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As a Christian, you are inseparably joined to other people. Your welfare and your wisdom are connected to the welfare and wisdom of others in the body of Christ. This means you have an important role to play (both in giving and receiving help), because the ministry of one-on-one conversations is a part of God’s vision for maturing his people.
Ephesians 4 shows how God calls you and every believer to do your part by speaking helpful, constructive words to others. So where do you start? What does fruitful interpersonal ministry look like? This study explores six ways we grow together as the body of Christ.
- By expressing true need for God and for others
- By combining knowledge of people with knowledge of Scripture
- By praying in ways that connect actual human need to the promises of God
- By understanding the centrality of friendship in the Christian life
- By keeping a close watch on ourselves in pursuit of integrity
- By maturing together as each of us puts the Spirit’s gifts to work so that we grow up into the likeness of Christ
Growing Together Curriculum: Summary of Content (includes running times)
Lesson 1: Our Neediness is God’s Gift – Edward T. Welch (38:00)
Ed begins this curriculum by pointing us to our own essential neediness for God and for others. But in God’s wisdom, your neediness can become a gift that you give to strengthen the body of Christ, because God has determined that needy ones are the very best helpers.
Lesson 2: How God Uses All of Us in the Lives of Others – Edward T. Welch (38:12)
In this lesson Ed identifies two fundamental skills for inter-personal ministry: the skill of knowing another person and the skill of bringing your knowledge of another person together with your knowledge of Scripture. The goal is to grow in these skills simultaneously, and as you do, to admire the Spirit’s artistry in the kingdom of heaven.
Lesson 3: Why We Pray and How We Pray – David Powlison (41:01)
David discusses the reasons we pray, and how prayer itself uniquely shapes one-on-one Christian ministry. In prayer you must get down to your elemental need, and then bring your need to God’s promises in Scripture. This pattern provides the foundation for inter-personal ministry: joining another person to God’s presence in prayer and to his promises in Scripture in a way that leads to life and godliness.
Lesson 4: Spiritual Friendship – Aaron Sironi (45:44)
Aaron develops the important aspect of spiritual friendship in the body of Christ. Jesus has redefined and transformed our view of friendship. Friendship is now an opportunity to imitate Christ in sacrificial love, a call to faithful commitment and humble transparency in our relationships, and the foundation of fruit-bearing mission to the world.
Lesson 5: Persevering in Ministry – Michael Emlet (39:36)
Mike’s goal in this lesson is to identify some of the unique pressures and temptations that people face in one another ministry that may contribute to spiritual decline, and to identify practical ways you can cultivate your spiritual life in the midst of serving others.
Lesson 6: Helping Our Churches Become Communities of Change – Steve Midgley (37:44)
In this lesson Steve develops ministry applications from Ephesians 4: God has chosen to mature his people through the ministry of one-to-one conversations and one another ministry. And this isn’t a work that should be left for a minority of people. God calls each one of us to be partners in this work, speaking words that build others up. Change into the likeness of Christ begins with us, needs everyone, and means speaking the truth in love.