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Good News: Are we asking the right questions?

by | Nov 13, 2019 | Opinion

Last month we hosted an event called Q Commons. Q stands for questions, and the idea is having important conversations that advance the common good of our communities (both locally and nationwide).

There were several 9-minute “Ted Talk” style conversations and discussion around them.

We wrestled with topics like white privilege, the mental health crisis, and the idea of intellectual humility.

Four main questions came from one of our talks based on a book by Warren Berger “The book of beautiful questions”.

Take a moment to wrestle with these and consider which side of these questions do you lean. Then maybe a harder question, “which side of these would my spouse and my closest friends say I lean”! 

Here we go:

1) Do I think more like a soldier or a scout? 

A soldier’s job is to defend a position and a scouts job is to explore new territory and to learn.

I believe as Christ followers we should move away from a culture war, and instead focus on what really moves people, love and grace. I would rather love someone well, than win an argument with them.

2) Would I rather be right, or would I rather understand? 

It’s a lot easier to love someone well when you understand their point of view, (whether you agree with it or not).

If we place too much importance on being right we run the very real risk of failing to learn something. Long-term knowledge is way more important than a short-term victory.

3) Do I solicit and seek out opposing views?  Or, how do I know if I’m in an echo chamber? 

If I look around my circle and everyone I know looks like me, and thinks like me……. Instead of asking people, “don’t you agree?” Maybe ask, “tell me if you disagree and why”.

Do I find people who think differently and seek their insight as to why?

4) Do I enjoy the pleasant surprise I’m mistaken? 

Can we look for opportunities to be wrong and celebrate them?  I have a personal goal in life to look back on myself 10 years ago and say “What a dummy”. I remember being 25 years old looking back on 15-year old Todd and saying that.

I very clearly remember being 35 looking at 25-year old Todd and saying something much worse about him.

As I approach 45, I’m already starting my list of things that 35-me had totally wrong.

    Thanks for reading this entire article. If you’re up for it, I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee as your reward. Shoot me an email at [email protected] There’s a good chance I can learn something from you.

    For more stories like this, see the Nov. 13 issue or subscribe online.

    By Todd Baughman • Pastor of Chase Oaks Church – Woodbridge Campus

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