Season 3

Heather is 36 year old mom with 3 daughters ages 5, 10 and 13. Three months ago her husband left her and the girls for a younger woman. She is now struggling to make ends meet by working full-time as a secretary while trying to run her home and stay on top of her daughters’ educational and social lives. When you talk with her, it becomes clear that she is bitter at having given herself to marriage and motherhood rather than establishing an independent career for herself. Since all the men in her life have failed to love and care for her (including her husband and her father, who was an alcoholic who abdicated all responsibility in her childhood home), she is now determined to encourage her daughters to reject any notion of Biblical femininity, encouraging them to “be the man in their life” by pursuing self-sufficiency and independence instead of marriage and motherhood.

 

How would you begin to love and gospel Heather? 
How would you begin to love and gospel her daughters?

Maryellen is a confessing Christian who has been coming to church for a few years. She is in her late thirties years old and has two very young children. She is also a well-educated, highly-skilled, well-paid professional with a full-time job on the 128 loop. Her husband also works full-time, but his job is flexible enough to allow him to help a ton with the kids and the house. The family’s week is a perpetual whirlwind of getting the children to and from daycare/school, figuring out meals (the family rarely eats together), and keeping the house in some semblance of order - all while working 40-50 plus commute time. She attends church 50% of the time, and is a marginal member of a gospel community. When push comes to shove, it is never work that gets short end of things (or she would lose her job/position) but always family and church/mission. During a time of confession, she says, “Like most women, I struggle with wanting it all. Yet I know that … I can’t have it all.” She leaves her statement at that. 

 

How would you begin to love and gospel this Maryellen?

Sue is a 22 year old senior at a Christian college. She is a very smart and very driven student who has lined up a year-long internship with a medical agency in central Africa where she will be serving a public policy committee seeking to solve some continental health challenges. After this, she intends to apply to medical schools in the U.S. and become a doctor. She has never had a serious boyfriend and thoughts of marriage and family are the farthest thing from her mind. She claims that she has never felt like the “motherly” type and does not know what to do with the Bible’s emphasis on marriage, submission, motherhood, and the home at this point in her life.

 

How would you begin to love and gospel Sue?
 

Jane is brand new to church and has connected with your gospel community. She’s a good mom, hard worker, and generally avoids the big sins in life. She was raised in a Roman Catholic home that was devoutly religious. She is constantly asking questions like “So what are the rules here?” and “Do you think I am doing everything that I am supposed to?” When you ask her what she likes about the church she says, “I love the people and the community. And it’s good to be back around church and Jesus and stuff.” 

 

How would you begin to love and gospel Jane? 

What questions would you ask?

What truths-about-God/Scripture would you invite her to read w/you?

In this episode, we talk through the following case study:

Cami is in her late 30s and has recently jumped into the life of Seven Mile Road. She has zero Christian 
background, but is attending on Sundays, is in a gospel community, and has asked the elders to be baptized. She is recently divorced. Her background includes serial sexual sin before marriage and since her divorce. She confesses to you that she is having casual sex with a guy that she is loosely dating because she likes sex and doesn’t want to be alone.


How would you begin to love and gospel Cami?
What questions would you ask?
What truths-about-God/Scripture would you invite her to read w/you?

In this episode, we talk through the following case study:

 

Karen is 25 years old, engaged, getting her Masters, and involved in a gospel community. During a time of conversation with the group, she expresses frustration over several things: her fiancé and his apathetic demeanor, her fear about a lack of progress on her studies, and her guilt over living a life that is ‘self-centered right now.’ One of the other women in the group begins to encourage her with statements like, “It’s going to be ok. You’re doing the best that you can. Just stay at it and good things will happen.” etc.

 

How would you begin to disciple Karen? 
What questions would you ask?
What truths-about-God/Scripture would you invite her to read w/you? 

In this episode, we talk through the following case study: 

Linda is a Christian mom of 3 elementary school-aged children. She has fallen into a rut where she is keeping up with the daily demands of life (not an easy task!) but not thriving in her walk with Christ or her relationship with her husband. She is feeling bad about growing older and coming to grips with her life being what it is. She is spending very little time in Word or prayer and has basically detached (conversationally, affectionately, sexually) from her husband for several months. When you do have gospel conversations with her that touch on her current state, her responses are generally either defensive (”I don’t

really care. Whatever.”) or defeated (“This is life.It is what it is.”)

 

How would you begin to disciple Linda?

What questions would you ask?

What truths - about - God/Scripture would you invite her to read w/you?

In this episode, we work another case study.

Someone who has been at the church for 5 years suddenly stops attending. You find out through the grapevine that their reasons are two-fold: 1, they were hurt that no one but a pastor from the church came to a recent family funeral. 2, they’ve been disillusioned with the trajectory of the church ministry for the last year and just want to go to another church. You have personally poured countless hours into their lives and the lives of their children. They did not say thank you. They did not address their grievances. They did not say “I was hurt.” They just left. You have reached out once for a conversation but they ignored your request. It seems they just want to be left alone and not have to deal with anything.

- How would you help to resolve this conflict?

In this episode, we work another case study.

There is an episode between two children in the life of the church. This leads to a conflict between the moms about what happened, who is at fault, how the situation was handled, what needs to happen now, etc. The moms are having a very hard maintaining relational unity in the wake of this.

- How would you help to resolve this conflict?

In this episode, we work another case study.

You are in a gospel community where several of the men and women are fans of craft beer. Conversation naturally flows in the direction of the intricacies of selecting, brewing, consuming, enjoying different kinds of alcohol. At the end of one specific night together, one of the member’s most recent batch of craft beer is consumed by a few people. Over the course of the next few weeks, it becomes apparent that one couple has removed themselves from all communication/participation with the community. You find out it is because they have taken offense over the community’s disposition toward alcohol. In a brief conversation, you become aware that his parents were strict teetotalers, her father was an abusive alcoholic, and they’ve felt pressured/bullied by the community for their disinterest in/abstinence from alcohol. They do not feel that a truly Christian gospel community would be a place where alcohol is consumed. They have no intention to rejoin the group and are leaning toward leaving the church.

- How would you help to resolve this conflict?