Figuring out the questions

Often Jesus taught by answering questions.  What always impresses me is that the person always knows what question to ask: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” “How many times must I forgive?” These are two classics.  What would be the classic questions of a clergy or lay leader whose leader encompasses her or his living a relationship with Jesus and trying who is leading the organization, congregation, the institution, or even the family to do the same?  There are classic questions.  And there are an answers, a “Fierce” answers.

Here are some starting suggestions for classic questions: “How do I help people get along?”  “How many times must I communicate?” “What connects this congregation to their passions. to what they care about?” “Are these passions the same as the needs of the community around us?” “What are the needs of the community around us?” “What about the money?” “What about prayer?” “How to talk about faith?”These classic questions are as wide as they are deep.  How to refine them down?

The pathway to refine these classic questions down is likely in your congregation (or institution…) if you can listen.  Listening can take many forms: prayer, one on one meetings, discussions with leaders, discussion with community leaders, your own vision for ministry because as a spiritual leader you are bringing all of yourself into the life of this congregation, past hopes, and current needs.

From this listening will likely emerge what the members think their church should be or ought to be.  Also what will likely come up is how they fall short.  Is it too big a question to ask, if God is calling us to have a Sunday school because we are a church and there are no families with children, then how might God be calling us to serve children? Or, if we should be giving more to outreach because we are a church then what do we have to bring.  We are entering the season where the gifts we bring are the gifts the Christ Child blesses.

Each question can be narrowed to one level, then the next level of refinement then another, then another until (and this may not happen in the same conversation) what God is calling forth becomes clear.

What is key is the preparation of the Spiritual Leader to be listening for the energy, the calling, the passion and refining it to what is inspiriting, exciting, and possible even with a stretch.

This process is the application of a conversation model from Fierce Conversation.  That conversation model is called “Mineral Rights.”  As “Fierce” puts it drilling one one hundred foot hole instead of ten ten foot holes. Want to get Fierce?  Contact the Network for Spiritual Leaders.


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