles that might help.
Listen to Their Story
In order to promote good gospel conversations in small gatherings, it is important that everyone listens to one another's story well. Don't check out, criticize, or think about your own story but take the time to listen to their story. Our lives are continually changed through conflict, challenges, promotions, relationships, and new experiences. Without asking good questions of one another, we can’t really share in deep community. Good questions help uncover the truth about how people are really doing and open the opportunity to share life and truth together. Ask questions and genuinely listen to one another's stories.
Ask Good Questions
Here are some questions that are great at moving a conversation forward:
[columns] [column width="one-half"] Can you elaborate on that? How did that happen? How does that make you feel? Did you feel alone or supported? [/column] [column width="one-half"] Were you afraid or confident? How did you respond? How are you feeling now? What concerns you the most about this? [/column] [/columns]
Listen in Order to Speak Gospel Encouragement
What does that mean? I am glad that you asked. Based on their story and what you heard or learned:
1 - What grace can you affirm in their life? "That’s a really helpful insight." "It’s been so challenging to hear you talk about your neighbor/co worker or that situation…"
2 - What victory can you celebrate? "Wow that's amazing. I've seen God do something similar in my life…" "Isn't it awesome how God provided this job for you?"
3 - What progress can you see or identify in their faith journey? "You are fighting depression really well" "I’ve really seen you grow in this area"
You see we believe that the Gospel (Good News) is the answer for everything. It is why we exists and it is our only hope. The goal for you and I is to not only see that reality in our own lives but also being able to see it and speak it into the lives of others.
This is what we want to do Sunday and everyday. Hear one another's stories and be able to recognize who God is and what He has done and is doing. This helps us discover who we are and shapes what we do.
I hope this helps you not only this weekend but every day. You never know the opportunity God might give you today to bring GOOD NEWS to someone who desperately needs it.