Tag Archives: Issues

Developing a Curriculum for a Pastoral Conversation

Various issues come up in our lives at different times. Many times we feel adequate to face these issues and can walk through them with confidence that we are doing well enough. But sometimes, an issue resists our own efforts and we find it more than we can handle on our own. Perhaps we talk about such an issue with some friends or family. Sometimes we seek a conversation with a pastor or mentor. Sometimes we seek some kind of a counseling situation to help us through the issue. In larger churches with active Christian education or home groups, there are particular groups or classes that meet with a focus on solving some of these issues. There are, for example, groups on getting your finances under control, raising godly children, praying for marriages, dealing with addictions and so on. The Lord can use a number of different forms to help his disciples deal with their various issues. But if I am asked to help somebody with a particular issue in their life, my favorite form is to meet for about seven weeks discussing various Bible passages relevant to the issue they face. In this way, I create a kind of curriculum for a particular personal issue which guides the pastoral conversations we will have about it. One came up recently that I will use as an example for this developing a curriculum for a pastoral conversation. A young couple has been dating for a number of years. They wonder whether they should remain friends or pursue a course to marriage. They know there is such a thing as premarital counseling. But they are looking for pre-engagement counseling, something that could as easily tell them to not pursue an engagement if it isn’t right for them as to proceed with a greater commitment. Here is how I develop a curriculum for pastoral conversations to help them discover what would be best in their situation.
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Some thoughts on tattoos

A friend emailed me asked me my take on tattoos. It does amaze me that tattoos have grown in popularity and seem to be widely accepted. I have an association of tattoos with people who have done prison time or are in gangs. But a number of people have them now who don’t fit either of those two cases. When I see young people with tattoos, I think of what they will look like as they get older. “Body modifications” seems a foolish fad to me. On this level, one’s like or dislike of tattoos would seem to be cultural or individual preference. Continue reading

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