Loving Wisely (seminar)

I had the privilege of leading a seminar a few weeks ago:

Loving Wisely

Sharpening Your Relational Skills for Life and Ministry

This workshop provides practical, biblical guidance on how and why to:

  • assess your own style
  • be a better listener
  • strengthen your interpersonal skills
  • care wisely and biblically for others
  • encourage others
  • confront with grace and truth

We want to care well for others, but we are often hampered by our default modes of relating. Come learn some practical ways to strengthen your interpersonal skills to love others in a way that helps them flourish.


Here is the first 20 minutes of the seminar:


This is the full outline of my slides:

"And this is my prayer, that your love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." (Philippians 1:9_

  • Telling people that God is good VS. showing them the love and goodness of God in how you treat them...
  • Wired to influence

  • Relationships are key 

  • Blindness
  • Grace
  • Dwelling deeply with God - bearing His image 
  • Heart more than skills

We want relationships that satisfy our personal wants and fears

  • Desires
  • Expectations
  • Demands
  • Punishment

Fundamental beliefs of manipulation

  • “I need you.”
  • “You are the problem.”
  • “That doesn’t work.”

Fundamental beliefs of honoring

  • “You belong to God, not me.”
  • “How can I build you up?”
  • “How can I learn from you?”

We want the relationship to change BUT God wants to change us through relationships

The two great commandments: to fail to love others well is a failure to love God well

Who are we?

  • Saint
  • Sinner
  • Sufferer

We can speak and act to…

  • Confirm our identity
  • Console and comfort afflicted people
  • Confront ways in which we do not live true to Gods character

Know your ditches!

  • Pride / Despair 
  • What are things that are hard for you in dealing with others? 
  • What kind of situations, things they say,  types of people or statements are you unsure how to respond to well? 

Eph. 4 :1-5

  • Vs 1 - Setting a godly example – vs 1
  • Vs 2 - Humility
  • Vs 2 - gentleness
  • Vs 2 - patience 
  • Vs 3-6 - harmony 

“With everlasting love, I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:8)


  • “to suffer together”
  • Deep concern, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate that suffering
  • Consolation- “be with the lonely one" – action to alleviate or lessen grief, sorrow or disappointment

What’s it like? 

  • Hears us, inclines Himself toward us, present and available, so….
  • We listen, incline ourselves to others, be present and available with our ears, hearts, minds


  • E- Enlist all faculties
  • M- move in physically, verbally and emotionally
  • P- Pray for discernment
  • A-Ask caring questions
  • T- think deliberately
  • H- help in meaningful ways
  • Y- yield your convenience, pride, resources

(Ken Sande)

  • What hinders your compassion? 
  • What actions have helped to lessen your grief, sorrow or disappointment? 
  • What helps you from others in times of any need or suffering? 
  • What is not helpful?  

The power of listening

  • Making a conscious effort to hear, absorb, pay attention to 
  • Other focused
  • Antonyms: ignore, disregard, forget, slight
  • Must listen to minister!
  • "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.: (Ephesians 4:29)


The best advice comes from people:

  • Who can say I don’t know
  • Who care
  • Who are slow to give advice

(Alasdair Groves)

“We live in a broken world where everything calls us to selfishness and despair. Sin steals joy, our bodies break down, our plans falter, our dreams die, our resolves weaken, our perspective dims. We are promised suffering, persecution and trials of various kinds.” (Garrett Kell)

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)

“And we urge you brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)


  • Lift someone’s heart toward God
  • Bigger picture
  • Words that spur them on to :
  • Faith, love, hope, strength, unity, fruitfulness, perseverance
  • Build on the good that is already there

Be Intentional

  • Look at fears
  • Have a venue 
  • Daily goals
  • Be specific- not trite or generic
  • Don’t get discouraged

Using Scripture to encourage? 

Table Talk : When has someone used Scripture in a way that wasn’t helpful?

What made it not helpful? 


  • Empathetic presence 
  • Entry gates – how they are experiencing problem 
  • Listen well
  • Ask good questions
  • Affirm
  • Normalize 
  • Reframe
  • Summarize
  • Pray with and for 
  • What else? 


"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted."  (Galatians 6:1)

  • Ask questions
  • Remind/ Exhort
  • Express concern
  • Warn and plead
  • Simple as you can 
  • Not to solve your problem of being annoyed with them

(Alasdair Groves)


  • A biblical friend remains true and faithful through times of adversity. Trials have a way of sifting out the fickle from the faithful. A faithful friend is one who sticks with you and is, therefore, a treasure.
  • "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17).
  • "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24)
  • "Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6).


  • A biblical friend speaks with frankness and honesty. There is no “secret love” in a true friend.
  • "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (Proverbs 27:5-6).
  • "Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue" (Proverbs 28:23).
  • The New Testament affirms that a biblical friend is a true brother in Christ who loves enough to speak the truth in love (Matthew 18:15; Galatians 6:1-3; Ephesians 4:15-16).


  • A biblical friend is one who exercises care in the relationship. He is careful in three areas:
  • Careful in his speech (Proverbs 25:20).
  • Careful in his timing (Proverbs 27:14; 25:17). “An uncareful friend does not know the inner topography of his friend’s heart.” (Tim Keller)
  • Careful in his stewardship (Proverbs 11:13).


  • A true, biblical friend is one who gives faithful counsel to his friend for his ultimate good and God’s glory. He speaks what his friend needs to hear in order to be obedient to God’s Word. He speaks the truth, not merely what will “keep” a superficial relationship.
  • "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed: (Proverbs 15:22).
  • "…for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory" (Proverbs 24:6).
  • "Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel" (Proverbs 27:9).
  • "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17)

(Jonathan Holmes)

Covenant & Commitment

Biblical friends demonstrate a loyalty to each other that transcends the world’s superficial commitment to spending time together solely because of mutual interests.

  1.     Time & Talk: Biblical friends spend time together, which includes heart-to-heart conversation.
  2.     Meals & Mingling: In the Bible, sharing a meal with someone is a means of showing them honor. Biblical friends honor one another with mingling over meal times together.
  3.     Intentionality & Pursuit: Biblical friendships do not develop through happenstance, but intentional relationship development.
  4.     Sacrifice & Service: Biblical friends sacrifice for each other and serve one another.
  5.     Prayer & Petition: Biblical friends pray for their friends, about their friends, and with their friends.
  6.     Asking & Inviting: If we want a biblical friend then we must ask someone for this friendship and invite them into our life.
  7.     Confrontation & Caring: A true friend speaks truth into his friend’s life, but does so with compassion. A biblical friend cares enough to confront his friends in love.

(Jonathan Holmes)

What’s ruling us?

  • Do people see His grace in my life and are drawn to Him because of it?
  • Listening, humility, and thoughtful questions – get you 75% of the way there!
  • Small things make a big difference!

Want to bring this to your group?

I'd love to bring this seminar (or another) to your church or group. Check out my Training page to learn about some of the topics I've taught on. Contact me through the form on that page - I'd love to talk with you about your group's needs and interests!