Category: T-Life Guides
February 10, 2014 by Relevant

Here’s a little more information on the heart behind each of our T-Life Questions. Hopefully this will help you understand how to take your spiritual conversations with one another a little deeper.

Interactive Relationship with Jesus

  • Is the overall rhythm of your life moving toward God or away from God? Tell me about it.

This question is designed to get a sense of the general direction of their spiritual life. According to Ignatius, if someone feels they are moving closer to God, the enemy can get more vocal and noisy and God’s voice is more subtle. If someone feels they are getting more distant from God, God usually speaks more firmly and loudly, especially through others, while the enemy quiets down, perfectly content to let the circumstances of not connecting with God remain. This is a great question to use to discern where someone is in their overall journey, for decision-making and for suggestions to connect with God.

  • How did you experience, hear from or recognize God in your life this week?

It’s important in the Christian life to actually experience God’s presence, love, forgiveness, etc. We oftentimes mistake knowledge about God for the actual experience of God. This question helps people to recognize where they actually experienced God in their lives. The more one recognizes where they experienced God recently the more they can sense God’s presence in everyday life. This helps us to reach the goal of “praying without ceasing” and this question should stimulate conversation around that.

  • As you pray about your life recently, what are some areas where you sense God was there but you turned away? 

This is a great question to be vulnerable with one another, to get real. Areas of sin may surface through this question and generate good conversation and give you the opportunity to love them in spite of turning away from God. This question may give you the opportunity to “be there” for someone, to be tangible evidence of God’s love for them.

  • How are you enjoying prayer and time in the Word?

This question is a great accountability question that challenges all of us to be in a rhythm of prayer and time in God’s word. This should generate opportunities to suggest rhythms in each other’s life to include time for prayer and the Word.

Authentic Connections within the Church

  • How have you been prioritizing your family?

What a challenging question! This question may catch people off guard but will give you the opportunity to hear how over-extended someone may be in their commitments. This may open the door to ask about family relationships and have conversations around that. This is a great area for you to be transparent about your life as well. Are you over-extended? How are your family relationships? Do you pray with your spouse, kids, etc.? Lots of great follow-up conversations can happen here.

  • How have you served, shared a meal with, or encouraged someone within Relevant this week?

Are they engaged within Relevant community? This question gets to the “beyond Sunday” aspects of our community? How are they serving others, sharing life together and encouraging others?

  • Where do you need to offer forgiveness or ask for it?

This question can take you head first into some really tough areas of others’ lives. You might unearth some very painful places so be prepared to listen without judgment and be there for them. You might also move into some places of conviction for them where they feel they have wrong someone and gentle encouragement might be needed for them to reach out to that person.

  • How have you been inviting Jesus into your friendships and times together with Relevant people?

This is really a prompt or reminder question. When you get together with people within Relevant, is it just time together or do you sense Jesus was part of the time? Did you pray before hanging out together that God would be with you or be glorified is a good follow-up question. Are you always on the lookout for what God is doing? This question should help create conversation around the idea of what life would like with friends who always look for God’s presence when they get together.

Influence in Glocal Culture

  • How have you been relating — or not relating — the way Jesus relates to you, with people where you live, work and play?

We designed this question to challenge us to always love like Jesus. Do we serve like Him, love like Him, forgive like Him, play and laugh like Him, etc.? Be prepared to ask more questions when certain relationships are brought up. You may go into deeper conversation about a relationship at work that is a struggle, for instance. Be gentle and loving as this question may bring up a sense of conviction when you ask it.

  • Who have you been intentionally talking to about Jesus Christ?

The previous question is about witness to the world through our lives. This question is about witness to the world through our mouths. Good follow up conversation might be about what couple relationships are you intentionally investing in? What relationships in your life have gotten to the point of depth and trust where you could easily share about Jesus? If there aren’t any relationships like this, how might you discuss what some next steps would look like?

  • How have you been praying for or serving Relevant, Elkhorn, or the Karen community lately?

We are a church that is on mission together. What role is the person you are asking this question to playing in that mission? Where are they engaged? If they are not, would they like to be? What are they gifts? Ask them! If they don’t know, get them in touch with our Equipping ministry!

  • How have you been sacrificially giving of yourself to God, His will and His Kingdom?

This question gets to the heart of consumerism in someone’s life. Are they willing to sacrifice time, money, talent, energy, focus toward the Kingdom? How are they doing that? What has God been doing in their life as they take steps to live a life dependent on Him? What fears exist in taking steps in this direction? This question can really help you to discern where their heart is and may create great conversation of where they see themselves in following God’s will in building His Kingdom.

Pastor Troy Walling

February 4, 2014 by Relevant

In our last blog post, we introduced you to the new and improved T-Life Guides, which are study guides and questions designed to encourage spiritual growth. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback regarding these guides and many of you are already using them in your daily conversations with family and friends. We are so excited to hear how impactful these guides have already been.

When you look over one of the T-Life Guides, you’ll see about two thirds of the way down a section entitled “T-Life Questions”. These T-Life questions form the foundation of everything we want these guides to be for our community. I bolded that because I am going to spend the rest of this blog post talking about this section; we feel it’s that important.

Remember our maxim: Transformed people transform people. Although God works in many ways, He seems to delight in bringing about transformation through community. It is through His people that we find one of the major ways God brings about change in our lives. In a very real sense, the love we can experience with and through others is God himself showing up. People want to know all the time how they can “experience” God; well, community is one of the most tangible ways He reveals Himself.

So, what is the purpose of the T-Life questions? Think of these T-Life questions as a bridge that attempts to connect our personal lives and our collective life together as the body of Christ to the firm foundation that is in Christ. In 2 Timothy Chapter 2 scripture shows us how to live as part of the body of Christ, being strong in the grace of Christ personally (verse 1), being open to teaching and growth (verses 2, 7, 14-16, 24), how to engage in sinful areas in our lives and others (verse 22, 25-26), how to endure suffering together (verses 3-10) and how and why we serve (verse 10). All of these issues that arise when doing life together as a body in Christ, point to living together as a people while always remembering our lives are standing on the firm foundation that is Christ and the fact that we are His (verse 19).

These T-Life Questions are meant to point us to the firm foundation that can only be found in Christ. They are are meant to be questions that help reveal where God is working in each others’ lives, to help us see where we are blind to His presence, to help us navigate life together as a body with grace and love, and to propel us into a heart of service for our city and the world.

Our dream is that these questions (there are only 12 of them) would become so embedded in our culture that they become second nature to us. We dream that we would all be using them to stimulate conversation, prayer, thought, introspection, repentance, love, awareness of God’s presence, etc. in every conversation we have with fellow members of our tribe. We dream and desire that you would use them when you meet someone for coffee, in your small group, at your family dinner table, with your children, after the Gathering at lunch with others, in your marriage, in your friendships, while you serve on a team at Relevant, and even personally when you spend time alone with God or right before you drift off to sleep and are taking note of where God showed up in your day.

Can you imagine what would happen if our body collectively asked each other continually what God is doing in each others’ lives, where we heard from Him recently, how our prayer life is, how our family life is, how we are encouraging, serving and forgiving? Can you imagine?

We will only list one question per T-Life area per week (three total) to make it easy to put this into practice. I pray that these questions would, over time, become so familiar to you that they would become part of the relational fabric of your life and that you would use them to love those around you with curiosity and prayerful hope about what God is up to in the lives of those you love.

Here are the 12 T-Life Questions (see this post for a breakdown of each question):

Interactive Relationship with Jesus

  • Is the overall rhythm of your life moving toward God or away from God? Tell me about that.
  • How did you experience, hear from or recognize God in your life this week?
  • As you pray about your life recently, what are some areas where you sense God was there but you turned away?
  • How are you enjoying prayer and time in the Word?

Authentic Connections within the Church

  • How have you been prioritizing your family?
  • How have you served, shared a meal with, or encouraged someone within Relevant this week?
  • Where do you need to offer forgiveness or ask for it?
  • How have you been inviting Jesus into your friendships and times together with Relevant people?

Influence in Glocal Culture

  • How have you been relating — or not relating — the way Jesus relates to you with people where you live, work and play?
  • Who have you been intentionally talking to about Jesus Christ?
  • How have you been praying for or serving Relevant, Elkhorn, or the Karen community lately?
  • How have you been sacrificially giving of yourself to God, His will and His Kingdom?

 

Pastor Troy

January 20, 2014 by Relevant

T-LifeGuides_blog

“It’s good to see ya, man. I’m glad we could have lunch today. So, what’s up? Think Peyton Manning is going to win the Super Bowl this year?”

“I’m glad you could meet for coffee today. So, are you and your husband still thinking about going on vacation soon? What did you think of the Bachelor?”

We are so stinking busy in today’s culture, whether it’s two guys just getting together for lunch or two women escaping to a coffee house for a few moments, these little breaks can really help us to decompress and connect with another human being. And that’s good! God has wired us to need people. And even if the conversation is casual, something good happens in us…and them.

God uses people to transform us. At Relevant, we say over and over, “Transformed people transform people.” We all instinctively know this. That’s why the number one thing I hear from people in our community is, “I wish I had a spiritual friend.” Or, “I’d love to be able to invest in others but I just don’t know where to start.”

Have you ever noticed that Jesus usually never started with advice-giving? Look at John 4:7 where Jesus asks the woman at the well, “Will you give me a drink?” In verses 4:9-26 we see how this one question prompted deep, life-giving conversation with her. Jesus wasn’t as much thirsty as He was sensitive to this woman’s spiritual condition and he asked a simple question that helped her to see her deepest needs.

Most of us want to be able to invest in others like this. We want to be curious, interested, and there for them. Most of us don’t want to give advice or pry where we aren’t invited. So, we usually ask about the game or the latest show instead.

As we re-introduce our T-Life Guides, we hope that they will help you grow deeper with God and connect the current sermon series with where God is working in your life. That’s what the first section “Living the Rest of Your Week” is all about. Like the woman in verses 4:9-26, we hope you’ll interact with Jesus to see what He is saying to you personally throughout your week.

But then look at verse 4:28 and notice how the woman, after encountering Jesus, leaves behind her water jar to go tell everyone about the living water that had found her. This is why we created the second section of the T-Life Guide, “With Family & Community.” We want to enable you to interact with others in a way that invites Jesus to the conversation. We hope the T-Life Questions give you a safe, non-confrontational way to be a curious spiritual friend of what God is up to in others’ lives.

Hopefully, these T-Life Guides give you a good place to start. Check out this week’s guide at http://www.relevantcommunity.org/series/sermon/tlifeguide?series=17&sermon=67 and drop me an email and tell me what you think.

Pastor Troy

 
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