Are you ever hesitant to become involved in a class or discussion group because you donít know who will be there? Or maybe you donít want to be put on the spot.
Nothing to lose
As far as being put on the spot is concerned, you donít have to worry. Everything possible will be done to make you feel comfortable, and of course some people like to talk more than others.
Since the group is free, you can simply not come back for a second session if your ex shows up. Youíve lost nothing.
Not a therapy group
This is not a therapy group. The focus is on key ideas that will help us be successful. A Discussion Group is better than a lecture, although some groups like to talk more than others.
Success from a spiritual perspective
The distinctive thing about the ideas covered is that everything is approached from a spiritual perspective.
For example, you may be making more money than you ever have, but your happiness hasnít increased.
Or you may have achieved your goals. One young man graduated from top colleges and landed his dream job but felt empty and unmotivated.
On the other hand, you may feel like a failure. Are you? Maybe you need to look at what you really want rather than what society says you should want.
Or maybe you have messed up, suffered defeat, lost a job recently, or just feel you arenít reaching your potential.
What do you have to lose?
The group is free (donations are optional, no pressure); you donít have to come back if you donít like it (again, no pressure). You might learn something about success. You might even find you are more successful than you think once you look at things from a spiritual perspective.
The truth is that ideas from the Bible work. Most people donít try them.
Whatís different about this program?
My focus has always been spiritual growth. Why do some people enter the Christian life and fail to find the abundant life?
Why do so many Christians go through life defeated?
Why do so many ďChristiansĒ (often the more religious types outwardly), end up being so mean, so unloving, and so blind to what they are doing?
What if Iím not a Christian or have doubts?
Thatís OK. Iíve got doubts. But have you ever given ideas from the Bible a chance? If you encounter God (and no pressure will be put on anyone about anything), youíre way ahead. If not, you already have doubts.
My wife and I have been reading Augustineís Confessions, one of the great classics of Christian literature. Iíll have to confess this is my first time to read it through from start to finish.
Last Sunday we came to the section where Augustine (an intellectual playboy of sorts) began to hear Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, preach. Sermons in those days were important: no CDs, videos, TV, newspapers, copy machines, etc.
Augustine tells of his surprise in finding that many of his reasons for rejecting Christianity were unfounded. He had been hearing from others what Christians believed. He was shocked to find that many of his objections melted away simply because he heard first hand what Christians actually believed.
He still had his doubts, and he had to encounter God before he became a Christian.
I am amazed at some of the things people say to me about the Christian faith. Here is a chance to check it out. We arenít pushing any denomination. Becoming isnít a church. This discussion group might be for you, for we look at things from a broad perspective rather than a sectarian perspective. Education, to me, is about helping people know the ideas out there so they can intelligently be open to the work of God.
OK, so whatís different?
Nothing weird. Although the discussion group will deal with it only indirectly, in my own pilgrimage I feel God has taught me some things that work: the relationship of feelings, thoughts, and mental pictures; how old learning can keep interfering with our spiritual growth; how Godís grace works in the present.
Application is everything
What if someone sent you a check for $1000 and you only talked about it?
What if you framed the check and put it on your wall so you could look at it?
You will never have the $1000 unless you cash the check. That is application, taking action.
In fact, suppose you suspect the check is bogus? Perhaps you suspect a joke. You will never know until you try to cash the check.
One of the strong points of our programs is that the emphasis is on experimenting with the ideas, testing them. Use the idea in your life for a week. See what happens. Come back and discuss the results, good or bad (to the extent you feel comfortable).
The first session will start by presenting some ideas about our changing culture. Discussion will occur to the extent you want it to occur. At the end of the session, we will list two or three ideas to experiment with during the coming week.
At the beginning of the second session, I will ask, ďWhat happened this week?Ē Maybe the ideas worked for you, or maybe they just seemed stupid. You donít have to say a word, but my experience is that most people will talk once we get them experimenting with ideas.
At least half the session is spent presenting the next idea to be tested. This format repeats itself each session.
What do you have to lose?
This may be your best ever chance to develop your potential, become a successful person spiritually so that life has meaning, deal with some doubts, or check out the Christian faith from a non-sectarian approach.
Why do I have to sign up?
I prefer to have these Discussion Groups meet in my home, and space is limited. Knowing who is planning to come helps plan the group.
How long does it last?
We plan around an hour session. You will be given an opportunity to leave in an hour. However, many days we can stay and visit if you have some other things to talk about.
How does your program work financially?
Youíve probably figured out that our money has to come from somewhere if weíre doing something free. A few people make donations to Becoming regularly. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, organized in 1983. So weíve been doing this sort of work in the Crockett area for twenty years.
Also, we offer private sessions in our Learn On! Program (study skills and educational enrichment), our Family Life Program (marriage enrichment, parenting, etc.), and our Personal Growth Program. We are starting a Life Coaching Program this year for people who want a coaching approach to developing their potential and reaching goals.
This year we will be taking on more online clients via. email.
In our private sessions we tell people that we ask for a donation of $60 per fifty-minute session, and then we work with them to find a level they can feel comfortable with: $50, $40, $30, or less.
We are a Christian ministry, and we want to make the ministry available without regard to cost. Of course that is tricky. Takes a lot of trusting God, and we are grateful for the few who make regular donations. They keep the door open.
So why are you doing this one free?
When we get up in the morning, we ask, ďHow can we reach and minister to people?Ē We donít start by asking, ďHow can we make money?Ē We can do a free Sunday afternoon discussion group. Besides, some people will make a donation to help with the program
How do I sign up?
Phone my office: 936-544-8298.
You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about our ministry, see our Home Page at www.becominginc.org. There are links there to lead you to more information.
(C) 2003, Don Mize