We do a Spirituality Assessment with each new resident at Methodist Children’s Home. This assessment in one part of our ministry’s plan of building “intentional, healing” relationships with at-risk kids.
The first question we ask is “Do you believe in God?” Honestly, I don’t want this to be the first question. It seems to me to beg for the “right answer”: after all, most of America is still religious enough that if a preacher in a position of authority over you asks if you believe in God, the answer ought to be “yes,” right?
I don’t want anyone to tell me they believe in God because that’s the answer they think I want to hear.
For this reason, and for clarity’s sake, we ask these follow-up questions:
- Who or what has most influenced this belief?
- What do you think God is like?
It is with responses to these questions that things are more likely to get interesting.
The “what do you think God is like” most often draws a blank stare. Our culture is good about talking about there being a God, but not at all good about describing such a Being. Yet we all have some ideas in us about what God is like. Putting these into words helps, however much effort we’ve put toward them already.
So, what do you think God is like?