Friday, July 21, 2006

More Questions

I’ve been thinking about:

Asking questions, rather than providing answers;
Drawing-out understanding, rather than imparting knowledge;
Seeking the response of the heart, not [just of] the head;
Church/mission leadership as spiritual director, rather than CEO (cf The Monastery, The Convent).

Within The Order of Mission (TOM), we make use of questions, in a communal context, as a primary vehicle for spiritual formation. The use of questions draws on Wesley’s use of questions, from which the name Method-ism – first used derisively – comes. We make use of a set of questions pertaining to ‘character,’ and another pertaining to ‘skills.’ Character is a more fundamental issue than skills, but learning relevant skills is part of the discipleship process too. Each set of questions is loosely separated-out into those that address our relationship with (or posture towards) God, each other as Christians, and those around us. Whereas Wesley made his disciples answer every question (ending with the question, Has anything you have shared here today been anything less than the whole truth?), we ask God’s Spirit to bring a particular question to our attention – through which we may discern a sense of God’s discipline or affirmation in our lives.

It is a simply tool, easily reproducible in a range of contexts (e.g. appropriate skills would vary, according to the primary values and particular context of any given community).

I guess the challenge is to make more of questions as missional strategy – and not simply to set someone up in order to hit them with an answer…

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