Three good questions

“God would make a great poker player.  Why?  Because he never tips his hands.” _Jimmy Jones (A conversation he had with a homeless man)


Jimmy Jones is one of the greatest leaders I have ever met. He is the founder of Christ Central, an amazing ministry based in Columbia, SC that originally started out ministering to the homeless of Columbia but has since grown into a multinational benevolence ministry.

Jimmy has learned a lot about ministering to the homeless and down in out. One day Jimmy and I were talking and he explained how he had to learn to move people beyond just wanting a quick handout and into a mindset of digging out of their poverty.

He explained that he taught his staff (mostly volunteers) to ask three questions when people came to them asking for assistance.

They ask…

  1. What is your emergency?
  2. What is your goal? (Mission)
  3. What can I help you with?

Three simple question that deal with the hunger or pain of the moment (emergency) while moving the person towards building a better future (goal) and also giving them more than “I’ll pray for you” or “I am pulling you.”

I use those same questions myself…not so much for others, but for me!

Emergencies come into our lives virtually everyday – they can’t be ignored. But many people stop there, moving from one emergency to the next.

But there is a better way. For example, money problems or solvable. Marriages do not have to end in divorce or survive by sheer painful sacrifice, there really is a way to have a good marriage – it is doable.

These are just two examples. Whatever emergency, crisis, or disaster you are dealing with has a way to be dealt with. You really can move from Point-A to Point B but you’ve got to define what Point B is (your goal/mission).

Which leads to the third question…

The moment you define “Point-B” (What does a win look like for me?) then you ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do about it now?” And, like Jimmy Jones’ desire for the homeless, you move from living day-to-day trying to stave off starvation and you start building a life of abundance and purpose.


The ONE THING for today: If you find yourself dealing with the same emergency over and over then chances are the real emergency is that you’ve lost focus on the true mission of your life.

To learn more about Christ Central go here:

Before you look at the two pictures below let me give you a little context.

First, I took them on a recent visit to Glacier National Park located in northwest Montana. Sonja and I are blessed to live and serve in one of the most beautiful places in the world (ND, SD, and Montana) and each state has it’s own unique beauty and appeal, but Glacier National Park is probably our most favorite place. If you could only go to one place in Montana, Glacier National Park would be our recommendation.

The two pictures I’ve included in this blog were taken along McDonald Creek and show two mountains (part of the Rockies).

The first was taken on the side of the road looking up through the trees at a towering mountain. Look at how big the trees are! (Call them emergencies.) It’s hard to see just how towering the mountain is up close to the trees.

The second picture gives a better perspective. In it I stepped back from the trees (emergencies) and it gives a better picture of just how high the mountains are! (Call them your potential.)

Stay focused on the mountains dear friend! The trees? Not so much.

3 thoughts on “Three good questions

  1. Visited Glacier Park last summer and drove all the way to the top. I could have stayed in those Alpine meadows forever! It really felt like being in another world. Our son lives in Kalispell, so we visit there at least every other year. Breath-taking in every way. I think of you folks often, remembering your kind introduction to the COG and the beginnings of our Community Chaplaincy programs. Blessings to you and your sweet wife serving way out there in the wild west…Janet Perrigo


    1. Hey Janet! Great to hear from you. It truly is a small world. Who would have imagined, those years ago when we began working the CCP that our lives would reconnect around Kalispell MT! And yes, Glacier National Park is one of the most beautifully stunning places I’ve ever had the privilege to visit.


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