Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Disconnect and Unplug
For this activity you are going to spend time away from your devices….. Smart phones enable us constant connection, entertainment and distraction. This can be really useful but also can be a barrier to us hearing and responding to other voices and prompts. Other devices can similarly be the focus of hours of our time and attention that could alternatively be spent doing other things that are more life releasing; this might include more sleep, more creativity, more work, or less work!
Doorway, diary and calendar
Use Psalm 143:8-10 as a regular prayer. Print out or write out verses 8-10 and stick them to your front door frame, your calendar, your diary or any other place you associate with making plans, decisions and stepping out. After doing this for a while notice what difference it makes to be frequently asking God for direction and guidance.
Ecomaps are characterised by circles representing individuals and groups and linked in various ways.
Start by drawing a circle in the centre and writing your name in it. Then add circles to represent your relationship to people in your community around it.
Then draw lines between yourself and them.The linking of the circles provides an indication of the relationships between the systems. A solid line indicates a strong relationship. A dashed line indicates a tenuous or fragile relationship. A jagged line indicates a fractured or stressful relationship. Choose whatever coding makes sense to you.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Read the Inclusive Church vision statement (link https://www.inclusive-church.org/the-ic-statement/) and consider the ways in which your church is inclusive/ exclusive. It might help to organise your thoughts in table, a mind map or on an annotated photo of your church building/ family.
Exploring relationships - pray it through
Ask God to speak to you about each of the people and relationships you have mentioned. Be open and expectant to the promptings of God’s Spirit as you lift these people and your relationships with them to God. If there are a lot you could make a timetable and don’t try and do this all at once!
Exploring relationships - talk it through
Meet up with someone who will maintain confidentiality, support and advise you about your relationships and help you identify areas of strength and any areas of concern.
Exploring your role - pray it through
Ask God to speak to you about your role and the context you work in. Be open and expectant to the promptings of God’s Spirit as you lift this to Him in prayer.