Exploring the Faith Journeys of Your Friends Through Discussion
Imagine eating at Chipotle and enjoying a meaningful and significant conversation about the gospel with a friend who does not yet know Jesus. No tricks. No surprises. No awkwardness. Isn’t that what we want? Aren’t those the kinds of conversations we long to have with our friends?
SomeTime is a CoJourners experience—a time dedicated to exploring the spiritual backstories of our friends. During this experience you will be asking friends, “Sometime, I’d like to here about your spiritual journey… would you be up for that?” And, during this conversation or the next, you will ask if you can meet to hear his or her story.
Some of you will want to use a conversation tool like Soularium or Perspective to explore your friend’s journey. Others of you will prefer not to use any tools. For those of you who prefer to explore purely through dialogue, without the aid of conversation tools, here are some helpful tips!
Seeking to Understand—Your First Priority
Your first priority is to simply understand your friend’s experiences. Focus. Listen. Ask questions. It’s that easy. There is no pressure to do or say anything. Simply listen! Put yourself in your friend’s story. See what your friend sees. Feel what your friend feels. Experience your friend’s life through the stories he or she is sharing.
If you don’t understand something, ask further questions. And if you disagree with what your friend is saying, your first step is to seek to understand. (This is not a time to debate.)
Learning to be a good listener is one of the most important skills you can learn. Listening keeps the door open for future conversations. For your friends, the experience of feeling listened to and understood can be incredibly powerful.
*** Important Note : Before you explore the spiritual backstories of your friends, reflect on your own! (For some helpful questions, check out: http://crupressgreen.com/preparing-your-personal-testimony )
Explore Past Experiences : Where they’ve been
What was your religious background as a child?
What have you tried in your spiritual journey since?
Explore Present Attitudes : Where they are
Where are you now in your spiritual journey?
How has your search left you feeling?
Explore Future Direction: Where they are going
Do you think you are moving toward God, away from God, or staying about the same?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your desire to know God personally?
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