All vital ministry of Word and Spirit arises at an intersection: Truth meets truth. Divine Redeemer meets honest human need. So when two (or more) people meet in discipleship or pastoral counseling, they must get on the table the key elements of that more profound meeting that changes lives today and for all time. There is a ‘real time’ relationship between God and every one of His creatures. Something is at stake today, however consciously faithful or blindly disobedient we are. If this is so, then two key questions must weave throughout all that is said and done in discipleship.
First, what is this person facing in life? To put it more pointedly, what is your greatest struggle and need right now? Where will you face today’s crucial choices? In that moment, in that situation, what will you do? How will you treat people? What will you believe? Where will you place (or misplace) your trust? What will you want? How will you react in that circumstance? These questions look for the significant, decisive choice points in a person’s everyday life: “When you face that situation, which way will you turn?”
Second, what does the Lord say that speaks directly into what you are facing? Who is He? What is He doing? What does He promise? What does He will? And what does He call you to believe, need, trust, hope, and obey? These questions explore a person’s current perceptions of the God who is there and is not silent. Is what God says and does immediately relevant or basically irrelevant?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Learning Discipleship from a Counselor
David Powlison points to two simple questions – What are you facing? How does the Lord connect? – that express the core agenda of our discipleship.