Members of the NC Annual Conference joined Scott Hughes of Discipleship Ministries on Friday morning to learn about Courageous Conversations. The Courageous Conversations project is aimed to help us move from skepticism to curiosity and even openness to encounter God’s grace.
During the breakout session, Hughes explained the need, tools, and desire that churches should feel to engage in courageous conversations and how local church leaders can adequately host these difficult conversations. His expression of Courageous Conversations as a crossroads between focusing on our own agenda and focusing on relationships grounds the idea behind the project.
Hughes explained the importance of dialogue over debate highlighting that debate focuses on flaws rather than a desire for all parties involved to reach a consensus. The focus on a courageous conversation should be what individuals can do together rather than what can they do to win.
Courageous Conversations can be held in small groups, large groups, and a mixture of both. However, Hughes believes that beyond the structure of the discussion, the parties involved must be courageous to come to the table with those they may wish to dismiss, to stay at the table when the conversation is emotional and painful. Coming to the table with open minds builds disciples, creates room for the Holy Spirit, and creates a safe environment to have a conversation.
Members of the NC Annual Conference had the opportunity to engage in Courageous Conversations during the breakout session and were encouraged to use the resources found on the Discipleship Ministries website.