Questions to Facilitate Encounter
Pope Francis tells us, “For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others.”
This activity is to help members of a faith community to “encounter” one another and get to know other members of the family of the Body of Christ. The questions in the activity are geared towards “going deeper” and will be most useful at a planning day, retreat, or other event where time is not an issue. For shorter events not as conducive to community building, a single question could be used for discussion.
The facilitator should instruct everyone to find a partner and discuss a question that the facilitator will provide. If members of the group do not already know one another, members of the pair should introduce themselves to each other before answering the question. The facilitator should have a bell (or some other prompt, such as clapping hands, playing music, etc.). Each time the facilitator rings the bell (after 2-3 minutes), each person should find a different partner with whom he or she has not already spoken. The activity can last anywhere from 10 minutes (if only a few questions are asked) to much longer. “Lighter” questions are at the beginning of the list. “Deeper” questions are in the latter part of the list.
- What is the most recent book you read or movie you saw and what was it about?
- What are your hobbies? What do you do to relax or for fun?
- Where did you grow up? What was it like?
- Who is in your family and who are you closest to?
- What talents do you have? What are you good at?
- Why are you here? What motivates you on a daily basis?
- What do you think is the mission of the Body of Christ?
- Who inspires you?
- How do you think our faith community does—or should—relate to the surrounding community?
- What issues are you concerned about that face the local or global community?
- What does your baptism mean to you?
- What does discipleship mean to you and how are we called to live it?
- How do you pray? What intention(s) do you frequently lift up?
- What do you feel is unjust and how would you change it?
- What is your vision for this community?
- What deeply concerns you?
- What is one important way you have changed in the last 5 years?
- When have you stood up for something or someone when it was really difficult or unpopular to do so?