We at “Quality of Life Ministries-Quality of Life Training Institute” would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about our organization and how we can relate to you.
We are concerned that the challenges of life require some real life answers. Our mission is to seek out those who are inclined to listen to the voice of God and lead them into a mature relationship with Jesus Christ through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
We at “Quality of Life Ministries” strive toward the goal of being:
A organization that walks in God’s Truth and develops Integrity in its participants.
A organization that walks in God’s Love and develops a Intimacy with their God in its participants.
A organization that walks in God’s Power and develops a sense of impact on it’s participant’s lives and their Leadership relationship with others.
The purpose of these classes is to acquaint you with Quality of Life. In doing so you will find out about your relationship with Christ, His Church, and each other.
You, will also learn about yourself. For example you’ll find out what type of personality you have; you also find out what your spiritual gifts are. And, who knows what else.
QOL-QOLM is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 instructs us:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
God’s Church should be a Friendly Church
In an egocentric society like ours, God’s Church stands out as a significant exception. When you ask people why they attend your local church, the answer that we hope you hear is that your church is a friendly church, one in which it is easy to make friends and have relationships grow. Quality of Life makes this possible.
Quality of Life Training Institute
“We connect people to Christ and each other for World-class Christian living.”
The “connecting” goes on seven days a week with the full support of Quality of Life and other Christians and non-Christians. In fact, it is the single greatest factor in motivating people to make a positive decision to become church members. The second is that they have committed themselves to serving the church in one or more ministries, they’ll answer that they do it to serve their friends and their Lord.
John tells us in his gospel that Christ said: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:15)
John amplifies this in his first epistle: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-9)
In attending church, in making friends, in loving one another, we are only obeying our Lord’s command. We are all rewarded by the richness of this experience.
Building friendships with Christ through each other.
Again, John gives us direction when he relates Jesus’ statement: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14)
Through love for each other and, consequently, our obedience to our Lord’s command, we demonstrate our love for him and fulfill a major obligation of our faith.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Come share in this love. Let’s be Christian leaders.
Member of What
Scripture tells us that the church is a living organism. It uses a variety of dynamic imageries to get this point across including the body of Christ, the vine and the branches, the shepherd and the sheep, the living temple of living stones, the royal priesthood, and the family. The Christian Leader is a living part of God’s organism called the church. As part of the organism, each person has a vital part to play in world evangelization, making disciples of all people.
As part of the body of Christ, each person has a ministry to perform, thus, the individual is seen as an important part of the body life in the Christian community, with the responsibilities to Christ, to others, and to the world.
To those of You looking for help in dealing with Life
Whether people are struggling with overwhelming needs, going through major transitions, or just trying to keep ahead of life’s everyday frustrations, the one thing people long for the most is support. They want realistic answers to their many questions, a listening ear, and a caring friend.
We would like to offer you a program which will assist you in helping other to deal with the challenges of life (economically, emotionally, etc.). The program will help you to better understand who you are and how you can help others to live their life better. It offers a rich mixture of practical living – to live it completely.
Greetings from your neighbors at Quality of Life Training Institute.
Life today is demanding, and real life challenges require real life answers. At Quality of Life Ministries we don’t claim to have all of the answers for your life, but we know Someone who does. Our confidence lies in an real God who works in the everyday lives of everyday people. if you have come to a place where you are ready to investigate the impact that God can make in your life and in the lives around you, then we would like to invite you to participate and join us in the pursuit of “real life that works.”
We are Christian friends who just want to know you better and invite you to our training course, to see how we can help. The purpose of our organization is: to connect people to Christ and each other for world class Christian living.
We accomplish this through various ways including helping you make your community a better place to live – by helping you inform others how they may have peace in living their lives with God.
Your church with your help should offer a loving environment, one in which our relationships with each other is a prime imperative …friendships carefully nurtured through shared experiences evolving to the point when you find love for one another through Christ. People need the Lord; people need each other. Those needs are mutually inclusive and are satisfied through friendships that in turn, will grow and bear fruit in the form of loving relationships.
Building friendships with Christ through each other.
God’s Church exists for one reason: to facilitate these relationships. And we do so out of gratitude for the great sacrifice God made for us, out of obedience to the commands of our great Friend, Jesus Christ, and out of our love for one another…
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Quality of Life Training Institute is a place that offers real answers to life’s tough questions. With the practical help of the Bible, we want everyone to have the abundant life that only God can give. To aid us in this, we study God’s Word.
Quality of Life Training Institute is a place where people believe that life can and should be celebrated. Knowing God and living by His principles helps us to understand how special life is.
You are important
Our purpose in telling you all of this is to let you know that Quality of Life means something. It is not a fad. It is more than just the hip thing to do. It is a God-given privilege of those in fellowship with the King. The integrity of this fact is reflected in a number of ways.
Each and every person in a church is important. Therefore, ministry in the body is important. God’s Church has a number of different ways in which members can minister to one another. Unstructured ministry happens too, because ministry – healing people’s hurts – is everybody’s business, not just the pastor’s.
Since each person is important, sensitivity develops to felt needs. Felt needs are God-given channels for growth, especially across the natural bridges of friends, relatives, people with whom we work or go to school. people attuned to the importance of the individual look for these needs and hurts and help them become avenues for God’s love and forgiveness.
Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift. A spiritual gift is a supernatural attribute given by God’s grace to every member of the body of Christ. These gifts determine the ministry that one is best suited to perform. God’s way of looking at different kinds of people in the church is not by intelligence, education, beauty, or wealth. These categories tend to divide the church; God unifies through spiritual gifts.
We hope that you are now interested in continuing in this course.
Leadership. Everyone experiences it, or the lack of it, in their daily lives. Those called to lead can find doing so a daunting task. Those expected to follow can experience frustration when their leader is unable to lead and their organization seems to be going nowhere. Struggling leaders may agonize in the knowledge that others resent them and blame them for their organizations’ failures. Countless discouraged leaders would probably quit their jobs today, but they need the income. Besides, they fear the same problems would engulf them in their new jobs. Discouraged, Christian leaders carry the added, albeit misguided, burden that they are failing not only their people but their Lord. They feel guilty because they lack the faith to move their organization forward, yet the same fears prevent them from leaving their leadership positions for jobs where they might be more successful. Is there any hope for the countless number of leaders who are not experiencing the fulfillment and reaching the potential God intended for them? If anything can revolutionize today’s Christian leaders it is when Christians understand God’s design for spiritual leaders.”
(From “The Challenge of Leadership” in Spiritual Leadership)
The twenty-first century is the most troubled age in history, and effective biblical leadership has never been more needed.
Called By God
Purpose: To take the PLUNGE into Quality of Life.
You’re one of them, aren’t you? No, please don’t look away embarrassed or indignant. You are one of them – one of the ones the Lord talked about when He said, “Before I formed you, I knew you” and “You shall receive power and be witnesses to Me” and “Go and make disciples.”
Yes, you! Not collectively but individually – you are one of the ones He’s calling to make a difference. It’s in your eyes; I’ve been around, and I’ve seen it. He’s calling you to make a huge difference through Joshua-style tough leadership; Peter-style in-your-face boldness; Paul-style whatever-it-takes daring; Daniel-style courage to stand alone; David-style heart-that-won’t-quit for God; Deborah-style roust-’em-out “mamma” in the land; Esther-style I’ll-risk-anything-for-right!
You! You know I’m right. He’s talked to your heart. So intense, it scared you. He’s called you by name, as He did Samuel. He won’t let go, just as He wouldn’t Jeremiah: “His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jer. 20:9).
You’ve heard Him speak to your spirit with a fire, a passion. It’s happened several times, and you can’t shut it up. His voice, when you take time to listen, shouts back, “Your Mine; I’ve got a call on your life!”
So what are you going to do? Keep ignoring it? “It’ll go away… I hope.”
Do small things? “Maybe He won’t notice I’m hiding.”
Get married, have kids? “That’ll change His plans.”
Do advanced studies? “Other high-powered things will let me feel fulfilled.”
Oops, time is running out! Better choose. Here comes that voice again.
You could go with the call, and do whatever it takes to respond.
You can pursue leadership development. You can cry out to God, “Here I am, send ME!!”
Hmmm … whattado?
It is in your heart. Look in the mirror of your soul. You are one of them! He has touched you deeply. Others have noticed, too. So…?
“You mean it wasn’t just me? Perhaps I’d better act on it this time.”
Your life is not your own, you know. Have you asked the Lord what He wants to do with it? here are some tips:
Yes, you will combat evil. No you don”t get to wear a cape.
If God calls you to be His servant, don’t stoop to be a king.
The inward call of God comes in the stuff of every day.
If you’re looking for an invitation from God, this could be it.
Study, and get ready; someday your time will come.
Ask yourself, “What does God want” or you can say, “Here am I, Lord; send me.”
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he come to a village where a women named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
If you had been Martha, how would you have responded to Jesus’ remark?
Why do you think Jesus said it?
What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her?
What would Jesus likely say to you if he dropped in on your home today?
What was Jesus point?
It’s possible for service to Christ to degenerate into mere busy work that is no longer full of devotion to God.
Don’t let your service become self-serving. Are you so busy doing things for Jesus that you’re not spending any time with him?
As you begin this course, what are some goals you would like to work on?
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down” the nets for a catch.’
“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything . But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’
“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” ((Luke 5: 1-11)
Picture yourself as Simon. What are you thinking, doing, feeling in verses 1-3?
When Jesus speaks directly to you in verse 4! Why do you go along with his odd request?
In your “fishing business,” how do you see Jesus?
Peter knew that Jesus had healed the sick and driven out demons, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs. If we know that we need help, and if we know that Jesus is the only one who can help us, we will be ready to leave everything and follow him.
People Helping people Through Christianity
As a leader, Follower, and Christian, your success will depend on your ability to adapt Christ’s message within yours and other’s lives. The amount of success you achieve depends entirely on the time, effort and ability you devote to putting into action through your involvement, in that adapted message. It is up to YOU.
Have you ever observed a weak, declining organization teetering on the brink of disbandment? Then a new leader arrived, and everything changed dramatically. Perhaps you have been a part of such an experience. You may have had little hope for the survival of your organization. Then along came a leader who mobilized people into action, and you were astounded at the difference. Results previous leaders had failed to achieve in ten years, the new leader accomplished in six months!
What happened? Was this not the same collection of people with identical problems and limitations? How did it languish under one leader and flourish under another? The difference had little to do with the problems or the limitations. It had everything to do with good leadership. The fact is, some leaders are successful no matter what challenge they take on, while others suffer chronic failure and mediocrity. All organizations have potential for growth and success; the key is effective leadership.
In the years following the close of World War II one of the most significant factors in the life of the Church has been the emergence of the minister/priest/pastor as a resource for persons experiencing difficulty. While it would be obviously incorrect to imply that prior to this time there was no effective pastoral care, it is evident that today far more people turn to the minister in time of trouble; and indications are that this number if steadily increasing. Every minister can document the statement that requests for his help and time are not only more numerous, but also more varied as he finds himself involved in the tangled lives of his membership as well as of those who have no overt relationship to the church.
From the standpoint of the minister, this condition presents both opportunity and difficulty, The opportunity lies in the doors that are opened into the lives of all sorts and conditions of men – opportunity to bring the resource of the Gospel to bear on the day-today problems that beset all people, to demonstrate that faith is concerned with “then and there,” but also with “hear and now.” This is an opportunity welcomed by ministers who otherwise might tend to feel what they say and do appears irrelevant to the average person caught up in the struggles of living.
The difficulty, however, is no less real than the opportunity. It is one thing to have access to the life of another, to be sought after for help, and to be invited into the private distresses which bid fair to overwhelm; but is is another thing to be able to provide the kind of help that is genuine, that truly meets the person where he is, that is effective in enabling the person to meet whatever situation confronts him. And all of this comes at a time when he is also expected to be a business executive (running a successful religious institution) and a more effective preacher.
What, then, is the minister to do? To such a question there can be no absolute answer; but there are options and guidelines which are of value. This is where the “Christian Leader” can be of help.
To overlook the opportunity too provide this support is to ignore the power of God working through his servants. But to minimize the difficulty is to deal superficially with life, and to place into jeopardy the heavenly future of those whose past has already become complicated by the realities of our modern world.
First in importance is an accurate assessment of his own resources and skills in dealing with the distresses of life. By the very nature of things, such a task is never ending. Formal training, increased experience, and continued study and reflection make for a steady expansion of the trainers ability to be of genuine help in time of trouble. While it is true that mere passage of time does not automatically provide greater resourcefulness it is certain that only time can bring the maturity which is needed to meet the increased burdens of life.
The second general guideline which is of value in answering the answering the question is the Leaders knowledge of the resources available to him. As he/she assesses his own resources, they see the need for joining hands with others whose experiences and skills have prepared them to deal with problems which are beyond the individual leaders competence. But knowledge of these resources is only part of the picture. In addition, there must be an understanding of what is involved in a valid use of this knowledge. This would include an approach to the resources, professions, agencies and God who would be involved and the enabling of the leader to avail themself of the services provided.
The Bible has much to say to leaders. We have examined the Scriptures, and we have scrutinized the lives of effective leaders in light of God’s Word. It is to consideration of these issues that attention is given in the following lessons.
This is not a course that you read as much as a tool to enable encounters between people.
You will find God’s calling in your life and you will find your self discovering positive, concrete ways to respond.
You will within the class, grow in care for each other. As a class you will live out Quality of Life with each other and find yourself experiencing a richness of community and care you have never known before.
If you are someone who believes that God has given to the church the responsibility to “equip the saints for the work of living as a Child of God,” I commend this course to you. It facilitates a marvelous experience… and who knows what surprises it may lead to.
Leadership is an embrace, not a club. As you are embraced by the love of God, you cannot help but embrace others. Indeed, these are the two pieces of the leadership puzzle: applying the leadership to yourself and sharing leadership with others.
But how do you share this leadership? How can sharing it become a natural part of your life? Here’s where the class experience comes in. Class members will so experience God’s love and leadership that the dynamite of his Plan will demolish the obstacles that prevent us from sharing God’s love with others. We will come to share naturally what so delights us.
We hope that the foregoing rationale for developing this course and class gives you a flavor of the transforming power that can enter into the people who grasp this experience and incorporate it into their “living” as Christians. Yet, what we’ve said are just words until you and others infuse them with your own excitement and vitality.
You have in your hands the opportunity of your lifetime. The rich Quality of Life Ministries future is yours’. Christ message and Christian involvement symbolize Christianity. It’s something you’ll want to share with others.
You are now participating in a dynamic program for personal and Christian growth. We believe Christianity is the most outstanding opportunity that has been offered (your joyful life on earth and in heaven, now and everlasting). This, too, is yours to share.
As a Leader, you are responsible for yourself and others but never by yourself. This course was created to help you achieve your goals.
it’s your life and future – so it’s really up to you to make it successful. By working, sharing and growing, you will do just that. We are confident that you will realize your hopes and dreams as you work toward the achievement of your goals.
“more advice is given by friends than by all the psychiatrists, psychologist, and counselors put together. And why not? Who is in a better position to give advice than a friend? After all, who knows idiosyncrasies, temperaments, strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and even failures better than a friend? Besides, a person will take advice from a friend when he or she would never consider going to a professional counselor” (Coffee Cup Counseling-Harold Sala).
This is a career for you who attract people who seem to feel that talking over problems with you will help. You have probably never thought of yourself as being someone who could make a significant contribution to the lives of other people. Yet when you stop and think of the conversations you’ve had with friends and acquaintances, you’ll recognize that you’ve dispensed a lot of advice and support.
The Quality of Life Career
You have made one of the major decisions of your life. You have chosen a career as a worker for Christ providing guidance to Christians. In doing so, you have entered a profession both fascinating and rewarding. The training you receive at “Quality of Life Ministries-Quality of Life Training Institute” will give you the knowledge necessary to succeed. Experience that will be gained, will enable you to come closer to your God. Knowledge and Skill are the two essential qualities that are common to all successful Leaders. Knowledge is acquired by study, skill by the persistent application of the knowledge acquired.
The guidelines we present are for all Christians who seek to be spiritual leaders. Holding a leadership position in a Christian organization does not make one a Christian leader. Quality of Life is not an occupation: it is a calling. Christian businesspeople, physicians, educators, politicians, and parents – all ought to be spiritual leaders. More and more people in “secular” occupations are taking their calling as Christian leaders seriously, and they are impacting the world and extending God’s kingdom.
Leaders benefit in two ways from the effort they put into their daily work. The first is the satisfaction of doing a job that is worthwhile – of performing a service to the Christian community. The second benefit is the heavenly reward for your effort which you desire to provide for yourself and your families. A Leader’s career provides both fulfillment and opportunity.
Only when we understand leadership in light of God’s calling on our lives will we be equipped to lead effectively. According to the Bible, God is not necessarily looking for leaders, at least not in the sense we generally think of leaders. He is looking for servants (Isa, 59:16; Ezek. 22:30). When God finds men and women willing to be molded into his servants, the possibilities are limitless. People are looking for someone to lead them into God’s purposes God’s way. They need leaders who truly believe God will do what he says. People ill follow Christian leaders who understand God’s agenda and who know how to move them on to it.
Undoubtly you have chosen a service career. You have selected QOLM_QOLM because you believe that the organization offers you the type of training you desire. You have associated yourself with a organization that offers unique services and enjoys a enviable opportunity to serve God. A organization whose purpose and reputation you will be proud to be trained by.
The QOLM-Quality of Life Training Institute
You are now a student of the QOLM_QOLM family. You will find warm satisfaction in being a student of this class, a keen, high-spirited team, playing the game energetically and loyally with Christians and Non-Christians. In the solidarity and loyalty of this family, there is strength which each student can draw upon. Each student knows he/she can depend upon others in the class. You know that your confidentiality will be protected. You know that the game will be played fair and square and that nothing happens differently behind your back than before your eyes. Let this be your outlook toward class members, your fellow Trainers as you enter upon this chosen career.
As you take this course, we pray you will accept the challenge to be that man or woman God is seeking to use. We hope you will experience the incredible joy and satisfaction of knowing God is using your life as his instrument to build his kingdom and to change your world.
Your Future with Quality of Life
The amount of your success, and your growth in your own class all stem from good, honest, intelligent work. There is no substitute for hard work in this job. Being a Christian worker places no limit on amount of work that you may do or the long hours it may require. Men or women, like nations, become great by under taking great tasks and seeing them through. No handicap of education, money, influence, or even a late start can impede your progress if you will work intelligently.
The purpose of the “leader” is to be a part-time worker for Christ. This work takes many forms but concentrates on providing guidance to how Christianity can be an important part of peoples everyday lives.
The single most important factor is to be a guide through an attempt to better understand Christ message and how it pertains to everyday life. This guidance includes: the course’s questions and answers, the innovative life planning questions, the imagitive class discussion.
The leader is an individual who becomes a lay worker for Christ and yet continues his/her current vocation. This takes some special qualities. an ability to draw upon Christ’s message written and spiritual and apply it to helping human’s to complete “God’s Training Plan” effectively and with a Child’s joy. And even more important is a trust in Christ that he will provide inspiration to others, so that you can sit back and let the inspiration manifest itself in the discussion.
A special talent to provide assistance with utilizing the life’s planning questions to assist others in putting together an effective training program, which goes along with God’s training plan for them; and yet do not appear to be a figure of authority with pronouncements (e.g. parent, etc.
The control over the development and the implementation of the program, should be with a light hand so as not to stifle discussion and yet with some firmness so as to keep on target and to give all the ability to share their ideas.
The “Leader” must be able to be an administrator and a trainer through “God’s training program.” The success and/or failure of the class will depend on his/hers abilities and trust in Christ.
The reward that Christ provides is to provide a interest by the student in the class and his/her’s success. Being successful can be reflected by the groups love for each other and the individual’s peaceful nature. Another aspect of this interest is their desire to share their joy with others. This is the highest reward, to be able to bring people closer to their God.
“There is nothing more exciting than the opportunity to serve your God.”
The Importance of Christian Workers
Not only does the world provide greater opportunities for existing professional Christian Workers, but it dictates the need to augment our Christian Worker force. Our army of Christian Workers must GROW – it must be better trained and better equipped than ever before, to keep pace with our growing demand.
Christian Workers and “The Indispensable I’s”.
The man or women who will rise to meet the opportunity in Christian service must constantly strive to develop six attributes of Christian service. These are; I am, Imagination, Ingenuity, Initiative, Industry and Integrity.
Whatever you may choose to call them, these attributes are utter requisites is success in Christian Service. Without them, you cannot succeed. With them, you cannot fail.
“I am,” this is one of the attributes of God. It is one which describes God’s involvement with us. He is there with us, all we have to do is realize he is there. We must use his grace to help us, to guide us.
Rightfully placed next is IMAGINATION. Here is the magic, personal touch which takes your Christian Service career out of the humdrum rut and make’s it sparkle. It soars with a zest that instantly heightens interest. It helps you find the wants and needs of a specific student, and it guides you unerringly to what is called “Your Ministry” to participate in Christ’s work. Imagination sets you apart, commands attention not given run-of-the-mill social workers, get you in where others get the brush-off. It is, perhaps, the second biggest difference (next to God being part of your ministry) between mediocrity and success.
Closely allied with imagination, INGENUITY is worth of individual attention. It is finding new angles, new appeals to worldly tough prospects. it is handling difficult situations which unexpectedly arise during a discussion and handling them in such a way that they are turned to your advantage. It engenders confidence for the Christian Worker who has developed ingenuity knows he can handle any difficulty.
Your internal self-starter is your INITIATIVE and since the Christian Worker is his own boss, it is knowing how and when to push the starter button. The Christian worker must relentlessly crack the whip over himself. He must bring his belief in Christ to the fore, drive himself to reasonable limits and demand that he attain specific goals.
When we say INDUSTRY, we really mean plain old ordinary hard work. Everything else is worthless, or virtually so, in its absence. The steady worker who keeps firing away will often out perform the “Hot shot” who only works sporadically. The ability, the urge to work is priceless.
We come, finally, to INTEGRITY. Integrity means honesty, of course, but it encompasses much more. It includes reliability, promptness for appointments, solid backing of Christianity. It forbids exaggerations and false or misleading statements about your own or other religions. Integrity is virtually synonymous with reputation – and, as with reputation, it is built slowly and laboriously by many acts, and can be destroyed by one. It is not only a spiritual attribute, but a mental one as well. It reflects strongly upon your success, one way or the other, regardless of your being aware of its influence for what you THINK, you LOOK; what you THINK, you DO; What you THINK, You ARE! If you have integrity, it shows in the expressions on your face, in the things you do and in the kind of person you are. Once your student or fellow Christian is convinced that you possess integrity, his worldly resistance drops. He accepts your integrity, his cooperation “kicks-in.” He accepts your proposition more freely and confidently. Because of this human, fundamental fact, integrity literally pays off in souls saved as well as in self-esteem.
The man or women who has or develops these six qualities will accomplish great things for their Lord. He who accepts the challenge of Christianity and reaches for the opportunity to serve, will be richly rewarded on earth and in heaven.
The purpose of this course is twofold; to describe what makes Christian training distinctive and to explain how that distinctive training can become a way of life for individual Christians.
Today’s world needs people who are trained as effective Christians, but the effective Christian is hard to find, frequently unrecognized, and consequently seldom utilized to improve the world. For this reason, I think we all could benefit from some training in how to be an effective Christian.
The “Leader” part of the program, is our attempt to provide personnel who can provide the training on becoming an effective Christian. The training to be provided deals with real-life issues in living and relating. With this need in mind, this course is part of a “Train the Trainer” program.
The course is written from the perspective that Christian leaders need to be built up, trained and affirmed, but not at the expense of the valuable contributions of psychology and other arts and sciences. The world needs all the training help and guidance it can get, from both psychology and theology.
This solution assumed greater meaning and urgency as society “progresses” toward the glorification of man as a god. I hope that you will be caught up in changing the trend to Glorification of our God through effective Christians.
It will be Difficult
What we all as Christians have in common is the difficulties we can experience within our personal training program.
Every Christian will experience challenges to successful completion of “God’s Training Program,” and the important question “Earth’s child/God’s Child.” The church, the individual belongs to, has the primary responsibility for providing support and training. With the “leadership” program, we do not intend, or will we replace the Church’s responsibility. We only wish to make available to those individuals who need additional one-on-one support which they have been unable to acquire from their own church’s current staff.
This course will help the “Leader” to become comfortable with their shortcomings, but at the same time, not settle for the status quo. There are ways to overcome these problems, and these ways are the substance of this training course.
The Lord isn’t merely gritting his teeth and using imperfect humans; he wants it this way.
Being a good Christian is sometimes threatening. Our unease is something we may have learned as children and part of our earthly nature (original sin). People will find it easier to talk about sex and sexuality, than about faith, religion, or their relationship with God.
learning by observation of role models and social experience-is one reason for this. From childhood many have felt awkward, hypersensitive, and embarrassed about spiritual matters. It is easy to understand why these feelings exist if people you have respect have shown embarrassment when talking about their faith (or avoided the subject altogether).
Recognizing that many others have a problem with unease, uptightness and self-consciousness, your are better equipped to address these difficulties and overcome them. You will at least have your degree of unease or discomfort reduced, which should help you relax and be at ease.
Having gained confidence in your distinctively Christian involvement, you might encounter a situation in which you start with a positive spirit, only to find that you are influenced by another person’s negative attitude, when anything concerning faith or religion comes up. Positive attitude, however, can work just like negative attitude. You may have talked with people whose faith was such a natural part of them that you became quite comfortable as you discussed items of religion and spirituality.
This unease results from the desire not to be too pushy. This is understandable, but this could lead to missed opportunities. Caution is sometimes called for, but so is initiative. Each individual needs to make use of the opportunities and resources available, while being sensitive to the concerns of others.
Not Knowing Enough
Education offered in churches and other religious institutions or in Christian homes does not always satisfy the need for knowledge that will assist you in counseling others. You can be well-equipped with Church and Bible knowledge and still feel inadequate when dealing with someone’s deep spiritual need. You can still feel inadequate when someone comes to you in pain and turmoil, seeking comfort. What is lacking in most church sponsored teaching is how to apply Christian beliefs and resources to the deep and complex needs of people.
When you feel that you do not know enough, then you are ready for a good education and training program to help you. You will need to work at it, but you efforts will yield many benefits.
Caring in Christian Theology
The simplicity of the theology we operate within is overwhelming. One fact stands out vividly: God, father of us all, sinners, suffers along with his children. The names of his children are legion. No “brightest, favorites, and best” in the group. They are all his children, the only difference is where they choose to stand with Him.
God is constantly moving toward those from whom others are moving a way. Hardly a promising strategy to elevate earth’s children, within earthly success. A love so radical that it cuts through every condition of his children. A unmerited love that some choose to accept and others to reject. A love so bound to his kingdom that every power and principality would come under it dominion for better or worse-including politicians.
Caring is the glue of all Christian ministry, whether lay or clerical. Where there is no caring, there is no Christian love, or action. Care is God’s gift through Jesus Christ and the whole biblical tradition to be shared, not a virtue to be acquired. We love and care because we have first been loved and cared about by God the Father and because that truth has been passed on to us by human hands and hearts within the Christian Community headed by His Son, Christ.
1. Christian outreach
The helping outreach of the Christian community to individuals in distress such as those suffering from illness, poverty, or a personal crises, is expected by the world. This expectation emphasizes the primary importance of unspectacular and unpretentious Christian concern for the unique individual in his or her unique needs. In the following lessons I have tried to summarize much of what we know about training people on how to have a better “Quality of life,” and about the major challenges which people face today. These lessons have been prepared as a resource tool for Christian leaders and as a study guide for pastors.
It is humbling to realize, however, that in all of this, we study, and help others only because God has given us the capacities and desires to do so. This course goes forth, therefore, with thanks to God, with the prayer that it will bring honor to Jesus Christ, and with the hope that the Holy Spirit will use it to help many Christian leaders to care more effectively for the people around them.
2. Christian presence
Christians provide signs of their belief, love, and care to the world, through such identification with suffering.
The great moments and memories of ministry have to do with caring – caring for others, helping others learn to express caring and being cared about. Thomas Merton in the Seven Story Mountain reflect on this:
“It is a great pleasure for me to remember such good and kind people… i just remember their kindness and goodness to me and their peacefulness and their utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they where saints in the most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine; but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within, and from the habitual union of their souls with God in deep faith and charity.”
“Their farm, their family, and their Church were all that occupied these good souls; and their lives were full.”
Like everything else profound in life, caring has its ups and downs, its times of exhilaration and discouragement. Care is often hard work. But loving care is the name of it all. If that doesn’t turn you on, the rest of the theology will not touch you deeply.
The Christian Leader, regardless of his training, does not enjoy the privilege of electing whether or not he will train others on how to have a better “Quality of Life.” They inevitably will bring their challenges to him/her for their best guidance and wisest care. They cannot avoid this if they stay in the ministry. If everybody gives up, where will people go with their challenges of life? Jesus, who is the Christian’s example, spend much time talking to needy people in groups and in face-to-face contact. The Apostle Paul, who was very sensitive to the needs of hurting individuals, wrote that “we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. In the Bible helping people is not presented as an option. It is a requirement for every believer and especially for every Christian leader. At times, training (for a better “Quality of Life” may seem like a waste of time but it nevertheless must be an important, necessary, and biblically established part of any ministry.
As a way of helping people, to help individuals cope more effectively with the challenges of life, with inner conflict and with crippling emotions; to provide encouragement and guidance for those who are facing losses of disappointments; and to assist persons whose life patters are self-defeating and causing unhappiness the Christian Leader trains people how to acquire a better “Quality of Life”. In addition the Christian leader/trainer seeks to bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and has the ultimate goal of helping others to become first disciples of Christ and then leaders of others.
In reaching these aims, it is important for trainers to have an understanding of the challenges of living (how they arise and how they can be dealt with), and a familiarity with leadership/training skills, and have developed a personality which is “inherently Christlike” – that is, characterized by warmth, sensitivity, understanding, concern, and a willingness to confront people in an attitude of love. A psychologist named C. H. Patterson reached a similar conclusion after writing an in-depth book on contemporary theories of counseling:
To be most effective the therapist must be a real, human person … offering a genuine human relationship…. Much of what therapists do is superfluous or unrelated to their effectiveness; it is a relationship characterized not so much by what the techniques the therapist used as by what he does as by the way he does it.
Surely Jesus Christ is the best model we have of an effective “wonderful leader/trainer” whose personality, knowledge and skills enabled him effectively to assist those people who needed help. When one attempts the leadership/training of Jesus, there is always the tendency, unconscious or deliberate, to view Christ’s ministry in a way which reinforces our own views about how people are helped. The directive-confrontational trainer recognizes that Jesus was confrontational at times; the nondirective “client-centered” trainer finds support for this approach in other examples of Christ’s helping the needy. It is undoubtedly more accurate to state that Jesus used a variety of training techniques depending on the situation, the nature of the person being helped and the specific challenge. At times he listened to people carefully and without giving much overt direction, but on other occasions he taught decisively. He encouraged and supported but he also confronted and challenged. He accepted people who were sinful and needy, but he also demanded repentance, obedience and action.
Basic to Jesus’ style of helping, however, was his personality. In his teaching, caring and training he demonstrated those traits, attitudes and values which made him effective as a people helper and which serve as a model for us. Jesus was absolutely honest, deeply compassionate, highly sensitive and spiritually mature. He was committed to serving his heavenly Father and his fellow human beings (in that order), prepared for his work through frequent periods of prayer and meditations, was deeply familiar with Scripture, and sought to help needy persons turn to him where they could find ultimate peace, hope and security (a better “Quality of Life).
Jesus often helped people through sermons but he also debated skeptics, challenged individuals, healed the sick, talked with the needy, encouraged the downhearted and modeled a godly life style. In his contacts with people, he shared examples taken from real-life situations and he sought constantly to stimulate others to think and act in accordance with divine principles. Apparently he believed that some people need an understanding trainer to listen, comfort and care before they can learn to live life better through confrontation, challenge, advice-giving or public preaching.
According to the Bible, Christians are to teach all that Christ commanded and taught us. This surely includes doctrines about God, Lordship, salvation, spiritual growth, prayer, the church, the future, angels, demons and how to have a better “Quality of Life”. As a example, Hesus also taught about marriage, parent-child interactions, obedience, race relations, and freedom for both women and men. And he taught about personal issues such as sex, anxiety, fear, loneliness, doubt, pride, sin and discouragement.
All of these are issues which bring people for training on how to deal with them. When Jesus dealt with such people he frequently listened to the inquirers and accepted them before stimulating them to think or act differently. (training). At times he told people what to do but he also led people (leadership) to resolve their problems by skillful and divinely guided questioning. Thomas was helped with his doubts when Jesus showed the evidence; Peter apparently learned best from reflecting (with Jesus) on his mistakes; Mary of Bethany learned by listening; and Judas didn’t seem to learn at all.
Teaching all that Christ taught, therefore, includes instruction in doctrine, but it also includes helping people to get along better with God, with others, and with themselves. There are issues which concern almost everyone. Some learn from lectures, sermons or readings; others learn from personal Bible study or from small group discussion; still others learn from formal or informal lifestyle training; and perhaps most of us have learned from some combination of the above.
At the core of all true Christian helping, private or public, is the influence of the Holy Spirit. He is described as a comforter or helper who teaches “all things,” reminds us of Christ’s sayings, convicts people of sin, and guides us into all truth. Through prayer, meditation on the Scriptures and deliberate daily commitment to Christ, the Christian leader-trainer makes himself or herself available as an instrument through whom the Holy Spirit may work to comfort, help, teach, convict, or guide another human being to a better Quality of Life. This should be the goal of every believer – pastor or leader, professional “Lifestyle Trainer” or a lay minister: to be used by the Holy Spirit to touch lives, to change them, and to bring them toward spiritual maturity (following God’s plan for them).
The Church As a Training Community
As we have seen, Jesus often talked with individuals about their personal needs and he met frequently with small groups. Chief among these was the little band of disciples whom he prepared to “take over” after his ascension into heaven. It was during one of these times with the disciples that Jesus first mentioned the church.
In the years that followed it was this church of Jesus Christ which continued his ministry of teaching, evangelizing, ministering and training for living. These activities were not seen as the special responsibility of “superstar” church leaders; they were done by ordinary believers working, sharing and caring both for each other and for the non-believers outside of the body. If we read the book of Acts and the Epistles it becomes apparent that the church was not only an evangelizing, teaching, discipline community, it was also a training for living community.
With recent years, we have come to see the value of therapeutic groups in which group members help each other by providing support, challenge, guidance and encouragement that might not be possible otherwise.
Such therapeutic groups need not be limited to counselees meeting with each other and with a trained counselor. Families, study groups, trusted friends, professional colleagues, employee groups and other little bands of people often provide the help that is needed both in times of crisis and as individuals face the daily challenge of living. Local bodies of believers can bring support to the members, healing to troubled individuals, and guidance as people make decisions and move toward maturity.
Can Lifestyle Training Help?
Was the Bible really written as a textbook on how to have the Best “Quality of Life”? It deals with loneliness, discouragement, marriage problems, grief, parent-child relations, anger, fear and a host of other lifestyle situations. As the Word of God, it has great and lasting relevance to the Christian leader/trainer’s work and the needs of the people he ministers to, but it does not claim to be and neither is it meant to be God’s sole revelation about people-helping. In medicine, teaching and other “people-centered” helping fields, mankind has been permitted to learn much about God’s creation through science and academic study. Discovered truth must always be consistent with, and tested against, the norm of revealed biblical truth.
The answer involves our finding a guide/trainer – some person or persons who are committed followers of Jesus Christ, familiar with the theology of his/her faith, trained in lifestyle training and effective as a leader/trainer. Of crucial importance iis that the leader/trainer must be committed to the inspiration and authority of the Bible and as the written Word of God with which all valid Quality of Life and Lifestyle training must agree.
Human beings are far too complicated to always be changed even through the intervention of the most skilled Christian leader/trainer. All trainers have failures, sometimes because of the trainer’s inability or error; more often because the trainee cannot or will not change. But improvement is more likely when the Christian Leader/trainer has some understanding of lifestyle challenges and some knowledge of how to intervene. The following lessons have been written to help with this understanding and we hope they will provide some of the needed knowledge.
Fear of Rejection
Fear of rejection when you relate to others in specifically Christian ways is another difficulty. Most of the time this fear is unwarranted. You are merely being too cautious. Furthermore, you can greatly decrease the probability of a poor reception by listening to others and responding to their needs. People will frequently communicate to you by their actions or their demeanor whether they are comfortable with Christian sharing. If you’re not sure about their receptivity, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Need for Perfection
This demand for perfection can paralyze you into inactivity. The exact opposite is true – your Christianity enables you top take even more risks. You occasionally will make mistakes. But be sure of this: your acceptability to God does not depend on your performance as a Christian caregiver, but on your decisions to accept God’s control of your life and your decision to attempt to help.
Concern for Self-Image
Sometimes people have difficulty being distinctively Christian because they want to appear cool, suave, sophisticated. Fortunately, the atmosphere has changed some what in the last few years. To be thought of as religious nowadays is less likely to invite ridicule or insults than it was a short time ago. The people you probably admire, are usually characterized by congruence or genuineness. The more you achieve genuineness – distinctively Christian genuineness – the more respect you will receive.
Then again, sometimes you will not be respected despite your best effort. At that point you need to ask yourself, “What do I want more – God’s respect, or the respect of others?”
O Lord, show me how you want me to be. When I struggle with life, grant me your wisdom to lead me through. Open my eyes, my heart, my spirit. Amen.
Go to the discussion portion of web site and start a Discussion Topic of “Class: x, Name: ___” then enter the number of the question and answer it.
1. Share some of the difficulties you have experienced in your attempt to be distinctively Christian. The ones you come up with might or might not be listed in the lesson.
2. Write down five difficulties you anticipate in trying to live and train within the future.
3. Tell us something very important about your faith?
4. Write out your testimony?
a. Describe your life a attitudes before you met Christ.
b. What people & events were instrumental in leading you to Christ?
c. Tell about your decision to accept Christ.
d. What does Christ mean to you today? What differences do you see in your life & attitudes?
For those who became Christians at an early age:
a. Tell about your home life, your early Christian experience and people who influenced you as a child.
b. Explain your early understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
c. Describe how you came to relate personally to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
d. Tell some specific areas in your life that Christ has changed and others where you still need him to make changes.
5. How can we help you in prayer this week?
6. Hello, God, I want to thank you for…