Seventeen years ago, fueled by a joint passion for God and ministry, Jerry and Lynn Jones conceived of ‘Marriage Matters: A Practical and Spiritual Guide for Marriage’. Seasoned by time and life experiences, Jerry and Lynn possessed a unique combination of academic and personal qualifications. At that time Jerry had been in ministry for 35 years and had served as a minister in local work, an elder, a traveling evangelist and a university Bible professor. Academically he held two masters degrees and a doctorate in theology. Lynn had served in children’s and women’s ministry for 20 years and had worked as a psychotherapist and university psychology instructor. Her education included a master’s degree in clinical psychology. God blessed their work together and the past 16 years have taken them into 370 congregations across 43 states and into three foreign countries as well as numerous lectureships and workshops.
As a result of these experiences the need for a new dimension of their ministry became apparent. Many times good men and women were being thrust into roles in the church for which they had little training or experience. While leaders were usually equipped to handle biblical questions, much of their time was consumed in the trenches—nurturing, maturing and helping people as they struggled to incorporate Christian principles into their daily lives. Based on sound psychological advice and biblical direction ‘Straight Talk: Into Human Behavior, Into the Heart of God’ was prayerfully orchestrated to aid in this task.
This intensive one day, six to eight hour workshop has three objectives:
- Provide a three hour mini course in lay counseling
- Provide a three hour course on maturing Christians and church growth
- Provide an atmosphere for questions and discussion
Summaries of the six presentations by Jerry and Lynn are provided below.
Straight Talk: Into Human Behavior, Into the Heart of God
Toddling? Walking? Running? Maturing the Church
Maturing Christians has been a perpetual challenge of the church since the first century. Using the missionary methods of Paul as the pattern, Jerry proposes very specific and practical suggestions to support this process.
A Clean Slate: The Visionary Church
What if it was possible to wipe away our presuppositions and preconceived ideas surrounding ‘church’? Jerry suggests that perhaps the vision of church leaders regarding missions, preaching, assemblies, and elders might look very different. What is a visionary church in the 21st century?
Hospital or Social Club: The Church as The ‘Body of Christ’
Jesus spent His life touching the ‘untouchables’. The church is to function as an extension of His ministry. With real-world application Jerry submits that the church really is a place where the problems of the world meet the power of God.
Lay Counseling 101: Part 1 Perception: ’Red Does Not Equal Red’
Central to interacting successfully with individuals is the ability to acknowledge how the ‘accident’ of birth and survival ethic impact us all. Lynn provides insight into these factors and discusses in a realistic way how to aid others use these components for emotional and spiritual growth.
Lay Counseling 101: Part 2 ’Kenny Rogers Was Right’
In his ballad ‘The Gambler’ Kenny Rogers stresses the importance of being perceptive when dealing with others. Lynn discusses specific characteristics and signs that will help you determine whether to help, refer or avoid those seeking your advice.
Lay Counseling 101: Part 3 ’No ‘S’ on Your Chest’
Perhaps two of the greatest challenges facing the lay counselor are setting boundaries and helping others accept responsibility for their progress and choices. Lynn explores specific guidelines to meet these challenges and also examines the differences between lay counseling and mentoring.