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Editor's note: This document appears here unedited. I. INITIAL STAGES _____________________________________________________
Information gathering begins in the Greeter's Room
I. Through conversation about seemingly mundane topics - job, background, home life, previous attendance at any prayer meeting, etc. -- it is possible to find out much about a person and how he looks on life. We do not want to get too personal in our conversations so as to appear to be prying, but we do want to both make it clear that we are interested in developing a friendship with them and gather information. The type of information we are looking for includes:
- Name (first and last)This information should all be sought after. It is necessary for us to know our people as well as possible, so as to determine their disposition to receiving the Lord at the present time, their appropriateness and readiness for Growing In Faith Seminar, and as some measurement of their ultimate potential in service to the Lord. Also, the Mother of God member who first brought the individual to the Sunday Night Prayer Meeting might be a valuable source of information.
- Phone number
- Educational background
- Occupation (this, in combination with age, can say much about a person's level of maturity, responsibility, social skills, etc.)
- Family (also an area where a little bit says a lot -- divorces strong family background, ties, etc.)
- General measurement of social skills
- General measurement of psychological make-up
- Living situation
- Religious background, if any
- Any previous experience of Christ?
- Why did they come to the prayer meeting? With whom?
We cannot evangelize a person who does not first believe in God. Therefore it is important to determine this as the evangelization process begins. If he does not believe in God, there are three possible reasons for the existing situation and the proper one must be identified:
1. Due to the education (or lack of education) he has received, he does not believe in a supreme being. Many people have been seriously affected by the theory of evolution.In order that any of the above three categories of people be evangelized properly, the root of their disbelief must be ascertained and approached.
2. As a result of some event or bad information that he has received, the individual may possess hatred for God. Perhaps the death of a loved one or some similarly harsh experience coupled with incorrect information has produced this situation.
3. A Christian who goes to church out of habit may essentially have no faith in God, no belief in the Gospel message.
Note on gathering information:
It should be noted that most of this information can be gathered in the context of a routine conversation. We should not make people feel as though they are responding to a survey. Most people will not find general questions about their work, their religious background e.g . "have you ever been to a prayer meeting before?" etc. to be offensive. If we are caring for them, they will almost be glad to talk about themselves. The more perceptive we are and the more we ask the right questions and know what to look for, the more painlessly and thoroughly we will be able to gather information. It is a good idea to discuss a person's particular interest -- this will give us an idea of how he thinks and if he is casually volunteering information in this area of interest, he may along with it disclose some of his background.
II. Greater Depth
Once an individual reaches Growing In Faith, more in-depth information is needed. He has decided to take a further step in pursuing the Gospel message, and God's plan for his life. Therefore, as the individual initiated and formed into the Christian life, he needs a greater measure of attention.
The information obtained by the Greeter's team is readily available to the appropriate Growing In Faith team member. But in the normal course of getting to know the Growing In Faith attendee, this same ground will need to be covered.
All areas of the individuals life should be covered. Not all areas listed below should be dealt with in Growing In Faith. But all should be known by the discussion leader for one who is underway in Growing In Faith the purpose being to know the person inside out so that "billion dollar control" is possible. If in caring for an individual it is appropriate to discuss and offer advice on certain areas of his life, this should be done.
Therefore, find out both their history and current status in the following areas.
a) Family relationships -- especially deficiencies on the part of parents, broken homes, divorce, etc. Does he come from a strong, healthy family background which will be an asset to his growth?For married couples. the list is extended
b) Friends -- what sort of group did/does he "hang out" with? Has he been a loner? Is he subject to a great deal of peer pressure? Does he tend to create healthy relationships?
c) Job (and its atmosphere) -- how important is career to this person? Is he currently employed? Any recent setbacks? Does the nature of his job reveal something about his natural abilities?
d) School -- how well has he done? Is he a good student? Is he a frustrated student? Will this be a cause for distraction?
e) Involvement with drugs, premarital sex, homosexuality, the occult, criminal offenses, alcohol -- when and for how long? How has this affected his life?
f) Current living situation -- broad picture?
g) Motivations, aspirations and interests -- what are his plans for the future? Is he apathetic? Does he possess a great deal of energy? How does he spend his time? Is he a "go-getter?"
h) Wealth problems
i) Fears, phobias, inhibitions, shyness, etc. Any particularly good personality traits?
j) Religious background?
k) Has the Lord touched his life in some way previous to now?
l) Is he able to think clearly and make decisions?
m) Currently in a dating situation?
n) Married how long?
o) Any children? How many? Ages?
p) Previous marriage? Separations?
q) Sexual abuses within the marriage? Abortion?
r) Measure of proper or improper headship?
s) Isolation from spouse?
t) State of children?
u) Spouse's status with Sunday Night commitment?
v) Marriage blessed by Church?
w) Finances in good order? (If not, this might be a source of tremendous distraction)
x) Club or society memberships?
y) Working mothers -- full or part time.
For all of the above areas, it would be disastrous to blatantly approach an individual with direct questions. It must be realized that specific questions do not need to be, and in fact, should not be asked.
How is this information to be found out? The information should be gathered during the normal course of conversation. Any hints or allusions to any of the above areas can be quietly pursued or even simply stored away in the team member's memory for future reference. They only time these areas should receive attention is if they are in some way inhibiting the individual's growth.
How does this work? Here are some examples.
A. John entered the Growing In Faith seminar. He is about 30 years old. During a telephone conversation with John his buddy picked up on John' s mention of taking his daughter horseback riding every weekend. John's buddy recalled that John doesn't wear a wedding ring. Now his buddy has two clues to the fact that John might be separated or divorced. This further led to the discovery that John was very unstable, and later he brought up the fact that he was a member of AA.
B. Sue had been in the Growing In Faith seminar for a few weeks. When she and her buddy went out for a bite to eat one evening, Sue mentioned that she can't eat most of the things on the menu -- her stomach can't take it. Sue' s buddy remembered how Sue often seems nervous and uneasy. Maybe Sue has an ulcer? A few tactful questions revealed a whole history of nervousness related problems and a not-so-hot family background.
Both of these examples are true. It might be that these situations should not normally be dealt with in Growing In Faith. But in both instances these areas turned out to be a tremendous impediment to the individual's growth and provided clues about how fast they could be moved along in the formation process.
Members of Growing In Faith are evangelists, not counselors. It must be understood that this information is not for the purpose of counseling and therefore should not be asked in this way. We must be on guard against this tendency which is in all of us. The purpose is to know the individual as well as possible. It is not our purpose to psycho-analyze those who go through Growing In Faith. But it is our purpose to care for our new brother and sister and to do everything we can to help them to grow.
It is essential that all the information gathered in Growing In Faith be stored. This is for two reasons.
1. In order to discern whether or not it is appropriate for an individual to go through Life In The Spirit this information can be vital. For instance, if a person is basically unstable or rebellious, it would not be right for him to enter the Life In The Spirit seminar, where he will be, essentially, prepared to receive the power which will equip him to serve in the body of Christ.III. Weekly Information Gathering
2. These areas will all receive attention in Life In The Spirit. For the person to be competently cared for, not one iota of this information can be lost.
For one who is in Growing In Faith, there is certain information that needs to be obtained on a weekly basis. The purpose of the questions/topics which follow is two-fold:
1. To gather pertinent information.
2. To give the team member an opportunity to foster some measure of growth, desire, or achievement in the individual. Team members, by the nature of their calling, are dedicated to seeing those in their charge grow in their love for, knowledge of, and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. These questions therefore, are not an end in themselves but rather a means to spark growth.
A. What happened at this week's prayer meeting? What did the individual see the Lord do in his life? Did he hear the Lord speak specifically to him?IV. Growth in Nature of Questions
The individual should be approached immediately after the prayer meeting to get an initial response. Later on in the week, this area should be pursued.
B. What about the teaching from the seminar and prayer meeting? Specific questions geared towards the teaching can reveal a number of things:
1. Measure retention.C. Prayer life
2. Did he accept or reject the teaching?
3. Clarity or confusion?
4. Measure implementation.
5. Did he experience God working in his life through this teaching?
1. Is he praying regularly? Ask this in order to measure growth and commitment.D. Scripture
2. Did he hear the Lord speak to him?
3. Growth in understanding of the definition of prayer. Has he embraced it and implemented it?
1. Is he reading the sacred Scriptures regularly?E. Other Areas
2. Are his eyes being opened as he reads? That is, is he hearing the Lord speak through the Scriptures?
3, Are the Scripture passages that are appropriate to the teaching being read?
4. Growth in desire to go to the Bible for answers.
What is God showing this individual?
We must see that as an individual continues and grows in the Growing In Faith seminar, the headship exercised over the individual will grow and evolve. The measure of headship which is appropriate will determine the type and depth of information to be gathered.
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