One of my dreams for the church I pastor in 2012, is that we would become a people who are comfortable with a growing spiritual conversation. Everyone has a different comfort level in conversation. Cultures vary in what people talk about in public and private. Conversations in our community seem to flow effortlessly around sports, hunting, kids, and bargain sales on shoes. What I long for is a spiritual conversation to happen with equal ease. In order to do this we have to realize that we will be swimming upstream. Most of us like to talk about what we like to talk about. We also love talking about that which we feel knowledgable. Like Salmon swimming against the powerful flow, so it can be to have a spiritual conversation.
Why is a spiritual conversation important? In John 1:1 it says: “In the beginning was the word…” This is talking bout Jesus. He is the Living Word. What is a word? It is a verbal expression of an invisible idea or thought. It reveals who a person really is and what they are willing to reveal about themselves. Jesus is the exact expression of God. He is the Living Word.
Conversation is a deepening of relationships and spiritual growth happens in relationship with others who are seeking to follow Jesus. A spiritual conversation is critical to your growth as a human being and as a follower of Jesus Christ. Let me suggest several things you and I can do to help us have spiritual conversations.
1. Talk about the Sunday sermon immediately after the service. I don’t mean to talk about the quality of presentation but the content. What did you get out of it? Was there something you’ve never thought before? What does it mean? How can it be applied to my life? What did you get out of that message? This can and should take place in the foyer, classroom and your car on the way home. It may seem awkward at first, but practice will make it better. Ask you mate, parents or friends what they got out of that message. I will try to remind you and even offer suggestions from time to time.
2. Let others have their opinions and ideas about the subject of the conversation. Developing a freedom for others to say things that you might not agree with is critical for healthy conversation.
3. Make the points of the Sunday sermon points of prayer in your family and during your quiet time. This will help you retain the truth that is being shared.
4. Read good books and encourage others to read what is helping you grow in the Lord. Use these books to foster a conversation about what is written and if it is true or applicable to your life.
5. Be real and transparent about what you are learning but be careful not to dominate the conversation. Let others squeeze in to the dialogue and help them feel comfortable and they will want to come back.
Pray with me and ask God to help our church be a safe place to talk about dangerous things. Pray for us to take the conversation to a new place. Keep swimming upstream.