9. Interpersonal Relationships - Study Questions
This is the study guide for the Interpersonal Relationships article by Ken Boa. Read it first.
Appendix: Study Guide for MEN7/52 Leadership Series
MEN 7/52 is a men's ministry of bible.org. Our desire is to see all men become true followers of Jesus Christ 7 days a week/52 weeks a year.
The Men’s Bible Study Leadership Series is presented by bible.org to help you build and fortify men in preparation for their roles as leaders in their families, churches, communities, and workplaces.
It is a leadership series because no matter what age or station in life a man finds himself, he is called to lead. Leadership hates a vacuum. If a man of God doesn’t stand up and lead, then someone else will and the consequences can be drastic for generations.
It is also a discipleship series because building men’s leadership requires ongoing personal relationships with someone who will shepherd and mentor them over the long term. Just as Christ lived in a community of relationship with His disciples, preparing them to lead, so too must we if we are to grow and be effective.
There are sixteen lessons that are designed to be conducted over a thirty-two week period. Your group should meet weekly at a specific time and place. First, participants should be expected to read all of the Scripture verses thoroughly, on a daily basis, and be encouraged to meditate on them. Second, they should read the article carefully and look for aspects of it that impact them personally. Third, they should complete the discussion questions thoughtfully, completely, and honestly, and diligently address personal applications. Finally, they should be prepared to share their answers during your group sessions.
The articles used in this series are written by Dr. Kenneth Boa. Dr. Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England.
By the time your group has finished this series, relationships and spiritual bonds should have formed. Authentic spiritual interdependence will be experienced, and men will know they are not alone in being who and what God wants them to be. It will be critical for the group to either stay together for the next series, or to stay in close touch weekly to continue the shepherding experience and forming true Christian brotherhood.
Leadership Qualities: Interpersonal Relationships
Our love for others reflects our true love for Christ.
Read “Leadership Qualities: Interpersonal relationships” by Dr. Ken Boa’s and listen to his audio message online.
1. In a world of pain, betrayal, and loss, what are the two ways in which we can choose to live?
2. Describe, in your own words, how the Trinity is the model for building our relationships.
3. How did the story about Aron Ralston impact you in your need for companionship during your greatest challenges (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)?
4. What two extremes must be avoided in building a relationship with someone?
5. Write down the first names of the people in your life with whom you have close interpersonal relationships.
6. What must you do to strengthen openness and interdependence with them?
Read Mark 12:28-31.
Jesus is quick and direct in summing up the law of God. God’s commandments center on love – love for God and love for others. He likens love for others to love for God, making a direct link between the two. He makes it very clear that loving others is not an option. It is a requirement.
7. Define what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Be specific. You may use other scripture references and dictionary definitions.
8. On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the highest), how would you rate your love for God in each area?
9. In the areas where you rate yourself close to a 10, how is your love expressed each day?
10. What must you do about your low rated areas in order to be obedient to this command?
11. What does it mean to love your neighbor “as yourself”?
12. Are there people in your life who you don’t love in this manner?
13. What reasons do you have for withholding love from them?
14. What must you do to be obedient to this command?
Read 1 John 4:4-10, 1 John 5:1-4.
The apostle John draws a direct correlation between our love for God and our love for others. He teaches that it is impossible to hate others and still love God. Furthermore, we can only love God if we know him. If we love Him, then we will obey Him.
15. How does knowing God enable us to love others?
16. In what way does God reveal His love for us?
17. If we know that Christ is the Son of God, and we love God, then what necessarily follows?
18. Write down the first names of people in your life whom you hate, or simply do not love.
19. What is the reason for your lack of love for them?
20. In order to obey God’s command, what must you do to love them? Be specific.
Read 1 Kings 19:19-21.
Elijah finds Elisha plowing a field and throws his cloak over him. Elisha leaves everything behind to follow Elisha and be mentored by him.
21. What do you think is the significance of Elijah choosing Elisha by throwing his cloak over him?
22. Elijah doesn’t ask Elisha to follow him. But Elisha immediately prepares to do so. What does this reveal about Elisha?
23. What does Elisha do to prepare to follow Elijah and why do you think he does this?
24. Who is the Elijah that is mentoring you?
25. What must you do to find him?
26. Who is the Elisha that you are mentoring?
27. What must you do to find him?
Read 2 Kings 2:1-6.
Elisha knows that Elijah will soon be going to be with the LORD. Before going, Elijah has unfinished business in three different cities. He asks Elisha to stay behind, but Elisha refuses.
28. How does Elisha respond to Elijah’s request that he stay behind?
29. Why do you think he responds this way?
30. What does this reveal about their relationship?
31. Who are the people in your life that you never leave during challenging times?
32. What relationships have you walked away from when the going got tough?
33. What must you do to restore them?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.