Southern Bible College & Seminary
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Mastering Personal Growth

Post Office Box 764
Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771-0764
COURSE:  Personal Growth
TEXTBOOK: Mastering Personal Growth
AUTHOR: Maxie Dunnam, Gordon MacDonald, Donald W. McCullough
ISBN #:   0-88070-526-4
Each of these authors has learned, sometimes through trying experiences, that his personal growth is vital to his long-term ability to minister and to minister in a way that nurtures a congregation. In this book all three show how they have found time for family and prayer, friends and reading, for ministry and retreats from ministry. The student should discover some insights that will encourage you to steadily, patiently keep at this most fundamental element of a pastor’s life.
Answer all questions with this syllabus below
Mastering Personal Growth
Multnomah Press, 1992
ISBN# 0-88070-526-4
  1. Tell us a little about each writer for this textbook.
  2. Give the introductory statement for chapter one.
  3. Give us the Scripture from Acts 8:21-23 and explain this from the textbook.
  4. Summarize the first section of chapter one.
  5. Give the complete list of substandard motives and explain each one.
  6. Time and struggle likely force what to the surface?
  7. Give us the stories of Moses, Samuel, and Mary in relation to the context of this chapter.
  8. Stop now read the book entitled “Rebuilding Your Broken World” by Gordon MacDonald and write a 15 page book report or give an oral report to your instructor at their discretion.
What happens when your ideals and desires, plans and strategies, all go awry? From what sources might one find the resolve to begin a rebuilding process? The fact is," writes Gordon MacDonald in this book, "the God of the Bible is a God of the rebuilding process. And not enough broken people know that." No stranger himself to brokenness, Gordon MacDonald draws from personal experience and discusses the likely sources of pain, the humiliation, and the long and short range consequences of a broken personal world. And he offers encouraging answers to the questions everyone asks when their worlds fall apart: Is there a way back?
Product Information
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.43 (inches)
ISBN: 0785261206
ISBN-13: 9780785261209
UPC: 020049025550
  1. Give the introductory statement for chapter 2.
  2. What does the writer mean by “Being Close is More Than a Feeling?”
  3. List and explain each of the warning signs of a distance problem.
  4. Being a pastor hinders closeness to God in what ways? Explain each.
  5. What six things help keep Maxie Dunnam close to God. Explain each.
  6. Give us the last paragraph of this chapter and your own thoughts.
  7. Give the introductory statement of chapter 3.
  8. Summarize the section “Taking the Initiative” what does this mean?
  9. This writer schedules what three occasions for friendships to develop? How do you develop friendships?
  10. Give the groups from which this writer makes friends and explain each instance.
  11. Explain the section “Revealing Yourself” How many close friends do you have?
  12. List the opportunities for self-sacrifice and explain each.
  13. C.S. Lewis points out what about friendship?
  14. Give the introductory statement of chapter 4.
  15. From chapter four tell us in-depth how to draw strength from people.
  16. This writer points out three groups of people that cost you virtue. List each one and explain. Further, tell us how you deal with each group.
  17. What are the two dangers of lumping people into these classifications? Explain each.
  18. What does the writer talking about in the section “Where to Begin”?
  19. Give the introductory statement of chapter 5.
  20. What does he mean by “working with your emotional type”? Give his examples.
  21. What does he mean by “getting in touch with the past”?
  22. List and explain four benefits of getting in touch with the past.
  23. Gordon MacDonald states that he has learned to make a search of the interior part of his Spiritual discipline and in doing so, he routinely asks himself what five questions?
  24. STOP: In the section entitled: “Being in Touch with My Present Self” the writer mentions the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory. Choose one of two options: (1) Obtain the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory and take it for yourself. Submit this to the school. Or (2) Acquire the book mentioned “Please Understand Me” by David Kiernsey and submit a 10 page book report including the eight personality types that fall into four contrasting parts.
  25. When Gail MacDonald walks into a room, what is she thinking?
  26. Explain how Gail and Gordon differ from each other’s and how they complement each other?
  27. Explain the section: Feeling/Thinking: How Do I Process Information?
  28. In what way does this best describe you? Explain?
  29. The failure to do what is an invitation to a shrinking spirituality? Give the Biblical example.
  30. Explain the difference between Paul and Barnabas in the section: “Putting it Together.”
  31. Give the introductory statement to chapter 6.
  32. Give John Stott’s metaphor of bridge building.
  33. Study is not an alternative to experience, but is itself what?
  34. Billy Graham made what statement to a group of clergy in 1979?
  35. Give the story from the French Revolution about a state prisoner.
  36. What does this writer mean when he says, “If you build it, he will come”?
  37. Give and explain the two ways a pastor may create some openness in a busy parish.
  38. This writer describes two ways in which he deepens his understanding of God. Give both in detail.
  39. How does photographer “Freeman Patterson” approach his art?
  40. List and describe the four ways in which this writer sinks the pylon deep into the soil of humanity.
  41. Describe this writer’s method of recording. What method do you use?
  42. Give the introductory statement of chapter seven.
  43. What does this writer say about character?
  44. Give and explain each of the five reasons that vocational ministry can stiffen and dry out the human spirit.
  45. When Maxine Dunnam uses his calendar wisely, he makes the following four practices part of his regular routine. List and explain each routine.
  46. This writer states that personal growth in character is inseparable from relationships. Give and explain each of the six ways he integrates others into his life.
  47. Maxine says that growth takes effort and time. He has three reminders that motivate him to keep at it. List and explain each of the three.
  48. Give the introductory statement of chapter 8.
  49. What is the danger of preoccupation?
  50. Who was Francis Gary Powers and what happened to him? 
  51. Give the stats from the 1984 Gallup Poll, Religion in America.
  52. What stats are given using the year 1973
  53. How do you balance work and play?
  54. How does this writer balance work and play?
    63.      The writer lists seven convictions about a healthy diet. Give the seven and tell some about each one.
    64.      Who is Robert Farrar Capon?
    65. What did Charles Spurgeon say about our hearts?
    66. Give in detail this writers suggestions about beginning an exercise program.
    67. Archibald Hart in his book “Adrenalin & Stress” points out what five serious consequences of a chronic increase in adrenalin flow?
    68. What three ways can we manage this flow and control the effects of stress? Explain each.
    69. Explain how laughter and tears is important to our health and well-being.
    70. Give the introductory statement to chapter 9.
    71. List the four things this writer wishes to contribute to his church.
    72. Describe in detail the four ways in which this writer seizes his calendar.
    73. What difference does Gordon MacDonald distinguish between the driven and the called? Explain.
    74. Give John Donne’s prayer.
    75. Give the introductory statement to chapter 10.
    76. The value of outside ministry has some drawbacks, but they are outweighed by what five benefits. Explain each.
    77. When asked to join an outside ministry or task. What five questions does this writer ask himself first? Explain the meaning of each question.
    78. In what three ways does this writer attempt to encourage their support of outside ministry? Explain each.
    79. In one sermon this writer tells a story about a trip to Russia. Give us this story.
    80. Give the introductory statement of chapter 11.
    81. Maxie Dunnam reminds himself of five things that “getting away” does for him and his congregation. Give each and explain.
    82. Give and explain his two signals that tell him that it’s time for a break. Explain each.
    83. Getting away is hard to do. How does Maxie Dunnam deal with the inevitable diffculties? Explain each of the three.
    84. How does this writer make the most of getaways? Describe each of the four ways.
    85. What are some other things this writer does in addition to vacations?
    86. Give the introductory statement to chapter 12.
    87. What is the story of C.T. Studd and how does it apply?
    88. When you get to your own “Rocky Mountains” what three choices do you have?
    89. Give us ‘Tennyson’s poem entitled “Ulysses.”
    90. Give this writers mission statement.
    91. This writer identifies seven areas of his life to bring under discipline. Give and explain each of the seven.
    92. Give the four comments he makes about these seven statements.
    93. Give the list of values this writer includes in this chapter.
    94. What does journaling mean to this writer?
    95. Write about his friendship with “Lee.”
    96. Growth cannot happen without a powerful respect for what?
    97. The writer and his wife Gail compiled a list of questions about growth. Give all eight questions and answer each one yourself.
    98. Research and report on the story Matthias Rust.
    99. What does the last paragraph mean to you?
    100. Give the introductory statement of the epilogue.
    101. How is personal growth like Mark Galli’s geranium?
    102. How has this course helped you?