This Sunday we will begin a practice at our gatherings that will allow us to know one another more deeply. One or two people will participate each Sunday, and we’ll continue until everyone who wants to has had a chance to share. Here’s the exercise:
1. You tell three stories
Think of three stories that you consider foundational and formational in your life.
For the purpose of this exercise, do not include:
- Your salvation experience
- Meeting or marrying your spouse
- The birth of your children
Each of us will take turns spending 10 minutes or so telling our three stories.
2. We ask questions
When all three stories have been told, the rest of us will ask questions, for the purpose of deeper understanding.
Guidelines for questions:
- Avoid “data” questions (“How old were you?” “Where were you living?” “What was your friend’s name?”)
- Ask feeling questions (“What do you remember feeling?” “Do you remember other times in your life when you’ve felt like that?” “What do you usually do with those feelings?”)
- Ask thinking questions (“What do you remember thinking?” “What do you think now? When you feel like that, what do you usually find yourself thinking?”)
- Ask doing questions (“How did you react?” “Are there other situations that cause you to react like that?” “When you are doing…, what are you thinking?” “When you are doing…, what are you feeling?”)
- Can you think of other times in your life when you’ve felt, thought, or reacted in the same way?
Sometimes our thoughts, feelings and reactions during formational experiences become patterns for life. At times that is a good thing, more often it is not. As we get to know one another more deeply by sharing these formational stories, let’s not miss the opportunity to understand patterns of thinking, feeling, and reacting that limit our ability to freely love each other well.
Things to think about:
- Why those three stories?
- How do those patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting play out in other life events for you?
- How can we invest in one another to push through patterns that made sense in the moment, but are now interfering with living out calling?