By Mark Wesner
Editor’s note: The following questions were distributed as a self-examination exercise at an elders and staff retreat sponsored by First Christian Church, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. We believe they’re good for servant-leaders everywhere to consider.
Spiritual Growth. In what way(s) are you more like Jesus today than you were one year ago?
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Hunger for God’s Word. What is the latest insight you have received as a result of spending time in God’s Word?
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18).
Prayer Life. What is the latest answer to prayer that God has granted you?
”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Shepherding the Family. What has God taught you recently regarding your marriage or parenting?
“He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:4, 5).
Stewardship of Career. What has God taught you recently regarding your job?
”Obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men . . .” (Ephesians 6:5-7).
Understanding of Spiritual Gifts. What is your primary spiritual motivational gift?
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8).
Stewardship of Spiritual Gifts. What has God taught you recently regarding ministry?
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
Stewardship of Resources. What has God taught you recently regarding your finances?
”Now the overseer must be . . . temperate . . . not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:2).
Life Witness. What would your wife (or children, supervisor, coworkers, neighbors) have to say about your walk with Christ?
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Life Success. What would your wife, children, supervisor, coworkers, and neighbors have to say about your relationship with each of them?
”Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
”And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, New Living Translation).
”[An elder] must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:7).
Family Blessing. How would your wife and children describe their relationships with this church?
”Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts . . .” (Acts 2:46).
Personal Integrity. Would your family members say that you are the same person on Sunday morning as you are on Monday morning or Friday night?
“The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children after them” (Proverbs 20:7).
Learner’s Spirit. Other than the Bible, what resources are you currently using to sharpen yourself spiritually?
”Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning” (Proverbs 9:9).
Discipleship. Whom are you currently discipling? Which spiritual disciplines/practices are you developing in him/them?
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Philippians 3:17).
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (Philippians 4:9).
Personal Evangelism. Whom have you recently led to Christ? Describe how that occurred.
”Therefore go and make disciples . . .” (Matthew 28:19).
Shepherd’s Heart. What do you feel are the greatest spiritual needs and strengths of the flock here?
”Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care . . .” (1 Peter 5:2).
Small Group Leadership. Whom have you been personally shepherding in this flock?
“‘I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:4).
Teaching. Whom have you been teaching? In what ways have your students grown in Christ?
”Now the overseer must be . . . able to teach . . .” (1 Timothy 3:2).
Humility. Talk about those times in your life when you have been broken by God.
”The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17, NLT).
What sin area(s) did God address in your life?
”Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. . . . And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone” (Psalm 32:5, NLT.)
What did he teach you as a result of those times?
”Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you” (Psalm 51:13, NLT).
Transparency. On which area of your life has God been working most recently?
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:3).
Clean Conscience. Is there anyone, anywhere, who could point an accusing finger at you and say, ”You wounded me, and you never tried to make it right”?
”Now the overseer must be above reproach . . .” (1 Timothy 3:2).
God’s Vision. Where do you believe God is leading this congregation?
”Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).
Mark Wesner is associate minister with First Christian Church, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.