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Questions to ask people

posted Mar 6, 2014, 12:36 PM by Tim Isbell

While having lunch this week a pastor friend told me about a parishioner who periodically visits his office to have a conversation. But this person struggles to engage in conversation. As we talked I remembered that over the years I accumulated a list of questions for all sorts of ministry situations. Sometimes when I wanted to initiate a conversation with a new person I'd sneak a look at the list before the meeting to get a couple of starter questions. It helped a lot. So I promised my friend I'd look for it. 

Google found my copy of questions buried high in the cloud, and I sent a link to my pastor friend a couple of hours ago. In the process I decided that others might also find the list useful, so I'm posting it on my website.

It's divided into the following categories:

  • For connecting with visitors, in person or on the phone
  • For anybody (most anywhere)
  • For Christians
  • For baptism, membership, and graduations
  • For older people
  • For potential volunteers
  • To follow up on a volunteer's experience
  • When recruiting staff
  • When checking references (in the hiring process)

If you're a pastor you'll probably find value in every section. Indeed, you may have a list of your own questions! But regardless of what your role in the world is, I'm sure you'll find some of these very, very helpful.

To view or download the entire list click on Questions for People.