We begin our exploration of AGAPE by talking about “Godliness.” Christian relationships (governed by AGAPE) are first and foremost righteous relationships. Remember that—from the beginning—it was sin that caused all the trouble in this world and in our lives.
Tim is a brother in Christ who not only fed our congregation from the pulpit but coached our elders and deacons to more effective leadership. One of the difficult aspects of parenting (and, really, life in general) is the balance between doing nothing and trying to control everything.
What is critical for this step is that your family member feels that he is in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. And last, prayerfully put yourself in your family member’s situation, and ask God to cultivate compassion in your heart to give you a perspective of understanding and empathy. The heart posture for Investigate is to receive counsel and then offer it to your family member.
You can investigate his Word or receive counsel from your pastor or other Christian friends.
The posture of the heart for Instigate is to offer encouragement and confidence to your child. Keep in mind that often a baby step can be to confront, confess, or simply have a conversation with someone. What will allow this to be more than a onetime act (and actually more spiritually healthy for a lifetime) will be to determine the next steps immediately. As you finish these steps, it’s important to continue to pray with and for your family member. For practical examples of these steps and more, read Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family: Avoiding 6 Dysfunctional Parenting Styles by Michelle Anthony. When it comes to Christian relationships, or Biblical courtship, the mindset, motives and methods of the relationship can be very different than modern relationships. The impact of that continued abuse, amongst other stressful circumstances left me broken and numb. Paul’s journeys have already completed a broad arc from Jerusalem to the edge of Europe.  His mission strategy is to preach only where Christ is not so far known and honored.
Clearly effective was Paul’s mission strategy, and that is why Disciples of Christ minister and author of the book Unbinding the Gospel, Martha Grace Reese lifts up Romans 15:20 as a key text to understanding evangelism as it implies relationships with people outside the Church. His success in sharing the Good News must be traced back to what Karl Barth calls “the most characteristic and least attractive feature of [Paul’s mission strategy] – the proud refusal to ‘build on someone else’s foundation.’”[1]  Paul’s mission strategy is unattractive because if falsely assume that someone’s spiritual-life is not influenced before he or she hears the Gospel.


And that’s the colossal task before me today.  Not that I will supply the final word, but hopefully I can assist in this long neglected conversation.
Just to be clear, all three viewpoints can be found in Christian scriptures, and all three contain good and bad elements (I will only provide the positive).  All three viewpoints provide nuance to the heaven and hell debate, but they are not solely about post-mortem existence.
Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Pluralism are the three generally accepted Christian viewpoints for God’s relationship with people outside the Church.  Hopefully you found yourself in one of these three or maybe between two of the three, and which each I hope I provided a compelling, positive answer to our question: Why do evangelism? Remember our working definition?  Evangelism is a simple, personal invitation, it’s sharing what’s important to you, and growing love motivates it. Do listen more than you speak, and pray for opportunities to share your hopes and doubts, your faith with honest vulnerably. Do become “broken bread and poured out wine” for the world.  That was Oswald Chambers’ favorite way to describe the Eucharistic life – a life that should be true for all of us, no matter where we fall all the spectrum of Exclusivism, Inclusivism, or Pluralism. This is a meeting of clergy persons and church leaders who are working as allies in the nonpartisan Polk County efforts to raise the minimum wage. Holiness, purity, goodness, obedience, decency, and integrity are foundational to our transformed associations with God and others. Biblical principles for Christian families and resources for new parents, and single parents. But recognizing God as the one who is ultimately in control of the script of our lives doesn’t mean that we do nothing. When we need to give away wisdom, encouragement, strength, and forgiveness to our children, we need to be receiving those things from God as well. As a spiritual parent who is seeking to have a spiritually healthy family, you want to receive counsel from God’s perspective first. In a generation where the world is telling your child that there is no objective truth, you can build her trust in his Word as the best place for finding out what is true and good.
In this step you want your family member to take a baby step, but that step should be his idea. But, ultimately, this is where you really want to partner with God’s Spirit to have your child or other family member hear from God (not merely your voice telling him what to do).
It should have a due date with the understanding that you will be holding him accountable to his goal.
This is different from doing it for your child or family member (which, as a parent, I find I often want to do). Of course, as our children get older, and when the situation involves multiple people, the steps may be drawn out over weeks or even months.


Michelle Anthony is the vice president of Learning Resources at David C Cook and the author of Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family and Spiritual Parenting. First and foremost, a Biblically-based relationship is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus’ obedience, God forgives our sins and makes it possible for us to live godly lives (2Cor 5:21)—to love in godly ways.
He is a godly and prayerful man committed to helping Christians become who our Master has created us to be.
You want to make sure that when you listen, you also give eye contact, undivided attention, and verbal cues to allow your child or spouse to know he is being heard. These questions can be asked for clarification or to determine specific feelings about the situation. Praying with and for your child (or other family member) is a powerful way to build your faith together while declaring who is ultimately in control.
The Micro-Managing parent wants to rescue, not necessarily come alongside of, in order to empower. Anthony has graduate degrees in Christian education, theology and leadership and more than 25 years of church ministry experience as a children’s and family pastor. The Bible says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another love. As we grow in AGAPE, we grow in our hunger for holiness, our love of God’s way, our obedience to his commands, and our attempts to live honorably. Still, our children need to have this pattern of steps repeated over and over again in their lives for them to understand how to live as broken people in a broken world with other broken people. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). From this, we know that sexual immorality is a sin, and if we want to build up secure relationships that reflect Christ, we shouldn’t sin against our bodies, or the bodies of another.



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