(This post was co-written with my wife Deb, who also leads discipleship groups and coaches leaders, and is generally awesome.)
The two essential questions we are asking others when we are leading people in a discipleship group are:
- What is God saying to you?
- What are you going to do about it?
However, here’s what we find many times: when we ask “What is God saying to you?” the response starts with “I think I just need to _____.” See that? They jumped to “What are you going to do about it?” and skipped the actual articulation of “What is God saying to you?” This is a very common struggle. People will either skip right to their plan of action or default to talking about what they should be doing.
Neither of these things is actually hearing what God is saying. But it is really important to actually hear what God is saying to you, because whatever we do in response needs to be built on the foundation of what God says to us. Faith comes by hearing this word from God. This is typically a word of truth, a word of grace, or a promise. In other words, an indicative statement not an imperative one. The truth God speaks forms the foundation of the actions we take.
So how can we help others dial in to this essential activity of hearing what God is saying to them?
Here are a few stepping stones to help us slow down in our processing and hear God’s word to us:
- Take time to process the Kairos through compassionately curious questions.
- Pause here.
- Calm your mind, quiet your heart, slow down your body.
- Pray, “Father, thank you that you desire to speak to me in this Kairos. Thank you that your Kingdom is available to me right here in this moment. Would you speak to me and show me what are you saying to me in this Kairos?”
- Spend one entire minute simply listening.
- Look and listen for the word of grace to you. If Jesus was sitting right next to you, with his arm on your shoulder, what would he say? How would he encourage you?
- Write down any phrases, words or pictures you hear or see.
- Once you feel you have heard God speak, share it with someone else that you have been discussing the Kairos with and see if they have anything to add.
- Now move into a plan – based on what God is saying to me, what will I do about it? How will I respond in action?
Sometimes if we will simply slow down and listen for his voice instead of jumping into problem-solving mode we will hear the word of grace that God wants to speak that can actually bring transformation if we open up our life to it. Without really hearing God speak, we’re just doing glorified self-help, which is no help to anyone!
Let’s respond to what God is saying and not to our guilt or desire to fix ourselves.