These topics are designed to lay the groundwork for learning how to apply the gospel to the details of everyday life.
- The Nature of Change – In a world full of self-help books, 10 step guides to achieving our goals, and finding power within ourselves to become who we want to be, Scripture speaks vibrantly to what change really is. It sets a trajectory for who we are and what we are becoming. It reorients our gaze and gives us a framework to understand our own hearts and actions before the Lord. In this training we begin to lay out the fundamentals of change through the lens of Scripture.
- The Theology of Relationship – Who we are is a reflection of who God is. Likewise, how we understand our interactions with one another must be founded on God’s interactions with us. In this training we take a deeper look at the nature of our relationships with one another letting Scripture cast a vision for how it is we are called to walk with one another as the body of Christ.
These trainings build on the basics that were introduced in the Foundations track to begin to equip lay leaders with tangible skills as they seek to love the people around them.
- Speaking the Truth in Love – You get together every week but find that the conversation never quite moves beyond the surface details of people’s lives. In this training we talk about practical and natural ways to cultivate and tend conversations around issues of the heart. Discussion topics include: creating a safe environment for sharing and methods of communication.
- Bridges to the Gospel – Most of us know that the gospel is relevant for every moment of our lives but when we find ourselves in the midst of a struggle often the gospel feels trite and unattainable. As we walk alongside of struggling people how do we begin to understand who Christ is in the midst of their struggle? How do we point them towards that in meaningful ways?
- Navigating the Crisis – Friendships or small group meetings can present crisis situations quickly and unexpectedly. As we move toward one another and develop meaningful relationships we also need to be equipped to deal with the messiness that often lies beneath the polished exterior of those we walk with. This training will give you the tools to assess the crisis situation, practical guidelines for when to handle it on your own and when to bring in extra help, and ways to think about loving confrontation.
- Beyond Prooftexting: The easiest verses to think of in the midst of a struggle are the ones that mention the particulars of the situation directly. If a friend struggles with anxiety we quickly remember the call in Scripture not to be anxious and the direction to present our requests to the Lord. These aren’t always the most helpful verses to turn to with our struggling friends. The Lord has chosen to present his word to us in many forms – narratives, poems, with themes that run throughout his word to us. In this training we discuss practical ideas for using Scripture in everyday conversation.
Each of the following trainings is designed to place the theory and skills taught in previous seminars in the context of a particular struggle.
- Depression – 1 in 10 Americans are said to struggle with depression at one point their lives. In this training we look at depression through the lens of Scripture. Who is the Lord when life is burdened? How does he speak when everything feels numb? How do we walk faithfully and compassionately with those walking through the mire of depression?
- Fear & Anxiety – The most common accompaniment with the command not to be afraid is the assurance that the Lord is with us. We are a fearful and anxious people but the Lord speaks tenderly to us in our weakness. In this training we look at who we are before the God of heaven, how we understand our fears, and how Scripture speaks richly to us in the midst of those fears.
- Everyday Addictions – While most of us aren’t considered addicts, the temptation to escape is likely familiar. Have you ever binged on Netflix? Spent an hour playing solitaire? Found solace in a tub of ice cream? In this training we talk about the gospel in the context of the things we want to run from. The nature of habits and how we walk alongside of a friend who’s choosing to escape rather than engage.
- Mental Illness and the Church – Those suffering with a mental illness often feel ostracized and stigmatized in the presence of their church body. As the body of Christ we need a biblical understanding of mental illness that will push us towards our brothers and sisters who are suffering in this way. In this training we seek to reframe mental illness in the language of Scripture so that we might better know how to walk with and pursue those the Lord has brought into our midst.