Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Some Good Questions to Get To Know One Another in a Small Group

Recently, one of our small groups decided to take a break from doing Bible Study at their group meetings and take a few weeks to get to know one another better.  They decided to focus on the following topics:

-Family Background
-Race and Ethnicity
-Community and Relationships
-Work and Education

Family Background:

Questions to help start your conversations:
  1. Where did you grow up? 
  2. What did your parents do for a living?
  3. Do you have siblings? How many? How are you alike/different, both in childhood and recently?
  4. Describe your relationship with each member of your family?
  5. When you think of your home life growing up, how would you describe it? 
  6. What is a fun activity that you used to do together as a family?
  7. Can you share a fond memory of time spent with family, either during childhood or recently?
These questions go a little deeper.  Feel free to share about as many or as few as you would like:
  1. What do you perceive as your family's biggest weakness or root sin?  
  2. Are there difficult memories you have of your family that God is prompting you to share about?
  3. In what ways have you seen your family speak truth into your life and be an instigator to you encouraging others for the Kingdom?
  4. How do you think you see a picture of the Kingdom in your family? 
  5. In what ways might your familial relationships spark a chord of bitterness? 
  6. How can we be grateful for the families of origin God has given us?

Race and Ethnicity:

Questions to help start your conversations:

1.  When did you first become aware of race/ethnicity
2.  Did you or anyone on your family move to the US from another country? Where and when? What are a few of the stark differences and/or similarities you/they observed/experienced?
3.  What race/ethnicity do you identify with?  And/or is there a race or culture you have an affinity to?  How so? (i.e., I live in a largely Indian community, I feel connection there. OR I speak fluent Spanish and I feel at home when I am surrounded by others who speak Spanish
4.  What are some really exciting and fun things that are part of your ethnic tradition?
5.  How did race/ethnicity get talked about in your family of origin?  Or maybe you feel it didn’t - how does that impact the conversation now?

These questions go a little deeper:

1.  Are there common perceptions about your racial/ethnic identity that trouble you?
2.  What area(s) of your own culture have you come to recognize, possibly through the lens of race or ethnicity? (Or perhaps you were aware of it all growing up…)
3.  What are some of shortfalls of your cultural heritage?
4.  Describe a time when your race or ethnicity giving you an advantage? A
5.  How do you see the kingdom in your race/ethnicity/cultural heritage?
6.  Is there a specific hurt in your life related to race or ethnicity that we can pray over right now?

Community and Relationships

Questions to help start your conversations:

1. Who might you call to help at 4 in the morning or to give you a ride to the airport?
2. Do you have a best friend? What do you appreciate in him or her?
3. How do you maintain friendships?
4. How were relationships approached in your family/culture growing up? Did you talk about them much? How are they approached in life now?
5. Do you have a spouse/significant other?  How did you meet him or her?
6. Are there people in life/your church community whom you would like to get up know better? Why?
7. What is one thing you really love about your current stage of life? One thing you find really difficult?
Questions to help you to dig deeper
1. Why might it be important for us to talk about where each other is at relationally?
2. How does God intend for us to learn alongside one another, in terms of our relationships?  Have you seen God at work in this lately?
3. How can we as a community foster growth in where you at now, at this moment, in your relationship journeys? (i.e. Pray with you for God to reveal your next step, for God to provide accountability, for God to provide courage to take risks, plan group activities/outings, etc.)

Work and Education

Questions to help start your conversations:

1.  Where did you go to school growing up? College/university/graduate school?

2.  Did any stage of your education involve a cross-country and/or international move? What was that like?

3.  What did you study at University/graduate school? Did anything particular lead you to this field of study?

4.  Are you working in your field of study today?

5.  How have you seen God's sovereign hand over your work/educational experiences?

6.  Do you have hopes of further education? If yes, in what?

7.  What did you want to be when you were a child?  What about in high school or college?

8.  Do you remember someone you looked up to as a child/teenager as a role model for faith, work, or their level of education?  How did they influence you?

9.  What was the best work situation you've ever had?  What about it was positive?

10.  How did you arrive at your current line of work?  

11.  Do you enjoy your work? Why or why not?

Questions to help you to dig deeper 

1.  Do you feel like you have a clear vision for your career- or a vision for ministry- in the long term?  If not, what would you ideally be doing with your work 10-20 years from now? 

2.  How does your career intersect with your faith?  Are there ways you get to live out your faith at work, or ways you wish you could live it our more?

3.  Is there a certain experience you've had- perhaps at a church, a conference, a missions trip or a service project- of being called by God towards a career/ministry?  What was that experience like?  

Have you struggled ever with feeling like work is too stressful and is taking up too much time in your life?  How might God be engaging with you right now to find balance in this area?

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