I used to think I was the Harry Potter of relationships—magical, adventurous, and the right kind of popular.
(I may have spent a long weekend at Harry Potter World in Orlando a few weeks ago so if I’m heavy on the Harry Potter metaphors… you’re welcome).
As my late twenties have clonked me in nose like an uncontrollably excited bulldog, I’ve felt increasing isolated. Many of the people I thought I’d spend my whole life with have slipped away. Places I thought I’d truly belonged cast met out faster than Packers fan in a Vikings bar. (*cough, we’re in first place, cough*)
30 (years old) is coming in hot people, and the closer it gets the more I’ve:
…seen my circle of people become smaller and smaller.
…grieved the loss and departure of some of those closest to me.
…found myself exhausted from meeting new people and having to start at the very beginning with so much life to share.
But lately, I’ve been fiercely committed to showing up and just freaking going for it. The whole shebang: meeting people… making, deep breath, small talk.
The truth is, the only one inhibiting your ability to have strong, loving relationships is yourself (and your Netflix account).
If you want a great circle of people you have to try. For me that looks like this:
“Hi, I don’t know anyone here, I’m Sam.” It looks like forcing myself to be present and outgoing and… well, me.
As my friend Brené Brown would say:
Belonging and relationships are what we’re here for. They take time and work and effort. They require you put yourself out there and allow the world to see you… all of you.
So today, however your relationships feel—perfect, desolate, or somewhere in between— here are 50 questions I use to get to know people and truly see them. These questions help me open up and talk about things that truly matter.
I’ve written many of these questions on popsicle sticks and use them for EVERYTHING from road trips to small group ice breakers. In fact, I’m a little famous for them among my people. (Someday when I get all entrepreneurial with this whole Recklessly Alive thing I’ll sell them in my merch section…)
Wherever you are, know that relationships take time and energy, but there’s nothing more important. They are worth every setback and heartbreak in order to find people who truly see you and love you for exactly who you are.
- Where have you seen God this week?
- What makes you feel the most alive?
- What gives you the most hope for the future?
- What is one thing you feel God is inviting you to right now?
- In difficult times in your life, have you felt closer or farther from God? Why do you think that is?
- When you get to heaven, what is one question you will ask God?
- Who is one person you think God put into your life for a reason (and what is that reason?)
- Tell a moment in your life you knew God was real.
- Where is a place that God feels most present to you?
- Who is a person of faith that you look up to and inspires you?
- What advice would you give a new Christian?
- Why do some people find it so hard to trust God’s plan with their lives?
- Tell about a time you struggled to see God’s bigger plan for your life?
- What is one goal you have to strengthen you have your relationship with God?
- What is one song that has really impacted your faith journey?
- What is a book that has greatly impacted your faith?
- When you think about reading the bible, what is the first feeling that comes to mind?
- If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
- If you could hangout Jesus any place in the world, where would you pick?
- Tell about a time you felt “all-in” for God.
- Tell about a time you’ve been hurt and how God has brought you towards forgiveness.
- Is belonging to a church necessary to be a “true follower” of Jesus.
- If you could start any ministry, what would it be and who would it serve?
- What is one crazy big, God-sized dream you have for your time here on earth?
- Tell about a tough time in your life God ended up using for good.
- Tell about a prayer that God answered.
- Tell about a prayer God hasn’t answered or didn’t answered.
- What is one thing you’re super thankful for and don’t acknowledge enough?
- If you could have a cup of coffee with Jesus, A.) what would he order and B.) What would you guys talk about?
- What is the best way to show a stranger the love of Christ?
- What is one thing you would change about church?
- What do you think the future church will look like?
- What are some characteristics of someone who is “mature” in their faith?
- Who is one person you’re looking forward to hanging out with in heaven.
- Tell about a time you felt attacked or judged for you faith. How did you respond?
- Have you ever written a mission statement for your life? If so, what is it? If not, what might be included in it?
- Tell about a time you felt God calling you to do something uncomfortable.
- What is the best thing that has happened in the past month?
- What is one gift you have that you love use to build the Kingdom of God?
- What is one risk you think God might be calling you to take in this season?
- What is one area of your life that you’re still working with God to find healing in?
- Tell about a time a tough situation ended up being a blessing in disguise.
- What is one trait you wish Christians would embrace more?
- What is a bible verse or inspirational quote that has been meaningful in your life?
- Who is one person you wish you were closer to?
- What is one cause you feel super passionate about?
- What is one mistake you’ve made in your life that was or is hard to forgive yourself for and how has God met you there?
- Who is one person in your life who doesn’t understand your faith but you desperately wish would?
- Have you ever had a season of doubt or a dark night of the soul? What did that look and feel like? What steps did you take in that season?
- What is one thing you’re super excited about right meow?
So there you go! Print these out. Bring them to your next coffee meet-up or road trip. Bring them to a dinner out or a cozy campfire circle and start having real conversations.
What questions would you add to this list? Leave one in the comments below!