Part 2 of an interview with Rob Peabody,
Executive Producer and Host of
Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge
Read part 1 of the interview here!
Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge (Kregel Publications/July 27, 2015/$15.99), is a five-week short film resource designed to help Christians engage in a meaningful way about their faith. Starting spiritual conversations with those outside of church is viewed as a worthy, yet arduous and intimidating task. Intersect was created as an easy-to-use resource, perfect for sharing with co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family to enter into meaningful conversations.
Intersect features five short films following the journey of individuals as they tell authentic stories of circumstances that have forced them to examine how God might fit into their lives. In this interview, executive producer and host, Rob Peabody, shares more about Intersect and sharing your faith.
Q: Why is it so difficult to start conversations with the people we love about the things that really matter in life?
I think it is so hard because these are the people we need the most love, respect, and validation from. Ironically, the people whose opinions we care about the most are the ones with whom we shy away from having meaningful conversations. I think this is a reactionary response to a fear we may be holding onto: “What if I share this and they disagree? What if they think I’m an idiot? What if they don’t understand? What if they treat me differently because of this conversation?” Sticking your head above the crowd is a frightening move, especially with those who know you best.
Q: How will Intersect help viewers talk to those in their lives who don’t believe in the Gospel?
We’ve created Intersect in such a way that anyone, regardless of how equipped one does or doesn’t feel, can play the films and facilitate the conversation from the study guide to have a conversation of significance centered on the Gospel. We see Intersect as a “pre-intro to Christianity,” in that it doesn’t start exploring the basic tenants of Christianity, but starts before that, entertaining ideas about God and what He might have to say about universal issues we all face day in and day out. We have seen this work quite well in Western Europe (where Intersect released this past March) and have heard countless stories of skeptics wrestling with the things of God for the first time — all from taking part in Intersect.
Q: Why are trials so important to the development of our character?
Our trials are the things that showcase and develop our character. Trials are accompanied by growth opportunities, and without them in our lives we cease to grow. In my own life, it is the trials and hardships I have had to endure that have made me into who I am today.
In one of the sessions on the DVD entitled “Disappointment,” we meet a friend of mine named James. James experienced an abrupt divorce at a young age only two years into his marriage,. Yet, he says he wouldn’t trade that experience in his life for anything. He tells us it revealed to him so much about his life, his ex-wife’s life and even about marriage itself. It was in the middle of the trial he discovered who he really was and who God truly is. Coming through the trial, James is now forever changed. He’s developed, matured and sees things more clearly, all because he was broken.
I believe only in our brokenness can we turn fully to the unbreakable One who develops our character to be more like His.
Q: How do spiritually healthy people respond to life’s disappointments?
I believe spiritually healthy people bounce back from life’s disappointments. They are resilient because they live for something greater than the thing that is currently disappointing them. Yes, they may go through times of hurt, struggle, sadness and pain, but it will be their faith, their ability to process in a godly way and their trust in Jesus that will pull them through. I think spiritually healthy people are on a journey of viewing God more correctly and getting more of Him in their lives, which in turn reveals more about who they are and the world in which they live.
Q: How is our ability to trust God impacted by our experiences with people?
Life is all about relationships. We were created for relationships — both with God and with other people.. We know that from Scripture. However, the big difference between our relationship with God and other people is that we’ve never seen God. We experience Him, feel His presence at times and may even see Him move supernaturally amongst our relationships, but nonetheless we have never actually seen Him in person — in the flesh. This is where faith comes in. Faith is trusting in something (or someone) you have never seen with your eyes. It’s the assurance and confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.
Therefore, it is our human relationships that paint in our open spaces about our views of God. Our human relationships inform our relationship with God at times because that is what we can see. Sometimes these relationships can become the lens through which we view and interpret God. So if someone you love or trust betrays you, you are likely to view God with the same skepticism and lack of trust. We find this all the time with children. How the authority figures in a child’s life have treated them (both good and bad) will inform their perception of God as they mature. Humans are on one level so simple, yet paradoxically absolutely complex.
Q: What is your ultimate hope for those who complete the Intersect DVD series?
My dream is that Intersect would be used to start conversations of significance centered on the Gospel in a day where it is so easy to remain superficial and safe in the depth of conversation we conduct.
My hope for individuals who complete Intersect is that they would take their next step with Jesus, whatever that may be. For some, that will be contemplating and beginning to explore the things of God for the very first time. For others it will be re-imagining what their relationship with Him could become, and for others still it might be using Intersect to lead others to explore their relationship with God in a new and fresh way.
I also hope Intersect will give those of us in the church a tool to begin sharing our faith with those outside the walls of the church. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you; now all you have to do is push play and be open to having a conversation. My prayer is this would be a tool that helps to empower normal believers to make a difference in someone else’s life as they walk in obedience for the Kingdom of God.
For more information about Rob Peabody, visit AwakenMovement.com, like the Awaken Movement on Facebook (awakenmovement) or follow Rob on Twitter (@AwakenRob and @awakenmovement).