Is this sign outside your church, your sanctuary? You want to begin to transform church, but where do you begin?
You know you may have a relational brain skill or two missing. Some of us may know we have a LOT missing. You see people in the church, your schools and community who really need these skills—like REALLY need them!
The need for joy is indisputable. Low joy is everywhere. What’s unusual is the person with high joy—they seem almost unreal with all that happiness. Seeing the need and not knowing where to begin is a bit overwhelming.
Still, given that you recognize that you live in a low joy environment and your church can be described as being low on joy…how/where do you begin to initiate changes?
We took the question seriously and created The Roundtable to collect ideas from those who have already started Joy Starts Here studies and/or Connexus classes. We trade off between Pastors Weekly which is a combination of teaching and interaction and Roundtables which are all interaction. At a Roundtable everyone on the video stream has a chair at the table and is asked to share their experiences with the Joy Starts Here material.
Some are Sunday school teachers so they simply went through the channels already established to get approval for a new class—simple. These folks had previously earned credibility with leadership in their church. We encourage you to use whatever channel or platform that you currently have.
If you are a relative “newbie” in your fellowship, the consensus of the group (and we concur) was that it is best to begin by developing relationships with someone who already has credibility and standing with those who make decisions. It does not have to be the pastor, but don’t ignore the pastor either if the occasion presents.
If you are a member of a small group, offer Joy Starts Here as a possible next study book and let your leader take it from there.
In general here’s how we suggest that you begin:
- Have a group study Joy Starts Here.
- When the group study is finished, move to Connexus Classes:
- Forming for those who want more relationship with Jesus
- Restarting for those who know they have issues that need healing. Forming and Restarting run concurrently and then…
- Both groups are combined for the Belonging Class where the weak and the strong can relate.
Repeat! Spread the JOY. Somewhere along the line you will want to take the Thrive Training.
One individual read the Life Model, realized that some relational brain skills were missing and signed up for Thrive Training immediately! His family needed the benefits of joy—the decision was a no-brainer.
Later he found Joy Starts Here and the Connexus material and wanted to bring the blessing to his new fellowship because of the benefit learning the skills had been for his family.
So really it does not matter which end you begin with…Joy Starts Here or the Thrive Training, but the training is a five day block of time and many cannot afford the time away nor the expense. Connexus are weekly classes held in your local church; you will learn all the same relational brain skills but at a much slower pace.
As people shared, three things stood out:
- Build relationships. Take a Sunday School teacher, the pastor or an elder/deacon out for coffee and get to know him/her.
- Relationships lead to credibility.
- Credibility and relationships open doors.
If you have questions about getting started, shoot us a line and we would be glad to encourage and help in whatever way we can.
May your JOY be full!
Chris & Carol,
Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer, www.thrivetoday.org
Twitter – @coursey_chris
Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive www.fromgodsheart.com