Reading: Chapter 2 This chapter we explore the aspect of ministry that involves preaching, or sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. But as Henri so honestly notes, many people either see the gospel as a redundant message that they've heard a thousand times before, or they see the gospel as confronting them with such conviction that they resist it all together. So here we explore how we can be the kind of people "who can take away those obstacles that prevent the Word of God from falling on fertile ground" (p 33). 1) Henri clarifies that the "task of preaching is to assist in the ongoing struggle of becoming. And this is accomplished primarily by speaking about Jesus Christ" (p40). Ultimately it is Jesus Christ who came to give us life, and life in abundance. So, let's talk about Him! a) Who is Jesus Christ? b) How did you come to know Him? c) What is your understanding of His heart, His character, and/or His perspective on life? d) Tell us about the love you've received from Him. e) Tell us about your love for Him. f) Is He someone that you'd like to introduce other people to? Many times we want to speak about our relationship with Jesus Christ, but somehow we feel awkward about it. Henri gives us two concepts that can facilitate the process. 2) Henri first asks us to relate to others in such a way that they are able to respond to what we say by connecting it to their own life experience. a) What do you think Henri means by "real dialogue" or "real engagement" (p41)? b) How can we facilitate this kind of connection with friends, family, neighbours or strangers? c) Have you ever known someone who did this well? What effect did it have on you? d) Did they reveal something new to you about the Word of God? 3) Henri also calls us to be available to others, in order to lead them to "redemptive insight" into the Word of God (p44). In order for us to do this well, we must first consider if our life is under the direction of the Word of God, and if we are living our lives fully and deeply. a) What does Henri mean when he asks us to be "available" to another? b) What habits do you maintain, or would like to maintain, in order to keep your life under the guidance of the Word of God? c) How does one learn the skill of living so deeply and fully? d) In what ways can we begin to make ourselves available to others, such they they can be inspired by God's Word living in us and desire it in their own lives too? There are a lot of important things to ponder in this chapter, but they aren't easy. I'm looking forward to a week of discussion so that we can flesh these thoughts out and see how we can apply them to our daily lives. Always remember that the questions I offer are meant to help facilitate the discussion - but we are not bound to them. Please share whatever came up for you in the readings.