Sheila West, founder of Real Living Ministries and women’s leader (and a friend!!) shares today about the importance of our asking questions. Read and ask yourself the questions she poses below.
In the beginning of my journey with Jesus, one of the biggest mistakes I made was to read the Gospels as a spectator. To me, it was God’s story about God’s Son with a whole cast of people who lived with Him thousands of years ago. And then, I got it! The Gospels are reflective insights into my story, too. Many walked with the Word while He was in the flesh and then continued their journey with Him walking in the Spirit. And now, thousands of years later, I, too, am walking with the Word in Spirit. I am following Him and learning from the truths of the written Word how to live my daily life.
Questions are a big part of the Gospels. Jesus asked lots of questions. He knew that asking questions is one of the most basic ways that we learn and grow. As we walk through the Word with Jesus, we discover how the questions that He asked His disciples weren’t rhetorical. They were strategically asked to precipitate a reality check that when answered would lead to a new way of thinking. A reality check for us is that these questions weren’t just for yesteryear. They are for us too.
For me, the importance of questions is twofold: Answering and Asking. First, Answer the questions! When you read the Gospels, don’t wait to see what Peter said when Jesus asked, “And who do you say I am?” Let the question penetrate your own thoughts. Ponder it. Answer each question reflectively and honestly. Then, ask how it is a life lesson to live out in the real world.
I would encourage you to go through the Gospels answering all of Jesus’ questions, considering how they apply to you personally. You know questions like:
· Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? (Matt 6:27)
· Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye yet fail to perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? (Matt 7:2)
· Why do you harbor evil thoughts? (Matt 9:4)
· Why are you terrified? (Matt 8:26)
· Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)
These are questions that can precipitate a reality check over and over in our own personal lives.
Secondly, learn from Jesus to ask questions as a powerful leadership tool. This communication skill is important when we are teaching Truths and coaching those whom we are called to lead. Everyone gets lost in their own world. Sometimes the most powerful way to be an influential leader is strategically asking thought-provoking questions, especially in three key areas of life and ministry:
· How are you dealing with those battles that are going on in your mind: anger, worry, overspending, forgiveness, etc?
· Have you been regularly finding a place of solitude to hear from God? What are you hearing form Him?
Synchronizing Life and Ministry
How much are your concerns stressing you out? How is it showing up?
· What are you hearing from God about your marriage and the balance of leading people vs. leading your family?
· Are there any areas in your life you feel must change in order for God to keep growing your influence or leadership?
· Who are you hanging out with that inspires you?
Staying Culturally Savvy
· With whom are you intentionally building a relationship with for the purpose of leading them to real life in Jesus Christ?
· With whom are you intentionally building relationships with that are not from your own sphere of influence so that you can learn from them about their generation, their culture, and their challenges?
Questions. Answer them! Ask them! I’m just saying…
Sheila West has been involved in Women’s ministry for over 25 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church. She is presently on the Leadership Team for Heritage Community Church, in Lady Lake, Florida, including coordinating women’s ministry. She is the founder of Real Living Ministries, a speaking, teaching, and leadership development ministry to women. Sheila has appeared on numerous Christian radio and television broadcasts, including The 700 Club, and 100 Huntley Street. She is the author of Beyond Chaos, published by NavPress, and is a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two, and the proud grandparents of eight.