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26 Excellent Self Evaluation Questions By Gordon MacDonald

Accountability Questions For You and Your Mentoree/Disciple

 (Adapted from *Gordon MacDonald, Restoring Joy to Your Inner World, Inspiration Press, p. 573)

“Chances are that you have a physical once a year or every two years. I recommend that you also have a “spiritual” once a year as well. Your soul care is just as important as your body care! This is an excellent list of questions to help care for your soul.” – Dr. David P. Craig

(1) Where are you right now in your relationship with God?

(2) What have you read in the Bible in the last week?

(3) What has God been saying to you in this?

(4) Where do you find yourself resisting God these days?

(5) What specific things do you find yourself praying for regarding others?

(6) What specific things do you find yourself praying for yourself?

(7) What specific tasks are facing you that you consider incomplete?

(8) What habits are intimidating you at present?

(9) What have you read in the secular press this week?

(10) What general reading have you been doing?

(11) What have you done to play this week?

(12) How are you doing with your spouse/kids?

(13) If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, spirit, etc., what would he/she say?

(14) Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy this week? Today?

(15) If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a servant of God, where or how would he attack you?

(16) What is the state of your sexual life (temptation, fantasy, etc)?

(17) Where are you at financially (Do you have control, debts, etc)?

(18) Are there any unresolved conflicts (ailing relatives, stress, disputes) in your circle of relationships right now (family, friends those among whom we’re supposed to feel safe)?

(19) When was the last time you spent time with a friend of the same gender?

(20) What kind of time have you spent with a non-Christian this past week?

(21) What challenges do you expect to face in the coming month?

(22) What are your fears at the present time (letting family down, bodies letting us down, etc)?

(23) Are you sleeping well?

(24) What three things are you most thankful for?

(25) Do you like yourself at this point of your pilgrimage?

(26) What are you greatest confusions about your relationship with God?

 

*Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for over forty years. For many years he pastored Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts and continues to serve as Pastor Emeritus. He has also provided leadership to influential ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which he served as President for three years, and World Relief, which he currently serves as Chairman. Gordon’s best-selling books include Ordering Your Private World, Mid-Course Correction and, most recently, A Resilient Life. He also writes and serves as Editor-at-Large for Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal. When not writing, leading or speaking at conferences, Gordon and his wife Gail can be found hiking the trails of New England.

 

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Book Review: Going Deep by Gordon MacDonald

Go Deeper and Out of the Shallows

 I am a fan of Gordon MacDonald’s books because he has a unique style of writing where he synergistically integrates principles, personal experiences, and biblical insights in such a way that he makes one think and desire to put into practice what he is writing about.

In his newest offering – continuing in the context of what he wrote about in a previous book, “Who Stole My Church” – MacDonald sets out to explore and develop the statement, “The future of the Christian faith will not be determined by the number of people who fill the pews but by the spiritual depth of those people…We seem to know how to get unchurched people to visit our buildings. We even seem to know how to draw them across the line into a declaration of personal faith in Jesus. But what we do not seem to know is how to cultivate spiritually deep people. Tomorrow’s church could be headed for trouble.” This book is a fictional exploration in answering these observations based on the experiences of the fictional pastor – GMAC – and his large congregation set in New England in the modern era. Macdonald sets out to “offer a detailed plan of helping churches cultivate people of depth–spiritually mature Christians that truly desire to make a difference for Christ with their lives, that will help grow the church.”

I personally enjoyed the book because as a pastor myself I can relate to almost every story, person, thought, and implication in the book. Like MacDonald I am a pastor that has had many ups and downs with people in seeking to be a “deep Christian” and what that means in the context of seeking to grow a disciple making church. I think pastors will enjoy this book more than most people – because they will be able to identify more with the story than non-pastors will. I would recommend this book either be read while on vacation, or a chapter a day – for Type A people – you will get frustrated because the story line will move too slow for you. As for the more reflective and melancholy types – you will enjoy the story more because it will appeal to you emotionally and you will be more patient with the developing story.

I am very concerned about the shallowness and lack of depth of most churches today, and I am all for “going deep” and think that MacDonald’s book will be used to help steer many church leaders, and thus churches in a positive direction. I hope that this type of book will spur church leaders toward deeper thinking, and result in developing disciples that are deeper and less shallow than what our previous leaders have done with their churches.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for over forty years. For many years he pastored Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massacusetts and continues to serve as Pastor Emertius. He has also provided leadership to influential ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which he served as President for three years, and World Relief, which he currently serves as Chairman. Gordon’s best-selling books include Ordering Your Private WorldMid-Course Correction and, most recently, A Resilient Life. He also writes and serves as Editor-at-Large for Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal. When not writing, leading or speaking at conferences, Gordon and his wife Gail can be found hiking the trails of New England.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Book Reviews, Leadership

 

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Book Review: Mid-Course Correction by Gordon MacDonald

Much Needed Soul Surgery Motivation for Mid-Life

I read this book when I was in my mid thirties (preparing for mid-life) and now I have read it a second time in my mid forties (wrestling and struggling with mid-life). I must admit that I enjoyed it more this time around, because I have been bruised, bent, and broken a lot more than I ever experienced in my thirties or up until that point. I suppose I will probably be reading this book again in my mid fifties too!

I am partial to MacDonald’s writing because he is a deep thinker, good story-teller, and weaves biblical principles in ways that are practical, well thought ought, and go beyond clichés.

This book is beneficial in helping one pause and take stock and evaluate their life. It is especially geared to helping those who aren’t sure what to do with their lives; have had to, or desire to change careers, or are out of work; wrestling with meaning, purpose, and in need of hope and direction. It is thought provoking and doesn’t necessarily give all the answers you may be looking for, but sets you on the right course – and helps to correct taking the wrong course for sure.

In the body of the book MacDonald weaves his own story (and our own) with those of Abraham, Moses, The People of Israel, Paul, and the Disciples and uses the outline of the fact that we need to leave something behind; learn to follow Christ; and reach for higher possibilities. Learning, following, and reaching are well developed emotionally, spiritually, and practically and steeped in a good theology of “being” like Christ, rather than merely “doing” all the time.

Gordon emphasizes the fact that God wants us to have depth of character, and this depth can really only be achieved through suffering, faith when we can’t see, trying when we don’t know if we will succeed. However, all these factors and more are necessary in our lives in order that we may become deep people internally (in and from the soul) with proven character.

I have been helped significantly through MacDonald’s writing as a broken man to another broken man, and have been given more hope through his writing in pointing me to Jesus – the only One worth following, being like, and living for. Gordon writes like a master surgeon on the soul – taking out what needs to be removed and fixes what needs to be fixed. GMAC (I’m told that’s what his friends call him) – thanks again for your writing that goes deep into the mind and heart and for healing wounds and souls for the glory of God.

 

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