I recently ran across this quote from Paul David Tripp in a Resurgence blog that is an excerpt from Tripp’s book,
Because of what I do, I have heard church leaders, in moments of pastoral crisis, say to me many times, “We didn’t know the man we hired.”
As I read this I was struck by the application of this idea to a broader context than just pastors.
First of all, ourselves. I so often see in myself and in talking with others that we really don’t know the person we are.
This is also true of the volunteers we recruit and the other people we hire.
To avoid this tendency, Tripp contends
But what does knowing the man mean? It means knowing the true condition of his heart (as far as that is possible).
To aid us in that journey, Tripp gives some great questions to ask ourselves and others. Here are the first 10:
- What does he really love?
- What does he despise?
- What are his hopes, dreams, and fears?
- What are the deep desires that fuel and shape the way he does ministry?
- What are the anxieties that have the potential to derail or paralyze him?
- How accurate is his view of himself?
- Is he open to the confrontation, critique, and encouragement of others?
- Is he committed to his own sanctification?
- Is he open about his own temptations, weaknesses, and failures?
- Is he ready to listen to and defer to the wisdom of others?
(For the rest of the list, click here.)
To apply them to ourselves, they simply become:
- What do I really love?
- What do I despise?
- What are my hopes, dreams, and fears?
- What are the deep desires that fuel and shape the way I do ministry?
- What are the anxieties that have the potential to derail or paralyze me?
- How accurate is my view of himself?
- Am I open to the confrontation, critique, and encouragement of others?
- Am I committed to my own sanctification?
- Am I open about my own temptations, weaknesses, and failures?
- Am I ready to listen to and defer to the wisdom of others?
So let’s break this tendency and ask ourselves and others these questions.
As you do, remember the qualifier Tripp adds “as far as that is possible” and cry out for insight to the God “who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” Psalm 33:14,15