How to use these discussions: A guide

How to use these discussions

No name tags. You don’t need to shave. Be presentable and personable. Emotions matter.

These discussions were created to help those who may have left the church share their thoughts and feelings in a format that family and friends still in the church could appreciate. These are not intended to be weapons to attack the faith of individuals, but rather, tools to accommodate understanding.

We strongly encourage that you present these discussions with another person –not because that is a pattern established by Christ, but because having two agreeing individuals present is very difficult to disagree with. In addition, many people will not resort to personal attacks or harmful tactics when a stranger is present, making the information easier to teach all the way through. Sometimes, getting to the ending conclusions makes all the difference in the investigator’s attitude.

Encourage your investigator to share their feelings at any point. Emotions can run deep, from betrayal and anger to relief and elation, at hearing the material presented. Your job is to create a safe environment for open discussion.

If your investigator fidgets often, refuses to meet you in the eye, or lashes out, these are all signs of the environment becoming less safe. Do no hesitate to pause the discussion and recreate a friendly atmosphere of openness.

These discussions are not intended to always be read straight through. Many times a paragraph or section in one discussion may apply to a situation. Feel free to jump to that section and cover the information with the investigator to resolve any concerns he or she may have.

During the presentation, you’ll find various sections labelled, “Commitment.” These help an investigator progress along the path towards freedom of thought. Remember to build up on common ground, share your feelings, and to use “Will You” questions when getting an investigator to commit to the challenges presented. Doing this increases the chances of them committing and following those commitments. Always follow up on commitments made with an investigator.

If, at any time, your investigator seems ready to leave the church present them with the following information:[1]

Remember, you’re doing this to help them learn more about their own beliefs and to help them understand yours. Maintain a positive, friendly environment, and resist attempts to bible-bash or prove yourself right, as these have been shown far less likely to commit anyone than emotional discussion has.

A good way to bring up these discussions with a stranger might be to say, “What if I could save you several hundred thousand dollars and several hours a week?”

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Last edited by EmmaHS on January 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm

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