Several years ago, I attended the funeral of a fellow church member and thoughtfully listened to the testimonies of various friends and loved ones who knew him well. It struck me that I knew so little of this brother with whom I went to church Sunday after Sunday. Furthermore, upon looking over the audience, it saddened me to realize how very little I knew about any of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Not long after that experience, I was chatting with my sister about an idea that she had to help her get to know other women in the large church that she and her family had begun to attend. She came up with a list of questions, and her plan was to occasionally invite one of the ladies of the church to lunch and “interview” her. I loved the idea and quickly realized that I could adapt it to use for our church newsletter. Once a quarter, following the Spirit’s prompting, I ask a lady of our church if I can interview her. I provide her a copy of the interview questions in advance so that she can think about them and make notes if she wishes. We then meet a week or two later for about a hour to an hour and a half at a place of her choosing – whether my farm, her home or a coffee shop. I usually begin with some small talk and then we delve into the questions – going for as deep and long as the interviewee desires.
After the interview, usually within a day or two so the conversation is still fresh, I type up the answers along with a bit of an introduction about our time together. I give a copy of the interview to the lady and ask that she read over it to make sure it’s true to our conversation and worded in the way she desires. A copy then gets sent to our church’s newsletter editor.
The response to the "Getting to Know You . . ." interview articles has been very encouraging, and I can’t begin to tell you what a blessing this has been for me. It has so helped to make connections with my sisters-in-Christ and deepen relationships. And I’ve not had anyone turn me down yet – I think that most consider it an honor to be asked. The interview questions I’ve adapted from my sister’s original list are below. Perhaps, you’ll discover a way that they can help you to grow relationships as well.
1.) Where were you born?
2.) What are some of your interests (hobbies, pastimes, etc.)?
3.) Do you come from a family of believers?
4.) What ways did you see your mother involved in a local church?
5.) How has your mother’s service impacted or influenced you?
6.) What fruit of the Spirit do you believe is most evident in your life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)?
7.) What are your spiritual gifts/strengths?
8.) In an effort to be an encouragement to others, would you be willing to share an area in which you feel you are not naturally gifted and examples of what you do to develop that area in your life?
9.) Tell me about the specific ways in which you serve in the local church and/or the Body of Christ as a whole.
10.) How did you get involved in these areas?
11.) What do you think your participation in service has taught your children or how has it been an example to others?
12.) Is there a portion of Scripture that you turn to more than any other?
13.) Apart from Jesus, who is your favorite Bible character and why?
14.) Can you tell me about a moment when you felt particularly close to the Lord?
15.) Outside of the local church, what person has inspired you the most and why?
16.) Do you have a favorite story that happened in church?
17.) Will you share a bit of wisdom that you’ve found valuable to your own life and believe would be valuable to others as well?
18.) Would you share with me a brief account of how you came to know the Lord?