Month: November 2013

Questions, Questions, and more questions for exploring

Top Ten Spiritual Transition Questions

  1. Did you have any religious background growing up? Tell me more.
  1. When did your faith become yours?
  1. What do you think God is like?  Describe him for me.
  1. If you could ask God just one question – what would it be?
  1. (In reference to whatever hot news event) ask: What part do you think God plays in what is going on right now?
  1. What do you think is the biggest problem with Christianity today?
  1. Have you ever met a Christian whose life didn’t match their message?  Explain.
  1. If you were to die today and stand before God…and He were to ask you “Why should I let you into heaven, what would you say?”
  1. What is the most significant contribution that Jesus Christ made to our world today?
  1. If someone would ask you, “How can I become a Christian?” what would you tell them?

A Gazillion More Questions

  • Where did your family vacation?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was the hardest thing about growing up for you?
  • Tell me about your family.
  • Where did you go to high school? What kinds of things were you involved with then?
  • What do your parents do?
  • Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?  Tell me about your relationship.
  • What do you miss most about home, now that you’re at college?
  • How well did you get along with your siblings?
  • Are you parents still together?  If still married: What about their marriage would you like to follow their example?  If divorced: why did they get a divorce?  How has that affected you?
  • Have you ever been to church? Tell me about your religious background.  Was it a positive or negative experience for you?
  • Where have you traveled? What was your favorite place and why?
  • How would you describe your present relationship with your family? Individuals in your family?
  • What order are you in your family?  Did you like that?
  • How many times did you move while growing up?  What was your favorite place that you lived?
  • Have you ever had a pet?  Explore this area.
  • Who was your best friend growing up?  Are they still your best friend?  Why or why not?
  • What was your first job?
  • Where did you and your family vacation?
  • What is your favorite and worst memory growing up?
  • What was the most frightening memory of your childhood?
  • Have you ever been close to death as a kid?
  • What about your family has had the greatest impact on you?
  • What is the most important lesson you learned from mom? Dad?
  • What kind of family did your parents come from?  Do they act like your grandparents?  How?
  • Who are you closest to in your family and why?
  • What was the one thing you would have wished your dad would have said to you growing up, but he never did?
  • Do you have any special family traditions growing up?
  • How did your family celebrate the holidays? Christmas? Thanksgiving? Easter?
  • Tell me about your relationship with your grandparents.
  • When growing up, what kinds of things did you do over summer break?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What one event in your life has most shaped you – for good or bad?
  • If you could change one thing about your childhood – what would it be?
  • What do you think of President Bush?
  • What political party would you affiliate yourself with and why?
  • What do you think of Christians you’ve met?  Best interaction and worst interaction?
  • If there were one thing you could change about Christianity, what would it be?
  • What do you think of Jesus Christ?
  • If someone were to say to you: “Hey, I want to become a Christian.  What do I need to do first?” – what would you tell them?
  • If there were one thing you would change about our world, what would it be?
  • How do you think we should get rid of terrorism?
  • Which religion do you like the best?  The least?  And why?
  • What do you like most about the new union?
  • What is the most important lesson every parent should teach their kids?
  • What kind of music do you listen to?  And why?
  • What is your advice to the couple who just broke up – how to get over it in a quick and healthy way?
  • Do you think there is one absolute truth?  How do you know if it’s true?
  • What are the three major goals for your life?
  • If you could describe God in a sentence or two, what would your description be?
  • What do you think about the institution of marriage?
  • Do you think there is an after-life?  And if so, where do people go after they die?
  • After graduating from college, where do you want to live?
  • What do you think about the Bible?
  • What are your thoughts about abortion?
  • What are your thoughts about the death penalty?
  • How do you think the university handled the deaths of these six young women?
  • What you think about (particular television show)?
  • What do you think about (particular book)?
  • How old should you be before you date?
  • Do you think the drinking age is fair?
  • What helps you study? What professor should I take?
  • In your opinion, what is the best place to take a date in this area?
  • What is the one quality that you would most want in a husband/wife?
  • Do you believe in evolutionism or creationism?
  • What kind of characteristics do you look for in a friend?
  • How do you define “best friend?”
  • What do you think heaven will be like? Hell?
  • How do you feel about prayer in schools?
  • What would you do in my situation?
  • What keeps you motivated to make it through each day?
  • When you wake up in the morning – what helps you get out of bed?
  • I’ve got (this problem) – how would you deal with it?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • Do you think aliens exist?  Is there life on other planets?
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Which emotion is most frightening or uncomfortable for you?
  • If you could rule the world, what would you do first?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • If you could meet one person, who would it be?
  • What would be your prefect job?
  • If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?
  • If you knew you had three months to live, how would you spend your last 90 days?
  • If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
  • If you could change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?
  • What age would you be again and why?
  • What time period in history would you like to visit?
  • Where so you see yourself in five years?
  • What would be your perfect day?
  • If you were God, what would be your first task?
  • If you had one question that could get a definite answer, what would it be?
  • How would you spend your time, if you never had to work again?
  • If you could take one book to take on an island, what would it be?
  • If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
  • If you could change one thing about our campus, what would it be?
  • You have unlimited resources and manpower – what problem would you fix and how?
  • If you could be anyone, who would it be?
  • If you could ask God one question – what would it be?
  • If you could be famous, what would you want to be famous for?
  • If you had to choose one, would you rather find a cure for AIDS or cancer?
  • Who do you most want to meet in heaven?  How do you know they’ll be there?
  • How do you want people to remember you?
  • What do you want your parents? Friends? Kids? Spouse? – To say about you at your funeral?
  • If you could travel back in history and ask one person – one question – who would it be and what’s the question?
  • How would you describe the perfect family? Marriage? Relationship?
  • What would you do if a meteor was about to hit the earth?
  • If you could be a sports star – what would the sport be?
  • If you could own one car, what would it be and what would it look like?
  • Is there something that you could never forgive someone for?
  • Would you be open to marrying someone of a different ethnicity?
  • How would you feel if your parents/roommates/best friend died?
  • How would you feel if someone told you they loved you unconditionally and always would?
  • How did you feel when you first fell in love?
  • How would you feel if you and your best friend were fighting?
  • What makes you most happy?
  • What makes you most sad?
  • When are you most afraid?
  • What circumstance would have the greatest potential of setting you off?
  • How do you deal with grief?
  • How do you feel about moving away from home and becoming independent?
  • How do you feel about graduating?
  • How would you feel if someone close to you committed suicide?
  • How would you feel if you lost all your money?
  • How would you feel if you found out you had terminal cancer?
  • How would you feel if you had to move away from all your friends or family?
  • How did you personally react to 911?
  • How would you feel if your best friend told you they were gay?
  • What are you doing when you most feel alive?
  • As a woman – what most makes you feel feminine?
  • As a guy – what most makes you feel masculine?
  • Would you rather be deaf or blind, if you had to choose – and why?
  • If you were to witness a murder – how do you think you would respond?
  • How would you feel if your parents were getting a divorce?
  • How would you feel about the effects of alcohol on people’s behavior?
  • How do your friends make you feel about yourself?

 

Exploring spiritually with Billy from Bangladesh

My friend Todd and I help lead a bible study for men on Monday nights. The group includes students from Taiwan, South Korea, China, the US, India, and Bangladesh. We know that at least two of the students are not yet followers of Jesus. A couple weeks ago, Todd passed around a list of questions.

“Here are some questions you could ask your friends as you begin to explore spiritually with them,” he said.

  • Did you have any religious background growing up?
  • Who is Jesus to you?
  • What do you think is the biggest problem with Christianity today?
  • Have you ever met a Christian whose life didn’t match their message?  Explain.
  • Could you tell me about your spiritual journey?
  • What’s your spiritual background?

I’ll pause in the letter here to ask you the same question Todd did: What question on this list do you think would be helpful as you explore with those around you – at work, at the gym, in your neighborhood?

We all went around and our students generally thought they could see themselves asking a question like this to their friends and classmates. Then “Billy” from Bangladesh spoke up.

Billy is Muslim, but he’s been coming to our bible study off and on for a year now. Billy and I have had some really significant conversations after those bible studies. We usually unpack either a story about Jesus (like Jesus meeting the Woman at the Well in John 4) or a story Jesus told (like the parable of the prodigal son). Since the Koran says that good Muslims are supposed to read the New Testament and listen to Jesus, I figured that was a good place to start.

Billy looked at the list of questions, and then looked at Joe, one of the grad students who helps lead the bible study.

“You know, Joe, this last question ‘What’s your spiritual background?’ that’s what you asked me a year ago in the gym, and that’s why I’m here tonight. You were interested in getting to know me and my spiritual life.
I’m really thankful you asked the question.

And here, Billy made explicit what Todd, Joe, and I knew: when we ask people questions like these, people feel cared for and are interested in talking.

I asked Billy why he comes to Cru. He replied, “Where else on campus can I have significant conversations like these about the things that truly matter.

Thanks for the vital part you play in helping us have spiritual conversations with Billy and those like him. What about you? This week (maybe even tomorrow), could you ask one of your coworkers or neighbors one of these questions?  We would LOVE to hear how it goes. Shoot us an e-mail: brian.ellis@cru.org, malisa.ellis@cru.org so we can celebrate with you.

Loving our Adventurous Lord,

Brian and Malisa