Difficult Conversations


First Focus

Difficult Conversations

First Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you and accounting for the hope that is in you.” But how do we prepare for those times? At some point or another, we engage in conversations—and even interrogation—about our faith in Christ and the beliefs that are distinctive to Baptists. Jesus tells us to avoid rehearsing answers to hypothetical test questions. Instead, we are to follow him in every aspect of life, trusting that we’ll know what to say and when to say it, if we need to say anything at all.

Beginning March 25, I want to invite you to a new Wednesday night Bible study series entitled, “Calm, Ready, and Unrehearsed: Difficult Conversations Christians Have.” We’ll be looking at Jesus’ instructions to his disciples in Luke 12:11-12, Luke 21:15, and 1 Peter 3:15. Difficult conversations are really pretty small compared to the trials that Jesus told us to expect. So how do we prepare the way Jesus taught us to? We’ll look at the examples of Mary, Zechariah’s neighbors, Jesus on trial before Herod, and two of Paul’s trials and then some living examples of how we have conversations on a variety of topics that are in the world today. We work on what we know, and we prepare in the same way that these examples in scripture prepared. By doing so, we actually gain peace, comfort, and endurance.

March 25: Calm, Ready, and Unrehearsed (Luke 12:11-12, Luke 21:15, and 1 Peter 3:15)
Jesus prepared his disciples to be arrested for the sake of his name but not to prepare a speech beforehand. So why would we not prepare answers in advance?

April 1: A Silent Defense: Jesus on Trial before Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
Jesus gives us an example of what it means to remain silent when on trial and still get your point across. (We will meet in the fellowship hall tonight.)

April 8: The Problem with Mouthing Off (Ephesians 4 and James 1)
Paul, James, and Jesus warn against the Christian problem of garrulousness: talking too much and too glibly. What are the dangers of mouthing off about things?

April 15: The Wise Use of the Tongue (Proverbs 10:18-11:31)
Proverbs offers basic instruction about the wise use of the tongue.

April 22: Storing away Treasures (Luke 1 and 2)
Mary and Zechariah offer two different models of living out Jesus’ instructions. We store all kinds of things in our hearts, but one gives us a treasure to draw upon later.

April 29: Where we Are as a Church Body: A Report from the Strategic Planning Committee
Tonight, we’ll hear a report about the vision process of our church and the next steps as we discern God’s call over the next 3-5 years

May 6: Prudent Speech under Arrest (Exodus 4 and Luke 21:1-21)
Moses struggled to speak, but God offered him hope. How does Jesus gives us the mouth and wisdom to speak?

May 13: Godly Judgment and Gentleness about Family (Matthew 7, John 8 and the Adulterous Woman)
How do we bear witness today to friends and family about sexuality, marriage, and God’s redemption?

May 20: Talking about Evil (Luke 13:1-5)
What we can say and not say about evil in our world today?

Our series begins in the Sanctuary following business meeting March 25. I look forward to studying this important topic together. If you can’t join us, be sure to download the podcast on itunes or request an audio recording from Lee Shell.