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Archive for November 2010

Asking Questions about the Second-Half

“What are your dreams for the second-half of life?” This was the question my husband, Jon, posed to the adults at our table at an older adult ministry event where I was the speaker. The question was specifically directed to the couple sitting closest to us, and the husband made the typical joke…’I’m not that old!’ But after a few moments of silence the wife rather quietly said, “Well…I have thought about what I’d like to do after we retire.”

Her dream was to use their RV for disaster relief. She said, “When a flood or tornado or some other crisis hits a region, I’d like to be able to just jump in our RV and go. We could help with cooking meals or cleaning up or anything else that would be useful.” The more questions we asked her, the more excited she got. And we spent several minutes brainstorming about how she might make this dream a reality, such as identifying ministries she could hook up with and learn from.

The short interchange we had with her reiterated to me how important it is for us to ask questions.

Nearly every night as I tuck our 6-year old into bed I ask her, “What was your favorite part of the day?” I have asked this so many times she has come to expect it and sometimes before I pose the question, she will say, “well, aren’t you going to ask me?” We need to ask adults questions that get them thinking about the second-half of life. Even if they don’t have an answer the first time we ask, just posing the question will get them thinking.

In addition to the question above, “What are your dreams for the second-half of life?”, you might also ask:

What are you passionate about?

What do you like to stay up late at night talking about?

What do you want to be doing in 10 years?

What is something you have always wanted to do but have never had the opportunity?

If money and time were no object, what would you want to do for God’s Kingdom?

These questions are just a few suggestions. It’s really all about taking the time to get to know someone and encouraging them to think a little deeper about all they have to offer.

What other questions would encourage reflection among the new old?