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What are effective questions to ask people to get them to open up about spiritual issues?
Elise, from Michigan
Many people have found asking effective spiritual questions to be tough, including me! So I’ve kept my eyes and ears open when I hear of good questions. Here are a few suggestions:
• A simple opening you might use when getting to know someone is, “Tell me about your spiritual journey.”
• Another question: “How would you define spirituality?” Follow up with, “To you, what’s the difference between that and religion?”
• The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters includes more than 200 questions that are about spiritual matters. Many of them work well with people who have doubts or deny the existence of God.
Yet, more important than finding just the right question is the ability to come upon a great question because you are seeking to find out where the other person is coming from. In Q Place's curriculum called Practicing the 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations, this quality is referred to as “holy curiosity.” The Art of Asking Questions session called “What Are Good Questions?” says this:
True curiosity—genuine interest in a person and his or her story—flows from the conviction that each person’s life matters. Being authentically curious about someone’s thoughts and opinions can create a bond of trust that allows deeper and more significant conversations to continue and grow.
When you ask a spiritual question, it’s important to listen without correcting or adding your unsolicited opinion. And at the same time, listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting of what to ask or say next.
Q Place has four sessions on asking questions in Practicing the 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Complete Guide. This curriculum has 36 sessions to help you understand and practice skills to help people open up about spiritual issues.
Fill out the form below to check out a sample of the session called “What Are Good Questions?” If possible, get a few others to go through the session with you so you can all practice together!