Building bridges out of godly words using discussion guides
Relationships are developed by doing things together. I think working alongside others is one of the things I miss the most at the moment. Church band practice, office chats about how Matthias Media can encourage discipleship, washing up mugs after the Sunday meeting… bring on the day when we can be shoulder-to-shoulder serving together again!
Fortunately, we can still do some things together, like growing in maturity in Christ. Our words are a precious way to help clear away the weeds impeding each other’s trust in God. And although phone calls, video meet-ups and text messages are not the same as in-person conversations, those words are still there. And when we combine our words to each other with the written words of others still by reading Christian books together… that’s a wonderful way to continue to cultivate Christ’s kingdom in our hearts.
Of course, conversation can be more stilted than normal when intermediated by technology. Now is a time when a Christian book that includes discussion questions is handy indeed. You each read the section or chapter by a certain date, then share your thoughts and reactions and decisions. Being guided by example questions helps make sure you get to the heart of what the author meant to convey, makes it more likely that you will have a substantial talk (nothing wrong with “yeah, it was good” but it doesn’t prompt much more than “I thought so too”), and means you are both far, far more likely to actually change and grow.
If you don’t already have a book in mind, then these are great books for encouraging and growing Christians in the faith, are ideal for reading with one or two others, and include discussion questions:
- John Chapman: A Foot in Two Worlds, A Sinner’s Guide to Holiness
- Gordon Cheng: Encouragement
- Richard Chin: Captivated by Christ
- Ray Galea: God is Enough
- Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne: Guidance and the Voice of God, Prayer and the Voice of God
- Andrew Moody: In Light of the Son
- Kel Richards: Defending the Gospel
- Rory Shiner: One Forever, Raised Forever
- Bryson Smith: Faith, Hope
- Claire Smith: God’s Good Design
- Lionel Windsor: Gospel Speech
And, in case you didn’t know, Matthias Media gives you a discount as soon as you buy more than one of any book—because we 100% believe that you will get more out of it if you’re helping someone else get into it too.
I doubt that reading a book and discussing it will fill the whole void left by being physically separated from other believers but, since doing something strengthens a relationship better than doing nothing, you could do far worse than build a bridge of godly words across the chasm while you wait.