Jesus lived out a “forming” mindset in every conversation—I mean, He was naturally intentional in the way He engaged people, always inviting them into transformation. It’s easy to find examples of this proactive, question-based style of impacting the leaders who were drawn to Him—for example: “One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, ‘Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?’ Jesus replied, ‘Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast’” (Matthew 9:14-15).
In our work with ministry leadership coaches, we train them to use a “5R” approach to intentional conversations that reflect the powerful way Jesus “leaned in” to people, using questions that invite transformation. Here’s a sampler of 5 questions that shape leaders…
1 | Relate Questions
How are you doing? How is it with your soul?
What’s new since we last spoke?
What have you been practicing? Learning? Reading?
What’s come up that we need to discuss?
What faith practices have you been incorporating into your life recently?
When have you experienced Sabbath moments this past month?
2 | Review Questions
What progress have you made on your goals since last month?
What obstacles have you been facing, or are you currently facing?
What were the contributing factors that led to your successes?
3 | Reflect Questions
What have you been learning about yourself? Others?
What seems to be working? What’s not working?
What might you do differently in the future?
What skills or resources were lacking? How might you address this in the future? What might you do to increase your effectiveness and influence in the future?
On a scale of 1-10 (10 = very willing), how willing are you to make these changes? Are you modeling the change you desire for others?
4 | Refocus Questions
What are your goals/next steps for the next 30 days?
What would you like to be celebrating a month from now?
What are the possible ways to get there?
How will you select your course of action?
What will you do (who, what, where, when, how)?
How will you measure your progress?
Where do you anticipate you might get stuck or experience resistance?
What will you do in the next 48 hours?
5 | RESOURCE & Wrap-Up Questions
What progress did we make today?
What did each of us commit to between now and our next meeting?
What was the most helpful portion of the meeting for you? What was least helpful? How might we better utilize our time together in the future?
Are there any people or concerns that you’d like me to keep in my prayers?
When do we meet next?
These questions that shape leaders are simply examples that fit under each R in the 5R mindset—use them as kickstarters for your own, organic questions. And remember that Jesus used questions constantly to upend, deepen, and transform the leaders around Him… For a free, 30-minute consultation with one of our Vibrant Faith coaches—a chance to hone in on a particular area of need in your leadership, just CLICK HERE.
Jim LaDoux is the longtime Director of Coaching & Coaching School for Vibrant Faith. Jim lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife—he has two adult sons. He’s been a coach since 1992, and has a Master of Management Arts and is a certified PCC (Professional Certified Coach).