If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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Investing in God’s people from life to life
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
What a privilege! You are to meet with another believer to help them grow in Jesus! Now, what on earth do you do? A first meeting should answer exactly that question!
Life on Life ministry like any other relationship has to begin with a first meeting. First impressions can be important. They set the ethos for future times. This is often a unique time since there are many more questions than answers and the aim is much more about discovering who each of the participants is than trying to achieve anything.
Here are some thoughts on how to proceed -
It might seem obvious, but it is good to spend extensive time in prayer before you meet. You will be praying for
The beginning stages of any relationship are more about learning who a person is rather than jumping to conclusions and rushing to speak.
Exchange your stories of beginnings of faith. If you share first, then you give the other a chance to understand what you are looking for.
Exchange stories of where you are now in the faith. What has been happening recently. How God has been challenging you or intervening in your life.
As they tell their story make a note of things they say that are out of the ordinary. These could be positive or negative. Commend the positive, but at this stage it is probably best to hold back on the negatives. It is important not to be shocked. They may be testing you to see how you will cope with their seamier side. Keep the note and use it as a resource to go through issues that are raised.
One of the things you are trying to do at this stage is gain an understanding of how far they have progressed with God in their walk with Him.
It is a good idea to agree the purpose of your meeting. If there is a very clear ministry focus this is often easy.
Having listened to one another, this might now be a little clearer.
It is a good idea to ask about expectations. These are often unclear. People often say they have none, meaning only they have not thought them through. If you were to stare at each other for an hour and a half, I would expect there to be disappointment. It might be worth explaining a process to discover what are some realistic expectations based on where they are spiritually. One way of doing this would be to go through the Wheel illustration and ask them what are their strengths and weaknesses.
Depending on where the person is it is probably a good idea to give a taster of how things could develop. They might be quite nervous about meeting someone on what could be a private area of life. They need to know that it is worth the risk.
These are questions to sort out before the end of the meeting. The organisational details might be boring, but if you don’t sort them while you are together it can be difficult later. If possible take your diary with you so you can make arrangements.
It may be a good idea to give a cooling off time and an opportunity to drop out if desired. This is a point of cultural sensitivity. In some cultures it is necessary to go even further and say, if you want to meet please call me to confirm.
It is a good idea to make the meeting at their home. You will see many things when you are at their home that will give a context to the words that they say. Of course there are situations when this is impossible or would be pressing the relationship beyond what is reasonable. Above all care for the person.
At the end of the time, or at the first opportunity it is a good idea to write down any observations that you have made. This with the intention of reviewing before you next meet. These observations can be invaluable for prayer and for developing a plan of where to go from here. The following are some pages to help you come up with a plan,depending on where the person is, whom you are meeting. - Links to Enthusing in new faith, Establishing in faith, Equipping for ministry. Mentoring
Keep on Praying!