Monday, July 31, 2006

Pre-marital Counselling

I’m in the position of needing to do pre-marital counselling. A young couple in one of my churches has asked me to marry them, and I think it’s important for them to get at least a few hours of sober reflection about what they are undertaking. I know it was a good thing for my wife and I to experience.

The problem is that I’ve never done it (pre-marital counselling or a wedding) before. I have basic counselling skills and have experienced pre-marital counseling first hand, but at the same time I’m unsure of where to begin finding or preparing materials. So again I turn to the collective wisdom of the blogosphere.

Do you or have you done pre-marital counselling? How do you structure your sessions and what tools do you use? If you’ve been through it, what did you find valuable?

(I can’t wait to read the comments!)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Coming Home

We get what we give.

I come home late10:00-11:00, sometimes laterabout three nights a week. When I do, I’m usually drug out, low on energy, and tired of putting the happy face. The only thing I want is to be fed, watered, and put out to pasture (i.e. bed).

Here’s the catch. If I come through the door grumpy and demanding, it tends to elicit a similar response from my wife. But if I treat her with even the modicum of respect I gave the board members one hour earlier, I have a loving, comforting, caring spouse to lull me into a blissful state of repose.

Just something I’m learning along the way.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Altar Calls

Why do you make them? How do you make them? Should you make them?

I could tell the Holy Spirit was working on hearts as I preached yesterday. I finished the message with an appeal for the people to affirm their love for Jesus and be restored to discipleship. I invited them to pray a prayer along with me to that effect and then announced the closing song. Mission accomplished.

Except that after the sermon during my ‘debriefing’ time on the way home to had the impression that I should have made an altar call or at least asked those who wanted to commit to Jesus to raise their hands. I think I need to be more intentional about making ‘altar calls’. It seems to solidify your decision when you let other people know you’re making it, at least that how altar calls have worked for me.

The problem is I feel so goofy when I make them. I think I put too much pressure on myself instead of trusting in the Holy Spirit.

What do you think? Do you make altar calls; do you like them? What works for you?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Into The Deep End

I just voted, along with my church board, to sell our church building. The offer was great, and we want to build. And yet it feels like jumping into the deep end of the pool when you’re not sure how to swim.

I guess I’m too good at seeing all the potential pitfalls and dangers of our new situation. The church and I know that God is leading in this offer, so we have nothing left but to trust His guidance. And in my experience God seems to work best when we have nothing left.

On a personal note…it looks like my hiatus was longer than a couple of weeks. I just got back from camp meeting to a house with one finished room. But it’s fun to have a little “real” work to do each day.