DEVELOPING THE MIND OF CHRIST
T. PIERCE BROWN
During the past 30 years I have conducted many “teacher-training” and “personal evangelism” classes. Much of the time I would be talking about some technique of teaching or “how to close the sale,” or something of the sort. Any time we could move from the “talking” stage to the “doing” stage, I felt that a great deal of progress had been made.
I still feel that way, but we should all realize that neither talking or doing, nor a combination of both is worth much if it is not based upon, connected with, or activated by the mind of Christ. No matter how many similarities we may be able to make between good salesmanship and presenting the gospel, there are some tremendous fundamental differences. The most significant one is that no matter how well we may persuade a person to act, unless we sell him on the idea that he must “have this mind in you which was in Christ Jesus,” we have failed.
With that in mind, I have decided to try to develop a few select persons who are really committed to developing the mind of Christ, and then being activated by it. I hope to hand pick a few who will commit themselves to that, and will themselves do likewise, as Paul suggested in 2 Timothy 2:2. I do not want to make the tragic mistake of many of our zealous contemporaries who think the Apostles were commissioned to make leaders like themselves, who were supposed to make leaders like themselves, and so on down through the ages. Rather, we are supposed to develop men with the mind of Christ who will develop men with the mind of Christ. That really is the Master’s plan for evangelism and teaching.
Using a “harmony of the gospels” for a basic source book, I plan to go through the life of Christ, picking significant passages which show in an outstanding way an attribute or aspect of Christ’s mind or nature, and then get the class to absorb and demonstrate that attitude as suggested by the assignment sheet of the first lesson reproduced below. This is the sort of sheet that I hand to those hand picked for the first lesson.
THE MIND OF CHRIST
Inasmuch as we shall pass this way but once, it is imperative that we try to develop the mind of Christ as rapidly and completely as possible. If you are not interested in making whatever sacrifice is necessary to actually do that instead of merely talking about it, please do not start the class.
The following is the planned format for the class and related activities:
1. The class will meet for two hours each week.
2. You will take the assigned section of the gospel records;
read, study and meditate on it and do the following things in
regard to it:
a. Find in it one or more attributes of Christ which need
to be developed in our mind and nature. List them and be
prepared to turn them in each week.
b. List whatever questions about that section of the
gospel record that you can think of which might help each
member of the class to see more clearly what those
attributes or qualities are, the importance of them, how
to develop them in yourself and others, etc.
c. Give an example in your own life or the life of others
of how this trait, quality or attribute was manifested.
d. Most important: In the coming week, plan an activity
that will help to
(1) Develop one or more of the attributes or aspects
of Christ you saw evidenced in the passage studied
and/or demonstrate that attribute by your actions, and
(2) Be ready to share with the class
(a) What that activity was
(b) How you practiced it, and
(c) The results–the effect on you and/or others
First Assignment: Luke 2:40-52 with a partial sample of
how you might do this and subsequent assignments.
1. Attributes of Christ evidenced:
a. An inquiring mind.
b. A willingness to listen to others and talk
about God’s law.
c. A deep understanding of God’s law
d. An urgency to be about the Father’s business.
e. An increase in wisdom, stature, favor with God,
and favor with man.
f. Subjection to his parents.
2. Things to keep in mind:
a. What are some methods or techniques by which
you can develop in yourself or your children an
inquiring mind? (Be able to discuss specifics–
difficulties, values, etc.)
b. What problems or difficulties do you face in
talking to others about God’s law?
c. How does one develop the quality of being a
d. Do you have specific things you plan to do this
week in developing one or more of the above?
e. What caused the urgency about the Father’s
business? How does this relate to us? How can we
create this urgency in ourselves or others? Name
one or more specific things you will do to develop
this urgency. When do you plan to start?
f. How may one increase in wisdom?
g. Is there a difference in wisdom and knowledge?
If so, what, and how may one advance in both?
Continue with all questions like these over any aspect of the passage you are studying, and then remember to give an example in your life or the lives of others where you have seen it developed. Then especially plan your own activity to develop and/or demonstrate one of the qualities.
Remember that in order to develop the mind of Christ, you must understand how that mind operated, and then actually practice those principles in your own life. There is now a workbook that shows how this can be done.