Jim C: When we give people our time, they interpret that as love. We don’t know how to give people our time, connect, and show them they matter. We don’t know how to communicate. The Arts help train people how to relate well. Everyone had very positive feedback about the first training. Running my own company, I work with people of different beliefs all the time. The Arts challenge me to learn the skill set, to take action, and to engage someone to reach into their soul. These are skills to the back door of a person's heart.
Fran G: The Arts of Spiritual Conversations are practical, give every Christian ways he or she can impact friends, neighbors and coworkers who are far from God, and empower them to engage in spiritual conversations that are compelling. The Arts have heightened my awareness of God at work in others and given me effective tools to cooperate with him. I am now much more likely to pray for the random person I meet during my day.
Roger V: The Arts are a game changer, taking Q Place from good to great. The Arts disciple people in the context of reaching the lost. Otherwise we are just playing church.
Betty E: The lessons have stuck with me, not only the concepts, but also the people I "noticed" during my practice time. Even though I don't know who they are, they still hold a special place in my heart.
Jim C: I talked to a man at a hardware store and I wanted to hit him with the Truth because I didn't think I'd see him again. But I resisted the temptation and tried to just listen to him and make a connection. Curiosity is like an adventure—a quest to try to care enough about the other person and see the "real" person.
Lois D: These concepts are incredibly helpful, and the teachings and activities are really effective in helping people to actually improve on mastering the Arts (not just learning about them). I believe that if people really began to practice the Arts, we would see a dramatic change in the number and the quality of spiritual conversations with their unchurched friends, and that God would be glorified.
Tim A: Any church that seeks to become effective in its outreach needs to train its members to excel in the Arts.
Cynthia L: I would recommend the use of the Arts to anyone. We used the four modules of "Noticing" as an adult education class at our church with great results. It's a very user friendly curriculum. We found that it easily brought all of the group into the conversation. I personally found the material very eye-opening. It was amazing to start the process of really noticing those around you.
Susan H: The group enjoyed the focus on how Jesus modeled how to notice people in order to begin building a foundation for evangelism.I think because I am listening more fully to others, they in turn are listening more fully to me….and our conversations are not nearly so rushed!
In July or August, Pastor Todd sent an email to tell the team that at our next meeting we would discuss the Arts of Spiritual Conversations, specifically the Art of Noticing. Being familiar with the material, I decided to practice noticing the next time I went for a walk instead of the usual wave and “Hi” as I rushed by my neighbors.
I prayed for God's guidance before I left the house. Down the street and around the corner, a neighbor was out doing yard work. I stopped and asked him how he was doing. He alluded to a health problem. I asked him questions about it. He was eager to share and I sensed, in addition to the health problem, that he was very fearful. I said to him, "I know you believe in God, but how is your relationship with him?" He wasn't happy that it wasn't what it should be, but he wasn't sure how to change it. I asked about his church and spiritual leaders and then asked if he would be interested in getting together to have spiritual conversations. He was delighted and said, "That would be wonderful." I suggested he talk to his wife about it. Later, another neighbor heard us planning to get together and asked if she and her husband could participate. We three couples have been meeting for six or seven weeks, discussing our tough questions about God.
I didn't set out to start a group; I set out to notice and care. God did the rest.