Iron Sharpens Iron Challenge
“We have entrusted the care of the inner life of persons to experts who understand their role primarily in problem solving and therapeutic terms. While counselors and therapists have an important role to play in restoring wholeness that has been lost, spiritual friends have an equally important role in helping others become all they were intended to be.” – David Brenner
Deep, spiritual friendships don’t happen by accident. Just like anything else worthwhile, good friendships require work, and that work is worth it. The following tool is designed to take 2-3 people toward a deeper, more meaningful friendship.
How to Use the Tool
- Select 1 or 2 people* with whom to use the tool.
- When you meet**, begin with prayer, inviting God into the conversation.
- Review ISI guidelines.
- Pick 1-3 questions to answer as a group, and take time sharing and listening.
- Close with prayer.
- Our church challenge is to do 6 conversations in 6 weeks.
- That’s it! Don’t overthink it, just try to be the best support you can be for your friends.
* If you want to try this tool with a new set of friends instead of an existing one, we’d be happy to place you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set this up.
**Ideally, it is best to meet in person. However, phone calls or FaceTime can work as a secondary option.
When listening, I will…
- Be fully present
- Postpone my own agenda
- See to understand, not solve
- Ask follow-up questions when helpful
- Offer wisdom
- Stay in my partner’s world
- Not judge
- Not trivialize what my partner says
When sharing, I will…
- Be honest
- Be courageous
- Pay attention to how exterior events are affecting my internal life
- Not monopolize
- Where have I sensed light in my life?
- What am I learning in life, right now?
- What fruit have I noticed God producing in my life?
- What has been a significant source of joy for me lately?
- What do I think God has been trying to say to me in recent weeks?
- How has God been present to me lately?
- What is a gift I see in another that prompts me to praise God?
- What spiritual practices have been particularly meaningful?
- What promise of God do I need most right now?
- What is the story I tell myself most often about my life?
- What is telling myself this story costing me? Or, how is telling this story blessing me?
- Where have I sensed darkness in my life?
- What fruit have I noticed missing from my life?
- What voices other than God have had strong hold over me lately?
- What has been a source of temptation for me?
- What is making me sad right now?
- What most frustrates me right now?
- What doubts do I have in my life right now?
- What resentments do I carry today?
- When has God seemed to be absent?
- What spiritual practices have been dry, disheartening, or absent in my life?
- What is a gift I sense God prompting me to employ?
- What is my contribution to the very thing I complain about?
- What is absent from the world around me that could become present through me?
- What have I said “no” to when I should have said “yes”? What have I said “yes” to when I should have said “no”?
- Whom do I need to forgive?
- Whom do I need to bless?
- What neglected idea, dream, or goal in my life do I need to resurrect?
- What area of my life needs the first fruits of my energy right now?
- If I had six months to live, how would I spend my time?
- If I could write my own eulogy, what would I want to say?