This seminar, on the Biblical guidelines for interpersonal relationships, comes to you with a prayerful desire that it will be helpful to you in all your relationships. It comes after many hours of prayer and frequent exposure of the material in real-life situations. These have been in the counseling room as well as in conferences and seminars in many places in the United States.
The primary source for the content of this seminar has been the Scriptures. I have done a great deal of reading in both Christian and secular literature on interpersonal relationships, and where it is helpful I have used some of these concepts. But primarily the Word of God serves as the basis for the conclusions presented here.
The seminar consists of five sessions, arranged in a distinctive format. Although an individual may work through this course independently, the greatest benefits come from participation in the study within a small group setting. You prepare the study material before you meet with your group; the value of the seminar is enhanced when you do some thinking and preparation beforehand.
First, each group participant should obtain a copy of the downloadable Study Guide. In preparation for the interactive group discussions and Listening Sessions, each member should complete the Preparatory Study section of the guide in advance of each group meeting. Then as you meet with your seminar group for about an hour and a half, you will follow a general format as shown below:
- 10 minutes - Discussion of prepared study, Part 1
- 10 minutes - Listening to audio, Part 1
- 10 minutes - Clarification of Part I; discussion of prepared study, Part 2
- 10 minutes - Listening to audio, Part 2
- 10 minutes - Clarification of Part II; discussion of prepared study, Part 3
- 10 minutes - Listening to audio, Part 3
- 10 minutes - Clarification of Part III; discussion of prepared study, Part 4
- 10 minutes - Listening to audio, Part 4
- 10 minutes - Clarification of Part 4 and windup
The purpose for this unique format is to encourage interaction and dialogue. It avoids having to listen to a disembodied voice for forty minutes and trying to keep attention focused on what is being said. It also allows for discussion and clarification of fresh material, rather than what might have been said thirty minutes ago. So the vital information about an important subject is broken down into more digestible segments.
The material presented in this seminar is intended for use with many groups of all ages. Adults from 13 to 113, in all categories of life and professions, can benefit from the principles presented whether they have problems in this area or not; high school students could profit from the principles involved because this is a critical area in their lives; even advanced junior high students would find it helpful. Certainly it could be effective in a collegiate situation and for career singles. These principles have proved helpful in family relationships, of course, and could be used profitably with couples and in a total family context.
Not only are these principles useful to you, but they are reproducible. After you have finished the seminar, why don't you start a group of your own?
In summary, since these are biblical principles of relationships, they can be used in any context of relationships to help people learn to relate more effectively to one another.
** While on staff with The Navigators, George Sanchez served as International Assistant to the President. He has presented seminars throughout the world emphasizing biblical principles regarding the family, communication, and interpersonal relationships. A veteran missionary, he served as the first full-time Navigator representative in Latin America.