How has God SHAPED you?

By Jim LaDoux
How often do you intentionally seek to move relationships from the superficial level to the soul?  When and where do you find safe space to go deeper with your friends and family members?  What would it look like for you to move one or more of your relationships beyond the surface level?

 At Vibrant faith, we often talk about "do less,"  "go deeper," or "do what matters." For me, doing what matters reflects a desire to help people
  • go deeper with living our their callings
  • go deeper with being present with God and among others, and 
  • go deeper with turning strangers into friends. 

Going deeper requires time and space to engage in consequential conversations. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable and more transparent in order to allow others to do the same, and it requires a natural desire curiosity about others as you seek to serve and bless them.

As a coach, I recognize the power of asking questions when relating to others. I used to interview frequent visitors and new members of the the church I served and always was amazed about how much I'd learn about others in a short span of time using the SHAPED questions  below.

I invite you to use the same list of questions to learn about your members and guests, members of your leadership team or small group, as well as your friends, family members, and co-workers. As you listen to people's responses, ask yourself, "Where do you see God in the midst of these topics?"


  • What comes naturally for you?
  • What do others say you are good at?
  • What do you do better than most people?
  • In what ways are your strengths being used in ministry?


  • Where were you born?
  • What were some of your family traditions and faith traditions or practices?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • Briefly describe your faith journey. How did you end up here (church, city, workplace)?


  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • What activities give you the greatest sense of satisfaction? 
  • What attracted you to your place of employment?
  • What aspects of your job are life-giving for you?
  • What do you do?
  • Where do you go to get your batteries recharged?

People and Places

  • Who has had a significant influence on your life? 
  • Who do you go to for advice?
  • Who are your “cheerleaders” in life?
  • Who challenges you in your faith journey?
  • Do you have any spiritual role models? If so, who are they? 
  • In what settings have you had the greatest impact on others?


  • What do you consider to be key turning points in your life?
  • What life situations have caused the greatest growth for you?
  • If you could live your life over, what would you do differently? Do more? Do less?
  •  How would you describe your current prayer life?


  • What are some of your personal hopes and longings?
  • How do you see yourself partnering with God to fulfill your congregation’s vision?
  • Do you have a personal and professional development plan?
  • What are some of your dreams for this congregation?
  • Five years from now, what would you like others to say about your ministry?
  • What would you like to be celebrating in your life 90 days from now? A year from now? Five years from now?


  1. Do you know the answers to most of these questions about your closest friends and family members?
  2. Who are the 3 people you could ask one or more of the questions from the list this week?
  3. How willing and curious are you about deepening your friendships with others?
  4. How willing are you to be vulnerable with others?
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