: Ten Questions

10 Questions to Ask to Benefit from a Conference or Special Event

I’ve had the privilege of attending countless conferences and other special events. Some were primarily inspirational, others were mainly instructive, and many were for the purpose of conducting business, hearing reports, and connecting with people. They usually last from half-a-day to several days in length.

Afterward, however—regardless of how much I enjoyed myself or how profitable the experience seemed at the time—I often reflect upon the resources I’ve devoted to attendance and wonder if I have benefited from the conference/event as much as I could have.

Having invested hours or days of my life in this way, I want to know that it’s been time well spent.

To better ensure good stewardship of the opportunity, I have developed these ten questions.

1. What’s the single most important truth I have learned at this conference/event?

2. What’s the most important thing in my life that will be different or I will attempt to change as a result of attending this conference/event?

3. What’s the next step I should take to incorporate this change into my life?

4. What’s the single most important resource I should acquire at or after this conference/event?

5. When will I begin to read/listen to/utilize this resource?

6. Who is one person at this conference/event with whom I should discuss this conference/event?

7. Who is one person after this conference/event with whom I should discuss something from this conference/event?

8. Who is the one person at this conference/event I most need to encourage?

9. Who is someone who has helped to organize or serve at this conference/event who deserves a word of gratitude and would be encouraged to know of the impact of this conference/event in my life?

10. What’s one thing I should pray about for myself and for others as a result of this conference/event?

This resource is available here as a free, downloadable PDF document, formatted as a bulletin insert (perhaps for use by those attending a conference or event at your church).

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

30. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace—in your phone, day planner, calendar, bulletin board, etc.—where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

 

You can download this post as a bulletin insert here.

10 Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering

Many of us struggle to make conversation at Christmas gatherings, whether church events, work-related parties, neighborhood drop-ins, or annual family occasions. Sometimes our difficulty lies in having to chat with people we rarely see or have never met.

At other times we simply don’t know what to say to those with whom we feel little in common. Moreover, as Christians we want to take advantage of the special opportunities provided by the Christmas season to share our faith, but are often unsure how to begin.

Here’s a list of questions designed not only to kindle a conversation in almost any Christmas situation, but also to take the dialogue gradually to a deeper level. Use them in a private conversation or as a group exercise, with believers or unbelievers, with strangers or with family.

  1. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since last Christmas?
  2. When was your best Christmas ever? Why?
  3. What’s the most meaningful Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
  4. What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you’ve ever given?
  5. What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
  6. What is your favorite Christmas tradition now?
  7. What do you do to try to keep Christ in Christmas?
  8. Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?
  9. Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves such a worldwide celebration?
  10. Why do you think Jesus came to earth?

Of course, remember to pray before your Christmas gatherings.  Ask the Lord to grant you “divine appointments,” to guide your conversations, and to open doors for the gospel.  May He use you to bring glory to Christ this Christmas.

You can download this post as a bulletin insert here.

10 Questions to Ask at a Thanksgiving Gathering

At Thanksgiving many of us find ourselves with people we rarely see or hardly know. In these kinds of situations meaningful conversation is often difficult.

Here are some questions designed not only to spark conversation, but dialogue relevant to the season.

When used with a group, one option is for each person to answer each question. Another is for each person to answer just one or two questions.

Don’t forget to explain the “why” for each answer.

1. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
2. What’s the happiest Thanksgiving memory of your childhood?
3. What do you enjoy most about the Thanksgiving holiday?
4. Who is the most consistently grateful person you know?
5. What’s the one experience for which you are most thankful this year?
6. What’s the one book, article, or blog post for which you are most thankful this year?
7. What’s the one thing you’ve learned this year for which you are most thankful?
8. If you could thank one person today—near or far, living or dead—for their influence on your life, who would that person be?
9. Who’s one person you’ve never thanked for their contribution to your life, but would like to?
10. For what do you feel most grateful to God today?

Afterward, look for an opportunity to conclude the experience with a prayer of gratitude to God.

You can download this post as a bulletin insert here.