Questions are amazingly powerful tools to challenge our thinking and to rock our paradigms. Just one question, if the Holy Spirit has been working in someones heart can crystallize an idea, a dream or awaken a passion that has been dormant. Questions are powerful which is why I love to ask them and see what happens.
Here is a question I often ask of people in their forties or early fifties. By then, they have a pretty good understanding of themselves and they have yet unfulfilled dreams - which often lay beneath their own consciousness: "What do you want to accomplish between now and when you retire?"
That question, to a fifty something has meaning because they know that the years ahead of them are dwindling and fewer than the years behind them. For those truly motivated by influence they also want to make those years count in a larger way than the years that have already passed.
Here is why the question is so powerful. Often, the answer that comes is not consistent with the job or ministry that the person currently is in. Which means that the dream they have is not going to be fulfilled where they are - and the question brings to the surface - often over a period of reflection - dreams that God has laid on hearts that to be fulfilled will mean re-evaluating their current job or ministry.
This does not mean that they are in the wrong place now. God uses our now to prepare us for our future. What it does mean is that in order to fulfill the dream or passion God has laid on their heart that they may need to move to a different ministry platform.
Several years ago a pastor in his fifties came to my office to talk. He had a great church and a productive ministry. But as he looked at his last run his heart desire was to influence, mentor and equip many church leaders. This led him eventually to join ReachGlobal in the capacity of a global equipper of church leaders. His prior ministry was great. His new ministry answered the passion in his heart to equip multiple leaders and expand his legacy.
If you have not asked that question yourself, I challenge you to do so. If you have the opportunity to ask others, try it. Questions are powerful. This one is both powerful and enlightening.