Friday, April 17, 2009

Touching Base! Part 34

A Sea Of Faces

“They” is a plural pronoun that refers to people in general. When we read in Acts 2:42 that “They devoted themselves....”, we really have very little idea who “they” are. Yet to the original audience you can be assured that “they” had faces and stories and that this group developed pockets of smaller community in that large group so that stories could be told and lives connected.

The challenge at Bethel is to encourage people to Pursue, Include and Engage (PIE) a few faces. The Church was never established to be a place of “people in general” but a place of “people specific”.

This week, I want to encourage you to use the following tool to PIE a few faces. Take time to sit down and reflect on some of the suggested questions the various decades ask. Identify the decades present in your group, add to the questions, and use them to PIE the faces in your group.


Questions of the Decades

(Resource: Gordon Macdonald, A Resilient Life)

20’s – Identity questions
• What kind of man or woman am I becoming?
• How am I different from my parents?
• Can I love and am I lovable?
• Who will offer me the family like connections that I need or never had?
• What do I want to do with my life?
• Around what person or conviction will I organize my life?

30’s – Responsibilities of life begin to emerge
• How do I prioritize the demands being made of me?
• How far can I go in fulfilling my sense of purpose?
• What does my spiritual life look like? Do I even have time for one?
• Why am I not a better person?

40’s – The complexities of life accelerate
• Who was I as a child and what powers back then influenced the kind of person I am today?
• Why do some people seem to do better than me?
• Why am I often disappointed with myself and others?
• Why are limitations beginning to outnumber options?
• What would it take to pick up a whole new calling in life and do the thing I have always wanted to do?
• How do I take care of my aging parents?

50’s – They have moved across life’s middle
• How many years are left?
• Why is time moving so fast?
• Why is my body becoming unreliable?
• How can my spouse and I reinvigorate our marriage now that the kids are gone?
• Who are these young people that want to replace me?
• What do I do with my doubts and my fears?
• Will we have enough money for the retirement years?

• When do I stop doing the things that have always defined me?
• Who will be around when I die?
• Why am I curious about who is listed in the obituary column of the papers; how they lived and why they died?
• If married – which one of us will go first, and what is it like to say good-bye to someone with whom you have shared so many years of life with?
• What do I regret?
• Are the things I have believed in capable of taking me to the end?

70’s and 80’s
• Does anyone realize or even care who I once was?
• Is anyone aware that I once owned (or managed) a business, threw a mean curveball, taught school, possessed a beautiful solo voice? Is my story important to anyone?
• How much of life can I still control?
• Is there anything I can still contribute?
• Am I ready to face death?
• When I die will I be missed or will news of my death bring relief?

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