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Asking Questions

2010 March 19

When I move to Wednesbury, one of my priorities (after prayer and proclaiming Jesus) is to listen.  I’m an outsider coming in to a new area and I want to listen to people’s stories so that I can understand the community (church and unchurched).   Paul’s letter to Titus gives a good example of how understanding culture (1:12 Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”) helped Paul target his presentation of the gospel (1:2 … which God, who does not lie, …).

Jesus loved to ask questions, see e.g. Mark 8:17-21; Luke 2:49, 5:21-23, 7:39-44, 8:25, 9:18-20, 10:25-28, 18:18-20, 20:1-8, 24:17-19; John 4:7, 9:35-38

The GCM Collective community site has a discussion about this, and here are a few suggestions that came up:

I have found the below questions helpful in drawing out who people are – their history, interests, dreams, and faith.  I have found that asking the questions with sincere love makes people feel cared for and opens up great conversation.

I am wondering…

… What was your upbringing like?

… What is your relationship with your parents like?

… Who has had the biggest impact on your life and why?

… What are you passionate about?

… If you could do anything you wanted to what would you do?

… If you could live anywhere you wanted to where would you live?

… Do you have any kind of spiritual belief?

… Do you believe in God? In what way?

… What has your spiritual journey been like?

… What guides your life?

… What do you see as the biggest social problem of our day?

… if you could tell a group of Christians anything you want what would you tell them?

… In your opinion who is Jesus?

… If Jesus were here today would you follow him? Why or why not?

… Is there anything you would like prayer for?

Worldview questions

A worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. People everywhere ask four questions. (Who am I? Where am I? What is wrong? What’s the remedy?) Their worldview shapes the way they answer these questions:

I am wondering…

…what do you see as the purpose of your life?  (Who am I?)
…how do you view the nature of the world we live in? (Where am I?)
…from your perspective what is wrong with the world we live in? (what holds us back from full attainment?)
…what do you see as the remedy of our worlds problems? (How do I attain salvation?)

The same author linked to a booklet he’s found helpful:

“The Art of Powerful Questions” – http://www.theworldcafe.com/articles/aopq.pdf

And another person recommended this:  http://fieldgatemedia.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Twenty-Questions-to-Help-Me-Care-for-Others.pdf

Any other recommendations?  Mention them in the comments.

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