Missional Habits | Taking the Next Step

AUTHOR: Caleb Jenkins

Read:

Re-read the passage from Tuesday (Luke 24:13-35). What new insights do you have?

Focus:

Missional habits are practical ways we can develop a lifestyle of evangelism that views sharing the gospel not as an isolated activity, but as an integral part to our whole life discipleship. Read this brief description of a missional habit and take a concrete step toward developing that habit today.

 

Question Asking

When I was little, I was very inquisitive. I would ask my parents question after question, trying to learn more about the world. In addition to being curious, I was also a know-it-all (still am in some ways). I started to ask my parents questions that I knew the answers to in order to test them and demonstrate how smart I was. Eventually they caught on, and each time I asked them a question, they would respond, “Do you want to know the answer to this question, or do you want to know if I know the answer?” If it was the latter, they wouldn’t respond.

I am always surprised by this story of Jesus asking His two disciples questions He already knows the answers to. Is He testing them or trying to make them feel stupid? I doubt it. Even though He does chide them for lack of understanding later, I think He is inviting them to reflect on their experience of disappointment and apprehension to believe the women. His questioning prepared them for a deeper conversation about the Messiah and a fuller understanding of the Scriptures.

A good question can generate fruitful conversation, develop relational intimacy, and lead to deeper understanding. Developing this skill and habit is critical as we seek to grow in personal evangelism. In general, open-ended questions, ones that invite a deeper and more lengthy response, are better to ask than closed questions (ones that can be answered with a “yes” or “no,” or a simple response). If we ask good, open-ended questions of unbelievers, we can both know how to better present the gospel to them, and also encourage them to think more deeply about spiritual matters.

Today, practice asking open-ended questions.

  • Think ahead to one conversation you will likely have today and plan to practice asking open-ended questions when that happens. It could be with a family member, co-worker, friend, or neighbor. Ideally, this would be one of your 9.
  • When that conversation occurs, pray for the Spirit to empower your question- asking.
  • Ask open-ended questions like: “How was your…?” “When did you want to…?” “Help me understand…” “What feelings did you have when…?” “I’m curious about…” “Who else…?” “What are some things you enjoy about…?” “Tell me more about…”
  • Be genuinely curious about the other person. Remember that each person you talk to is made in God’s image and has infinite worth.
  • Afterward, reflect on this experience. What came naturally? What was a challenge for you?
Pray:

Pray for your 9 for 90 seconds; pray that the Spirit would enable you to listen well to them.

Day 6 of 90

5 Comments

  1. Maggie O’Malley

    I’ve felt lead to add a few more people to my list…so I did. I think this is a good habit for me to continue doing; even beyond the 90 day mark 🙂

    Reply
    • Jeannie Lucas

      It is a great habit to get into! and I am grateful for the reminders as I get started forming this habit.

      Reply
  2. Sarah Brown

    Today from re-reading our passage in Luke I recognized that it often take several times of hearing truth to recognize it as truth and for our eyes to be open. Not unlike Cleopas, I grew up knowing truth in Gods word but I need it’s continual influence over my life.

    Today’s missional habit came at the perfect time. I’m doing my quiet time at lunch and have a file review with one of my people I’m praying for. I plan on delivering feedback, and this mission habit of asking questions was a great reminder and model for helping someone through self-discovery.

    Reply
    • Jeannie Lucas

      And it struck me that Jesus explained all of this and they STILL didn’t recognize Him, until later when he broke the bread and their eyes were opened. BUT they were open to hearing more and asking questions throughout the process. Another book I’m reading talked about this very same thing; asking questions is such an important step in the process of understanding, learning and RE-learning. The more you can mentally engage the process (through questions), the more likely you are to retain and understand the information.

      Reply
  3. Matt

    I was reading a biography on William Wilberforce last night and I was surprised to read that he kept his own list as well: people of faith who needed to be encouraged and people not of the faith and ways he would like to engage them in conversation. What a great example of someone who fought an incredible evil in the public sphere while at the same time very intentionally preparing for conversations to share the gospel with a specific person. And to the encourage those who are in the trenches with him!

    Reply

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