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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Personal Mission Field Workshop

A Learned Art

Conversation must be learned.

Christian Conversation (1)

Welcome to the PMF Workshop for February, 2023. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each month we provide teaching, encouragement, activities, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field so that you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.

This month’s Workshop is Part 1 in a series on conversation, one of the key disciplines we use in working our Personal Mission Field. Today we’ll face up to the fact that few of us are born conversationalists. We’ll need to learn how to talk with others in ways that adorn the Gospel and convey the grace of God. Today’s workshop is entitled, “A Learned Art.” Our text for today is 1 Corinthians 10.31:

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Bringing God into our relationships

Foundational to human relations are the conversations we hold with one another. The richer and fuller our conversation, the stronger will be the bonds that unite us. For the Christian, conversation can be a most effective tool for loving our neighbors and advancing the Kingdom of God. But there are certain ground rules and guidelines that must give shape and direction to our speech if we are to master the art of Christian conversation.

Conversation, we recall, is one of the four disciplines we need to master to be effective in working our Personal Mission Field. Along with preparation, demonstration, and transformation, conversation is a most powerful resource for bringing the grace of God to bear on the soul of another human being.

Anybody can converse – whether poorly or well. But it takes preparation, concentration, and much practice to learn to converse with others in such a way that the glory of God becomes evident in the exchange of words we share with them, so that the reality of the living Christ is in some sense refracted through our speech.

Paul says that in “whatever you do” we must seek to do it all to the glory of God. To point to and honor Him, help others appreciate His beauty and goodness, celebrate His faithfulness and truth. This includes our use of language and the conversations we have with others. Implied in Paul’s exhortation is the real possibility that our speech might be a means of bringing the very Presence of God into our relationships with others, so that both we and they become aware of a Presence greater than both or all of us, one that weighs in with a firmness, warmth, graciousness, and solidity suggesting transcendence and permanence.

Words and glory
Surely we must wonder, from time to time, whether our habits of speech and conversation refract the reality of God into our relationships, or whether our words are just so much noise? We are glorifying God in our speech and conversations not merely when we are talking about spiritual matters or bearing witness to our Lord Jesus Christ with the words of the Gospel. We glorify God in our speech when our words reflect and convey something of the divine essence – His truth, goodness, peacefulness, thoughtfulness, earnestness, kindness, and love – to all those with whom we are conversing.

Such conversation is a learned art, but one that every Christian must work at mastering. For we do few things more each day than exercise our tongues in speech and conversation. The more we consciously and diligently seek to employ our words in a manner reflective of the character and truth of God, the more others will begin to be aware, when conversing with us, that they are in the presence of something unusual, intriguing, awesome, fearful, inviting, loving, and sure.

Christian conversation is a calling and art every believer must take up and master.

And there’s no time like the present to begin.

Here are some activities you can practice and some resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field.

  1. First make sure your Personal Mission Field is updated, and you have included in your Personal Mission Field worksheet any new people God has brought into your sphere. Keep your map with you, so you can take it out and pray for the people you’ll be seeing throughout the day.
  2. Have a conversation with another believer about conversation. What makes for a good conversation?
  3. Recall a conversation you’ve had recently that was interesting or important to you. What made it so?
  4. Begin making a point to speak to every person in your Personal Mission Field as often as the opportunity arises. Greet them by name. Ask about their wellbeing. Make a “word connection” that can serve as a first plank in the next conversation that will bridge between you.
  5. Order a free copy of our book, Revived!, and discover how you can help bring revival, renewal, and a great awakening about Jesus to our troubled world. Learn more about this book and order your free copy by clicking here.

That’s it for this month’s Personal Mission Field Workshop. Until next month, for the Fellowship of Ailbe, this has been T. M. Moore.

We ask the Lord to move and enable many more of our readers to provide for the needs of our ministry. Please seek Him in prayer concerning your part in supporting our work. You can contribute online by using the
Contribute button at the website; or you can send a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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