Monday, September 20, 2010

The Power of 3 Questions

We had a great retreat at Mt Shepherd today. We, as in the clergy of the Lexington District that is. We were lead in Bible study by our DS, learned about Mt. Shepherd, had free time, and then was led by Rev. Dana McKim (minister of Pfeiffer University and the Village Church) in a time of reflection and then worship. I enjoyed this time because it was peaceful and rejuvenating. But also Dana's questions at our reflection time I thought were most enlightening. So much so I thought I would share.

Here are the questions:

Identify your three most important relationships beyond your immediate family.
List your three most favorite vacation destinations.
Nae your three most valuable possessions.
Name three acts of self care that you have engaged in this week, this month, and this year (so there will be a total of nine named here)
Name three acts of self care you will engage in next week, next month and next year.
Name your three most significant accomplishments.
Identify three Bible characters that have had the most influence on you.
Name three Bible narratives that have shaped your call.
List three books (not the Bible) that are vital tools for you.
Name your three biggest failures.
Name your three biggest challenges.
Identify your three most challenging obstacles.
List your three most broken relationships.

After a time of reflection on these questions, Dana asked which ones take up most of our time. He told us that most of the time, in our profession, we feel we need to concentrate on the last four questions. But in reality we should spend it on the first four and use the middle to keep working on the those first questions.

I identified with this because I hate failures, challenges, obstacles, and broken relationships. I like to please people and I like it when everyone is happy. Conflict makes me uneasy (although I am getting better at it) and nervous. So I confess I do focus on those last questions more than the other.

How about you? What questions were hard to answer? Which one hit home for you? What answers provide you strength to get through the dark times in ministry?

3 comments:

johnmeunier said...

Great questions, Jim.

Thank you for posting.

I'm supposed to focus on vacations and possessions? That struck me as odd. Perhaps a sign of my need to reorient.

Jim said...

Good point John. I thought the same thing, but something I did not explain, which may shed some light, is that this was a retreat on recharging our call. When we reflect on our vacations and possessions it gives us perspectives and ideas of rest. For me my possessions were my wedding ring and my guitar (I couldn't figure out a third without being too materialistic). Those represent my relationship with my wife and something I can escape with and get closer to God with.

During some vacations as well (my top choices were the beach, Rome, and New York City) those were times I look back and can still gain some recharging from, just by remembering and reflecting.

If we only concentrate on the bottom four we will never get recharged because they suck so much away.

Hope that clarifies a little.

johnmeunier said...

Yes it does. Thank you.