(Kelly Keyser and her husband Steve have been trained over the last two years by Scott Green in Advanced Counseling models, including a way of doing Group Work, or “D-groups” in a new and different way. This article announces training for small group leaders in this way of working with people)
For the past year, our Senior Minister Scott Green (soon to be leading the Berlin, Germany church!) has been conducting a training called “Strength to Strength,” for bible talk leaders and those wishing to grow in their shepherding skills. The goal is to inspire a new way of encouraging spiritual growth in individuals through faith-based “discipleship groups.” This is done through communication especially fueled by Curiosity and Witnessing as means of strengthening one another’s growth processes. We begin this work recognizing each disciple’s walk with God is their own unique walk, requiring them to make their own choices for spiritual growth–working out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
The focus in Strength to Strength (STS) is forward thinking–looking forward to a faithful future in relationship with God. This is done by the strengthening of a faithful “God Story” through those who can “witness” and give a healing viewpoint of our past, present, and even future. We help each other “see” who we “truly” can be, and what we want to become more of. The goal then is to learn what is important and meaningful in each other’s lives and then help expand one another’s spiritual reality and personal spiritual power.
What STS is not: teaching, judging, correcting, criticizing, or even approving of what one hears (although there is a time and place for all of these stances). Instead, the goal in this kind of guided dialogue is connection, rather than direction, much the way best friends tend to share their lives constructively with one another, thus supporting each other’s vision.
I personally have been very grateful to have taken part in this training. It has deepened my view of grace and my understanding of “freedom in Christ.” It has also relieved me of the burden of being a “fixer” of others, by respecting that each one of us as disciples has within us the Holy Spirit. We have already been “made whole” by Him. My own goal now is to help strengthen, through love and curiosity, faithful realities in the lives of my sisters.
Over the next few months, more strategies and insights will be shared by other disciples along with their personal stories and experiences since taking part in this training.
Scott will continue to teach STS through the end of 2013 and any disciple is welcome to attend. The next training is scheduled for Sunday, September 15, 1pm, at the QA building.