I was contacted the other day by a parish. They were planning to use Barefoot Disciple for Lent – did I have any questions to help start discussion? I had never put a list together but it seemed like a good idea – so here’s the list. It’d be fascinating to hear some of the reflections that these questions promote.
You can get more details about the book by clicking on the cover in the sidebar.
Chapter 1 – Christlike Wisdom
- What life lessons have taught you about humility?
- Who would be in your gallery of heroes of humility?
- Do you agree that learning is integral to following Jesus?
- What difference would it make to your church life and your personal walk of faith if we routinely used the word ‘apprentice’ instead of ‘disciple’?
Chapter 2 – Learning to Walk
- Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? What impact did it have on you?
- What do you make of foot-washing rituals?
Chapter 3 – A Terrible Force
- What is the best definition of humility you have ever come across?
- How do leadership and humility connect up to your experience?
- What do you make of the story about Rubens’ self-portrait (p49)?
Chapter 4 – Humiliation, Pride and Modesty
- How do you see the difference between intentional humiliation and moral humiliation (p. 54)?
- How does the distinction between good and bad pride help you?
- Do you find learning humbling?
- What do you think of ‘rhetorical humility’?
Chapter 5 – Childlike Maturity
- What is Christian maturity in your view?
- “True humility … is found in accepting who we really are.” (p. 73) Discuss!
- Does old age bring disappointment?
- What do you think of the story of the all age orchestra? (p. 79/80)
- If you have time – role play Jesus before Pilate as described on p. 82/3.
Chapter 6 – Giving Up Grumbling
- Could you give up grumbling?
- Do you agree with the analysis of the ‘why’ question (p. 96 – 99)?
- Three alternatives to grumbling are suggested. Can you think of a fourth?
Chapter 7 – Becoming a Stranger
- Do you have a story to tell about a journey that changed your life?
- Have you ever felt that you were the stranger?
- Why is writing so difficult?
- How might a more open approach to hospitality change your life, your church?
Chapter 8 – Generous Living
- How does the lesson of the bus journey in India challenge you?
- Do you have trouble identifying with the rich? Why?
- To what extent do you personally have an ‘abundance’ or ‘scarcity’ mindset? What of your church?
- “At the end of the day it’s ‘generosity of spirit’ that matters” (p. 146). Do you agree?
- “A genuinely humble person is a grateful and unself-conscious giver.” Are they? Which comes first giving or humility?
Chapter 9 – Bodily Spirituality
- Does the phrase ‘interdependent creatureliness’ speak to you?
- How serious is the problem of loneliness in the Western world today?
- “True discipleship takes us to the limit of competency and capacity and well outside our personal comfort zone.” (p. 161) Is this true to your experience?
- What do the stories in the final few pages 168 – 172 have in common?