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Missions 101

Don't Assume

Sep. 30, 2011By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

I have done a lot interviews, and eventually we come to the question as to what the person believes. Now, there are two ways to go about this.  One is simple and the other is not.

The first way is to just ask, "Do you agree with our statement of faith?"  If they say yes, you move on.  No questions asked.  You trust them.  The problem of course is that it doesn't mean that they do affirm the statement of faith nor does it mean that they can articulate what they believe.  It also doesn't reveal if they actually know the Scripture that serves as a foundation for whatever statement you are asking them to affirm.

The other way to ask to get at this issue is to ask questions such as, "What is you understanding of justifcation by faith," "How do you define election," "Why are elders important for a local church."  By asking more detailed questions it is quickly revealed whether the person you are talking to really affirms what they say they do as well as shows whether they can defend their position.

Don't take short cuts and just ask people if they affirm a written statement of faith.  Make them explain what they believe.  It will save you a lot of headaches in the future!

Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International.  As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter

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