Tag: listening

Find the Story

Story finding begins with engaging conversation

When God adds your name to the Book of Life, a faith journey begins. It’s unique, it’s sacred, and it’s no longer about you. It’s about God and what he is doing in your space.

Life is now arrayed with God things, divine appointments, holy moments, and second touches. The good thing is that God takes great pleasure in leaving his fingerprints behind to anchor our memories and give courage to connected believers worldwide. We tell the stories because the fingerprints demand it.

In the middle of this adventure comes an innovative approach to faith assessment. Faith coaches begin with questions. These questions are meant to open conversation, not limit it. The goal is candid and meandering conversation. Faith coaches have learned by experience that good questions give each conversation “holy ground” potential.

A. W. Tozer said, “Were we to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.”

It makes perfect sense. Is your God omnipotent or impotent? Sovereign and aloof? Omnipresent and available? High and lifted up or familiar? Punitive or kind? Faithful or flaky? Loving or vengeful? Just or unjust? Able or unable to make a difference? Creator or kill-joy? So how big is your God?

The ultimate answer to that question is not found in our words, but in our actions. If our faith sees him as everything he says he is, then we will risk big. If we have a limited God—we have limited risk.

It’s not about right answers

For years I have valued right answers. Having the right answers, knowing that I was right, left me confident and self-assured. Therefore, I worked hard, and I collected a bag full of as many right answers as I could find

But, through the years I have grown bored with the collection. When you have all the answers, you tend to miss the most important questions. The right answers become a distraction, and the right questions are seldom asked.

I have found myself repeating answers to “how to?” questions, without taking the time to ask the “should I?” question.

So, do you know what really matters to you?

Faith Story Questions

  • When has God forced you to slow down and re-evaluate life?
  • What causes some of us to want to explore the unknown even when that exploration might entail loss, pain, hardship, and death?
  • When is the last time you walked through an open door instead of praying for one?
  • At what crossroads of your life have you felt the presence of God in a personal way?
  • What crisis time has God used to get your attention?
  • Tell about a time when God pushed you out of your comfort zone. How did God show up?
  • Have you ever felt God was calling your name? What was that like?
  • Can you think of a time when you were trying to play hide and seek from God and he punched a hole in the sky and changed everything?
  • God is still speaking, some people experience epiphanies, some whispers, Scriptural insights and discoveries, some urges or nudges; what about you?
  • When have you felt the most joy in your heart?
  • What fear or failure has God given you the courage to face?
  • Tell about a time when things felt murky and bewildering and He touched you a second time, helping you see everything clearly. Have you had more than one second touch episodes?

Remember, the ultimate goal is not more Bible study, more prayer, and more evangelism. We must not measure our success as Christians by ministry activity, or busyness, or our commitment to religious things. Becoming more like Jesus doesn’t happen in retreat. It happens outside with walls of church.

The context of faith is not Sunday, but Monday, in the middle of our drifting searching culture. It’s possible to talk about growth without even realizing we are adrift, out of context, on an iceberg called church and religion.

  • Are you “faith” walking to get somewhere, or just walking for a workout?
  • Am I more like Jesus now, than I was last year at this time?
  • Can you be the change you want to see in the world?
  • Help me understand . . .
  • (Not exactly a question, but gets a lot less defensiveness in people than “why?”)
  • What do you see when you see people?
  • If, on the day of your funeral someone were to walk up to the podium and speak a single word or phrase that captured the essence of your life – what would you want that word or phrase to be and what are you doing today and every day to earn it?
  • Who are the people in your life who have shaped your faith? How did they do it?
  • How would you know if your faith was failing you?
  • What events have threatened your faith?
  • If you were writing a story about a faith dilemma, what would it be about?

Feel free to add questions in the comment section. Good questions are priceless.

Now, most importantly, after the question is asked, you LISTEN!

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January 10, 2011 | 0 Comments More