One of the toughest decisions some of us face is to take the time and muster up the courage to go deeper in relationships. Community is essential to our own personal growth as Christians and to being a healthy church. However, relational depth takes time and sacrifice. You cannot “microwave” relational depth, you must “crock-pot” relational depth.
The following are a series of questions that have been used by various groups to develop community. I encourage you to find a few others with who you can build community and use some of these questions to go deeper!
Quakers in the 1600’s developed small groups where they would ask “How goes it with your soul?” They understood that questions unlocked stories of people’s souls. The early Methodist used a similar format. Types of questions they asked were -
Have you forgiveness of your sins?
Have you peace with God?
Have you the witness of God’s Spirit with yours that you are God’s child?
Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
Has no sin inward or outward have dominion over you?
Do you desire to be told of your faults?
Do you desire that each one of us should tell you from time to time whatever is in his heart concerning you?
What sins have you committed since our last meeting?
What temptations have you met with?
How were you delivered? (making an assumption)
What have you thought said or done of which you doubt whether it be sin or not, we will tell you!
In more recent years another group of questions have been established.
How has your soul been since we last met?
How have you seen God at work in and through you since we last met?
What have you been struggling with?
What have you been grateful for?
What God-given dream have you been nurturing?
How have you been able to serve the least of these since we last met - poor, elderly, sick, the physically or mentally ill, people of minority religions, refugees, prisoners, strangers outcasts?
What have you been experiencing in prayer?
What Scripture have you been focusing in on?
Questions unlock our stories, and storytelling unlocks our lives and our hearts. And when we start sharing our stories, they interlock and this miracle of community happens.