FOR GREETERS, SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS, SMALL GROUP LEADERS, WOMEN’S MINISTRY, and MORE

Are you tired of the surface HELLO & HOW ARE YOU at church? If you crave deeper relationships, try these 33 questions and turn ‘awkward’ into meaningful conversation.

GETTING RID OF ‘AWKWARD’ IS EASY WHEN YOU ASK BETTER QUESTIONS

Do you ever get a bit stuck in conversation?

  • Not sure what to say
  • Receive an awkward stare
  • Walk away after a quick How are you?

GOD DESIGNED US FOR MORE

If you long for more meaningful relationships in your church, you are not alone. Millions of Christians walk past millions of Christians every Sunday morning with little or no connection. The reason we long for more is because God designed us for deep community. He designed His church to function as a family.

The Bible talks a lot about knowing one another deeply:

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11). 

Two are better than one … If either of them falls down, one can help the other up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

How can we bear one another’s burdens and encourage one another, if we don’t go below the surface Hello’s and How are you’s

I don’t believe God is satisfied if we are skimming the surface of community.

BUILD DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS IN CHURCH MINISTRY BY ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS

There are common reasons we don’t dive deep in conversation.

  • We don’t know what to say
  • Asking questions feels awkward
  • We are afraid others will think we are prying

However, when we practice asking great questions, the opposite actually happens!

  • We always have something to say because we have a list of meaningful questions to ask
  • Asking questions and listening becomes natural
  • We discover that people love to be listened to

BETTER LISTENING IS THE FOUNDATION OF LOVING PEOPLE

I love going to see my counselor. I call him my “Pay-a-Friend.” I can count on him to always listen to anything I have to say. (Now, I realize this is because I pay him but, regardless, it is lovely.) And the feeling I get from being listened to makes me want to be a better listener for others.

Because, let’s face it, most of us aren’t good listeners. We want to share our stories and we are preoccupied with our own needs and wants. It’s a common human thing, but Jesus doesn’t call us to be common, does He?

No, God calls us to be something other. To be counter culture. To be a light shining brightly. And listeners shine brightly, because they are rare in our noisy world. 

NO MORE AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS

As you look through these 33 questions, some will seem more natural for you. Start with the ones that are easier for you. Just choose 1 of your favorite questions on the list, one that isn’t too far outside your comfort zone, and practice it this week. Make it a goal to ask 5 people that one question sometime in the next 7 days. 

It may feel awkward at first, but as you practice, that question becomes a natural fit for you in conversation. After that one feels natural, add another question to your personal quiver of questions. And before long, you will have a quiver full of questions that go straight to the heart. And you will reap the benefits. 

  • Your friendship circle will broaden
  • Your relationships will grow deeper
  • And you’ll watch your church community begin to change

33 QUESTIONS TO ASK FOR DEEPER CONVERSATIONS

  1. What is one great thing about your week?
  2. What was one difficult thing about your week?
  3. Who is an inspirational person in your life?
  4. What are you learning about yourself lately?
  5. What’s one thing you are looking forward to this month?
  6. If you could go somewhere to get away, where would you go?
  7. If you could change one thing in your life right now, what would it be? 
  8. What’s one time when you knew God was working in your life?
  9. How can I pray for you this week?
  10. What is the hardest thing about this season of your life?
  11. How do you stay connected to God throughout the week? 
  12. What could you do to connect with God more?
  13. What has God has been teaching you lately?
  14. What’s one thing that makes you anxious?
  15. What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
  16. What’s the biggest struggle in your life right now? 
  17. What do you do in your free time?
  18. Who are you closest to in your family?
  19. Where do go where you feel the most at peace?
  20. If you had the whole weekend off, what would you do?
  21. What is your dream job?
  22. What’s one cause or injustice in the world you wish you could fix?
  23. How many places have you lived throughout your life?
  24. When did you first know there was a God?
  25. When in your life did you feel closest to God?
  26. What makes you feel most connected to God?
  27. How do you balance all the priorities in your life?
  28. When have you felt the farthest away from God?
  29. What is one thing you’ve done that you are really proud of?
  30. What’s one goal you set that you achieved – even if it was in childhood?
  31. What are the qualities you appreciate in your closest friends?
  32. Where are you most aware of God’s presence? (in nature, with people, in quiet, etc.)
  33. What is your dream vacation?

AFTER YOU ASK A QUESTION, KEEP THESE TIPS IN MIND

BE SENSITIVE

Of course it’s important to be sensitive to people’s comfort level in sharing, but I am continually amazed at how much people actually DO want to share. If you meet a new visitor for the first time, you might not want to start with What is your biggest struggle this week? But for someone you know, that is a caring question.

LISTEN, DON’T JUDGE

While great listening starts with asking great questions, your response is just as crucial. After you ask a question, your goal is to listen, not to judge or add your input. Don’t overtake the conversation with your own stories or opinions. The aim is to know and love people. Don’t teach, don’t lecture, don’t theorize –  just listen to understand.

FOLLOW UP FOR DEEPER UNDERSTANDING

Any of the questions above will lead naturally to more questions. For follow-up, think about Who? What? Why? Where? When? How? One of my favorites is simply: Tell me more about that.

DON’T END THE CONVERSATION ON A NEGATIVE

As you become a great conversationalist, you may uncover situations that aren’t so cheery and positive. Instead of being afraid of that, welcome it. Because we all have tough stuff, and talking about difficult pieces of life creates an opportunity to share hope and form deep bonds. However, instead of leaving a conversation on a downer note, be sure to turn it back to the positive. Because we serve a God of hope, a God who restores, and a God who loves without fail.

YOUR LIGHT SHINES BRIGHT WHEN YOU LISTEN

We often picture influential people as being good speakers. But great leaders are always great listeners first. The following phrase has been shared by many: They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Listening is often the best way to show how much you care.

Just by being a better listener, you can be a light in this world of self-absorption. People crave to be listened to. From the joys and struggles of their day, to their deepest fears and most beautiful dreams. So make a difference today. Whether you are at the grocery store, headed to church, or hanging out with your family.

Give it a whirl and ask a great question today!

READ MORE FOR PERFECT RELATIONSHIP BUILDING EVENTS:

CLICK HERE: WOMEN’S MINISTRY: SUMMER EVENTS – 3 Easy Low-Prep, No-Stress Ideas

CLICK HERE: WOMEN’S MINISTRY IDEAS TO BUILD COMMUNITY