Yesterday I was at a coaching forum with Joe Beckler from Breakthrough Leaders Network and he was talking about ways to approach spiritual formation/discipleship. He said one of the things they do at their church is try to incorporate two questions into a variety of groups and relationships.
Question One: “What is God saying to you?”
Certainly there are potential pitfalls with this question. One guy in a church I was at said Jesus was telling him to divorce his wife because he wasn’t happy. Other people are fond of saying “God told me…” so you can’t argue with anything they say. However, if the question (and it’s answers) are held accountable to Scripture, the way of Jesus, and the community of faith, then this is a great question. Asked consistently it pushes people to actually try and listen–when they’re reading their Bibles, listening to a sermon, sitting with a homeless man, or in those few minutes after laying down before they drift off to sleep. It’s a question that lends itself to being constantly aware of the Spirit, seeing all of life as discipleship, and being constantly in prayer.
Question Two: “How are you reacting to it?”
Great follow up! It’s one thing to hear from God, it’s another thing to actually do something about it. I’ve had too many times in my own life where God has given me wisdom, challenge, or direction and I hesitate to really do anything about it. This question assumes that we’re hearing from Jesus for a reason. At the same time, it allows for a person to say, “I’m fighting it,” or “I’m trying to figure out what that means practically in my life.” The action can be wrestling with what Jesus is saying, or even totally ignoring it, but the question requires some accountability for a response.
And one of the best things about these questions is that you don’t have to start a new program to use them–just incorporate them into what you already do!