I want to give you a few things to think about practically when it comes to shepherding people to truth. On Thursday I'll post when we are to "avoid such people" but for today here are three practical ways to shepherd people:
- Give people texts to read and then give them plenty of space to wrestle. I love strong, convincing theologically driven books. The Bible's better.
- Listen. Don't listen to respond. Listen. You'll find that people usually have an aversion to truth because it is affecting something or someone very close to them. If you'll listen and see past a specific theological agenda, you can minister to their hearts. Let me give you an example. The Village is reformed in theology. A few weeks ago after an especially clear presentation of God's sovereignty over salvation a young man came up to me after service frustrated with what I taught. It didn't take long to figure out someone very close to him wasn't a believer. We prayed for his family member for 10-15 minutes and asked the merciful God of the universe to save. After we prayed together, he told me he needed to "learn more of what the Bible says about all this." After feeling loved, cared for and then prayed with, he was much more open to hear the scriptures unpacked. I have found this to be the case more often than not.
- Be patient. Progressive sanctification is just thatprogressive. Deep spiritual growth is far from a super highway; it's more like a dirt path through a thick jungle. Encourage, pray, and be patient.
- Work diligently and passionately concerning your own spiritual life. It's easier to say "hard" things if your life is marked by humility, grace, hospitality and steadfastness.