(This was originally posted on April 27, 2020)
“How are you doing?”
How many times have you asked that question? How many times has someone asked you that question? It’s a good question with good intentions. I tend to believe that when people as that question, they are sincerely desiring to know how someone is doing and if there is anything they can do to help.
But there is a problem with that question.
It is a question that is often hard to know how to answer.
When asked how I’m doing, I don’t know if I should share the part of me that is hopeful in the moment or the part of me that is fighting discouragement or depression. I’m uncertain because I don’t want to share my difficulties with others. Or, more often, I don't know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings. So, a simple, “Doing fine. How about you?” is my default answer.
We need to ask better questions of each other. Pastors, this specifically applies to us. Right now, most of our shepherding care is happening via phone or video chat. Have you considered some helpful questions that foster better communication than the traditional, "How are you doing?"
Don Whitney put together a helpful list of questions that we can ask people that go beyond the traditional, “How are you doing?”
I encourage you to read his list and his comments here.
What questions would you add to his list?