Here are my thoughts on chapter 13:
1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?
We have had a good deal of theory and application techniques in the recent chapters, but we have come to the DO chapters. Tripp brings out on the very first page of the chapter
“Change always demands a deeper understanding of the things of God and a more careful application of those truths in our lives.” p239 we have to apply the truths in our lives for real, not a passive idea. If we do, we will expect change, if not, and then we become stagnant. The problem is: it is a long process. I am still quite young to understand the period of a long process, but change is always going on. “Yet all this change, we are still changing.” p240. There is never “too” much change, because that is what the gospel is doing in our lives if we apply it effectively.
Paul says as Tripp quotes 2 Corinthians 11:1-3, for we need to look at the long view of life, and look at the periods of our lives that change is going to need to take place.
I was really helped by the description of Sin in this chapter as “Now-ism”. As I’m going forward into ministry, I tend to get concerned when the process slows up. I realise that it is my own selfish now-ism that is controlling my responses, and being part of a dynamic society, I tend to lean towards quick fixes and not long-term solutions.
Tripp describes “DO teaches us how to apply truths we have learned, personal insights, we have gained, and commitments we have made, to our daily lives” p243 Those who do are
“People who begin to follow Christ by faith in practical ways will increasingly expose their hearts”. P244 Over the long process of Change and “As the heart is revealed, people can learn how to live a ‘changed and being changed lives’ ” p244 this is the process of change. It is not just simply saying “I will accept Christ” and do nothing about it. There needs to be physical change and a spiritual change as Christ works through our lives.
I have found the personal ministry agenda very useful because it has set out the principle questions when dealing with someone in a pastoral way, and the second objective about clarifying the responsibilities.
The final bit that Tripp brings out to me is being prepared to talk to people. We must be prepared, what we might say, and he gives 3 agenda questions:
1. What does the Bible say about the information gathered? None of us has a completely uncorrupted Christian world view or mastered the gospel in all its applications.
2. What are God’s goals for change for this person in this situation? I can’t lead a person if I don’t know where we are going, and I must obey and lead people to where God is calling them.
3. What are some biblical methods for accomplishing God’s goals of change?
2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry/ counselling?
This chapter has given me a lot of practical applications in which I must put in to practise. I hope to apply my preaching more to the questions of the people who I aim my talk to, but also to highlight that my interpretation is not the concrete one. I know that I am a sinner like everyone else and I know that I can never solve a person’s problem, but I pray that all I have learned from the other chapters will be put into practise as I continue my journey of faith.
3. Next time we meet, I would like to discuss…How often do we prepare what to say to someone, and which ways are the most effective