Subject: CLM Class – Homework Assignment #2 of 6.
My Story In Ministry
Seminary Professor Wayne Oates once said that Pastoral Care was “a conversation between two people for the benefit of one.” Whether our conversation is with one person or with many (as in a sermon), we are speaking for the benefit of the one who is listening.
In homework assignment #1, we shared information about ourselves as a way to get to know each other and as a way to build friendship and community with each other. In a ministry setting these sorts of conversations will frequently be used for the benefit of the other person. We will share our life experience with others in a variety of ways as we build healthy relationships.
In homework assignment #2, we shift from information about us to sharing information about our spiritual journey.
From time to time in our ministry we’ll be sharing our spiritual story … the description of how we understand God to be working in our life. That’s a conversation of a slightly different sort – a spiritual conversation – and we need to become comfortable having these conversations. The following discussion questions allow you to give some thought as to how you might speak of your own experience of God as you follow Jesus.
Just type a few sentences after each one … and it’s OK to say “I don’t know” or “I’ve never thought about that before.”
Tom Logsdon’s Disciple Making Questions
- A good way to bring your own spiritual journey into focus.
- When, where and from whom did you first learn about God?
- When, where and from whom did you first learn about Jesus?
- When, how and why did you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
- Who nurtured you in faith, particularly during those early tender years?
- Who have you shared the good news of Jesus Christ with? How did it go? What if anything would you repeat? And what you do differently?
- Who specifically should you be sharing your faith with now? Why?
MY SPIRITUAL ADVICE …
As a CLM, people will ask you for advice on how to strengthen their spiritual life and about the practice of spiritual disciplines. Imagine how you would answer some of the following questions that a church member might ask you one day after worship by sharing briefly in a couple of sentences what you find to be helpful. (Our own practice of spiritual disciplines helps us to stay balanced and healthy in the face of pressures that can overwhelm us.)
- How can I strengthen my prayer life? What is your advice?
- How can I strengthen my practice of meditation – of being still before the Lord and listening in prayer? What is your advice?
- How can I strengthen my practice of reading scripture? I want to get more out of what I read. What is your advice?
- What could I be reading other than the bible to strengthen me spiritually? What are you reading currently?
- What about journaling – of writing down my thoughts and what I feel God is telling me? What is your advice?
- What other spiritual disciplines would benefit me? Have they helped you?
- We aren’t always the best examples of what we suggest that others do. Are you willing to follow your own advice?
I’m someone who is good at giving advice, but not always good at follow-through. I’m going to save my answers for later, as I don’t want to imply that one method is more valuable than another. I look forward to learning more of your story …
Dave Kueker … blessed to be your instructor.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18
Note: This post is one in a series of emails to allow discussion as a class via email prior to the first gathering of the class for Module 1 of the Certified Lay Minister program of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. David Kueker is the instructor and developed these introductory emails.
CLM 0.2, Reviewed: 2-19-22.