When I was 10, my family moved to Petaluma, a relatively small town in northern California. I ended up attending a small elementary school in which I met 3 people who are still my best friends today.
Who would have known that my relationship with them would be what defined my religion and my relationship with God.
As we moved into the junior high and high school years, we found something common among us: faith.
It was not uncommon for us to attend each other’s church youth ministry programs. I sometimes found myself going to 3 youth groups in one week at 3 different churches.
Needless to say, talking faith was part of our friendship. We talked about our relationship with God. We talked about the church we attended, the moral struggles we had, and we started a little band to play some worship music.
Faith conversations were a common occurrence when I was a teenager, and it still is to this day.
As I conclude my series on Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell suggests that one strategy that I need to employ in my ministry is that of “breaking the silence.”
In essence, to break the silence is about talking “openly about the possibility of a relationship with a personal God who loves you” (188).
I personally find it really easy to have this type of conversation with my friends and family. It’s part of who I am. However, I find myself challenged to talk about my relationship with God in other settings. I even had to analyze, with the people I go to church with on a weekly basis, do I talk to them about faith and my relationship with God?
If I’m honest, the answer is no. I get nervous even though we go to the same church.
Talking about our relationship with God is a necessary component of any ministry. If I expect others to become intentional disciples, then Jesus has to be a part of the conversation.
Ministry needs to do the following things for people:
- Build trust.
- Affirm curiosity.
- Foster openness.
- Talk about Jesus and faith.
- Expect conversion.
In conclusion, I am grateful to Sherry Weddell for her ministry-changing book that has caused me to view my ministry and the church in a different way. I appreciate her approach and her writing style, and I highly encourage you to read Forming Intentional Disciples.
Question: Do you talk openly about your faith with those you minister to? Why or why not?
Here is a summary of posts for the “Forming Intentional Disciples” series:
- Your Ministry Is Not Working
- Are You Ministering to Infants or Adults?
- What Is God Calling You To Do?
- The 1 Thing All Ministry is Founded On
- Curiosity Killed The Cat? – Actually, Curiosity Formed the Disciple
- Fostering the Openness of Those Seeking God
Image from Katie Tegtmeyer.