Following is my latest update on my pursuit of life’s greatest questions.
The longer I have lived, the more I have come to understand that wisdom is speaking less and listening more and when you do speak it is usually better to ask a good question than give a good answer. (You not only learn by asking questions, but you can usually lead more effectively by asking questions.)
Many of the following questions (especially the first few dozen) are very personal–hammered out over the years as I sought to be more clear and intentional about my values and calling, but I give them in hopes that they will help you in your journey to discover your core values and calling in life.
Many, if not most, are not original with me but were inspired by others.
I use them as “mile-markers” to keep me on track and to hold myself accountable. I work through them once a quarter (four times a year), so most days I only reflect on one of them (during my morning devotional time), but occasionally the pace of life causes me to get behind and then I will review two a day until I get back on track.
Bottom line, I offer these questions in the hopes that they will inspire you to begin or improve your own personal list of reflection questions. It is my prayer that they will help you as much as mine help me.
And if you have some great questions that you’d recommend, please send them to me (see comment block below). I’m always on the hunt for better questions!
My Reflection Questions:
1) Life-Mission Diagnostic Question #1: What I have I learned about Jesus Christ since my last entry?
2) Life-Mission Diagnostic Question #2: Has my love for Jesus Christ grown since my last entry and how is that growing love manifested?
3) Life-Mission Diagnostic Question #3: Am I obeying Jesus fully? And if not, in what areas do I need to improve?
4) Life-Mission \ Obeying Jesus Christ requires that I become a servant to all men that I might win the more to Him (1 Corinthians 9:19-27). This requires me being temperate in all things for other’s sake. Therefore, what sins and/or “weights” are there in my life right now that could hinder my ability to win people to Jesus Christ?
Review of my PEP Values (My personal values)
5) Am I being faithful to my PEP Values: People Matter.
6) Am I being faithful to my PEP Values: Equipping People for Life & Eternity?
7) Am I being faithful to my PEP Values: People Experiencing Pentecost.
Review of my VIE Values (My vocational values)
8) What specifically am I currently doing to validate the ministers and laity under my care?
9) What do I need to inspire the NCR to become and do?
10) What specifically am I doing to equip the NCR region to fulfill God’s calling on this region (see above)?
Review of my Definition of Success
(What will be “success” when I am 80 and beyond)
11) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I able to look at myself in the mirror and know that I am doing what I was born to do with growing excellence so that I can be adding value right up to the end?
12) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I on pace to be at peace with God and if possible all people?
13) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Are Sonja and I best friends and truly enjoying being with each other?
14) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Are Sonja and I cultivating some great friendships (including my immediate and extended family) so that they will want to seek us out and will find delight in seeing us when they are able?
15) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I on pace to provide a good life for my wife and leave an inheritance to my children’s children (Proverbs 13:22) without compromising what I was born to do?
16) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I loved and respected by those who know me best?
17) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I able to look at myself in the mirror and know that I am doing what I was born to do in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and not in my own strength (substituting the anointing with personal experience, etc.)
18) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Do Sonja and I love each other more today than we’ve ever loved each other, and are we on a pace to be inseparable soul mates, lovers, and friends who reflect a covenant marriage demonstrating how Christ loves the Church and how the Church loves Christ “till death do us part”?
19) My definition of Success at age 80 is: Am I setting up for success the generation(s) that will follow me and am I intentionally cheering them on? (Making my life about the future and others vs. the now and me.)
God’s Call on my Life…
20) FIRST: God’s Call on my life – I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and therefore has a claim on me that I must not and will not resist. Therefore, can I say with integrity that Jesus and His glory and will are the ultimate and final authority and focus in all I do and in all of my responsibilities and relationships?
21) SECOND: God’s Call on my life – I confess my absolute and complete allegiance to my Sovereign: Jesus Christ. Therefore, can I say with integrity that nothing or no one has a higher priority in my life than my LORD God revealed to me in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit and that it is in Him that I live and move and have my being and all other issues of life are submitted to His authority?
22) THIRD: God’s Call on my life – Am I being faithful to the August 24, 2003 encounter I had with God, under the ministry of and by the laying on of hands by Dr. Robert Fisher, when the Holy Spirit confirmed in my spirit that He had endowed me with a “Global Anointing” and that minimally that meant that I must be proactive in leading my family and church in generously supporting financially and in any other way possible World Missions with the Church of God and in other areas as led by the Holy Spirit?
23) FOURTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – In light of the fact that God has called and gifted me to be a leader, which is being able to see and create a better future for those I serve than they would otherwise have without me, can I say with integrity that this is happening in my current assignment?
24) FIFTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – God has called and gifted me to be a communicator – especially through preaching, teaching and writing; this gives me the confidence of knowing that God will reveal his will and truth to me as it relates to his vision for my life and those who I serve. Furthermore, this gives me the assurance that the anointing on my life will enable me to communicate that vision to the people in such a way that they will be able to understand and be able to step into the better future that God has for them. Am I being a good steward of this facet of God’s calling on my life?
25) SIXTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – I am called of God to proclaim the gospel and to reach the nations. As a result (Jeremiah 1:4-5) God has endowed me to be an anointed communicator with the ability to change lives through the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Does my preaching currently reflect this calling?(Truthfully, who specifically has changed for the better as a result of my preaching lately?)
26) SEVENTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – Because of my calling I know that God will put his words in me; therefore, I can speak confidently and boldly for I will have something of eternal significance to say. Therefore, can I say with integrity that what I have been speaking/preaching lately is truly of eternal significance, or am I pandering to the whims of the moment—seeking the approval of man more than the approval of God?
27) EIGHT (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – Because of my calling, the Holy Spirit has anointed me with the ability to persuade. I am not just an announcer of news or a teacher of information. Rather, I am called to proclaim Christ to the nations and to persuade them to bend a knee of allegiance to Him as their Lord and Savior. Do I have any proof (identified conversions or rededications) that I am being faithful to my calling as a persuader?
28) NINTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – Though I am called by God, I am not the Messiah, the Prophet or any other “super-spiritual” hope for man. I am but a “Voice” (John 1:19-28). Nevertheless, with God’s help I will be the best “Voice” that I can be and I will be a Voice that declares faithfully what God wants said—especially pointing my listeners to Jesus Christ. Thus, can I say with integrity that I am improving in my skills as a preacher without compromising my core function of just being a Voice (keeping my ego and what people think about me out of the equation)?
29) TENTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – God has called and gifted me to be a shepherd (pastor) on behalf of the Chief Shepherd (Jesus Christ). Therefore, can I say with integrity that, like Jesus Christ whom I represent, I am giving my life for the sheep and I truly love all the “sheep” who are under my care (not just the “good/agreeable” ones), and am serving them—doing what is in their best interest?
30) ELEVENTH (Vocation): God’s Call on my life – Above all, I am called to “flesh-out” (I am the message) the life of Jesus Christ before the people I serve. Therefore, can I say with integrity that I am living a model life of character and integrity before my family and church family?
31) Am I keeping Sabbath sacred in my life and what can I do to make it better?
32) Realizing that sin is hazardous (eventually fatal) to my relationship with God, my wife and family, and those I serve, what is God saying to me about this right now? What do I need to do about it?
33) Have I been unkind to Sonja (or anyone) lately? (I Corinthians 13:4 “…love is kind…”)
34) Do I feel as healthy as I want to feel?
35) How am I doing at being an Acts 3 Leader: The Outwardly-Focused Leader – that moves beyond the comfort of my own church and am making investments “outside the gates.” I ask this especially in light of Jesus’ Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, and in light of my General Overseer’s call to FINISH the Great Commitment.
36) What am I supposed to be doing?
37) Do I have a ministry outside the church that benefits the world?
38) Who am I equipping for leadership?
39) What would my church look like without a building?
40) What has God given to me that I need to give to someone else. (Moving from owning and controlling to stewardship and releasing.)
41) In light of Jesus’ teaching that when I am sowing seed, three fourths of it will probably go to waste, but 25% will land on good soil so that the harvest will far outweigh any wasted seed; who/what is the “good soil” that needs the bulk of my time and resources?
42) What area of my life needs the most work?
43) If I were to meet someone like me, would I like him—and why?
44) What am I afraid of?
45) What is the best thing about my marriage?
46) What area of my marriage needs the most work?
47) At the end of my life, what am I currently doing that will be important to me?
48) What do I want?
49) How do I feel?
50) What is the best/worst thing about being me?
51) Who am I here for? (“My purpose can be found just across the border of “What’s in it for me?”)
52) Who is God to me today?
53) What do I need to create?
54) What do I need to preserve?
55) What do I need to eliminate?
56) What do I need to accept?
57) How should I lead with the opportunities I currently have?
58) What’s the best part of my life today?
59) Am I doing the right conflict?
60) Am I living generously?
61) Is my behavior matching my PEP values?
62) What is the noise in my life and what is the news?
63) Am I alone to much?
64) Am I still in control?
65) What areas do I most need the help and anointing of God?
66) Have I sinned with my tongue lately toward my beloved and those I serve? (Words of condemnation or edification or simply lying—flattery or fakery?)
67) If I could give one word of advice to those I meet today what would it be?
68) What is the most important lesson I have learned in life and what is the most important lesson I have learned recently?
69) Excluding Jesus Christ, my wife & parents, who are recent heroes, i.e. the people who have inspired, taught, and even shaped me, and why?
70) What does my wife and family need most from me at this time (how can I help them and make their lives better), and how can I lead them to a greater level of discipleship and raise their joy factor?
71) What is the status of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health?
72) What do I want my children to remember about my marriage and ministry for this particular season of my life (the last 90-days)?
73) What can Sonja and I stop doing and start doing to improve our marriage?
74) What legacy do I want to leave (think trajectory)—especially to my children and grandchildren, and what do I need to be doing now to achieve this?
75) What kind of difference (both today and eternally) do I want to make?
76) How can I be more flexible and fun?
77) Am I Okay?
78) What is the health of my key relationships?
79) Is Jesus pleased with my performance?
80) Am I replenished or drained and what is contributing to my current “joy quotient”?
81) How am I doing at watching over my wife and caring for her? What can I do to make her life better?
82) What am I currently doing that is of eternal value?
83) Am I doing too much?
84) What are the new trends, methods and opportunities that are or will be “coming down the pike” in the next one – three years and what should I do about this?
85) What are the top 3-5 problems I have, that if solved, could take me to another level?
86) What are the top 3-5 problems of my current assignment, that if solved, could take the people/organization I serve to another level?
87) What is the number one thing I want in greater abundance. Is it something I can physically touch or purchase with money? What am I willing to sacrifice to obtain more of it? What kind of reaction would I receive if I made this information public?
88) Am I walking around with unhealthy noise in my life?
89) Do I currently have any unfinished business?
90) Where am I? (The very first question in the Bible, Genesis 3:9)