Lingering questions about soul awakening

For SP - 20061201

In his article “Soul Awakening”, Geoff Gordon writes, “Soul awakening is about opening people’s eyes to a spiritual world in which they already participate. The goal is to serve people by getting them to ask the deeper questions related to their souls. How we do that exactly will require ample experimentation, prayer, and risk.”

At the end of Geoff’s original working paper, he appended some of his “lingering questions.” Below are a few of those questions. As you read these questions, think of the people you know, the questions you yourself have raised, and the outreach events you’ve been a part of. Feel free to add your comments and thoughts.

Lingering Questions

  • In our soul awakening conversations, instead of focusing on areas of felt need, what would it look like to connect with people in areas of their goodness? What would it look like to engage in conversations that appeal to their potential for greatness instead of their emptiness or place of need?
  • Are “soul awakening events” really possible? How do we create soul awakening events that aren’t either a bait-and-switch event or actually seeker events? If soul awakening is an essentially missional activity, is it possible to create soul awakening events where we are expecting the people to come to us? In New England, most people who would accept an invitation to an event that they knew had some spiritual content would already be seekers, who are further along in spiritual development than the people we’re talking about.
  • What are some ways we could bring soul awakening events to the people? How about an art installation in some public space on campus? Another idea is to bring soul awakening content into events that are already happening within the culture. Instead of sponsoring a “Soul Awakening Coffee House,” what if a group brought soul awakening poems and songs to open mic nights already happening on campus? What are some other ways we can engage with our culture and participate with a soul awakening mindset? Obviously with this approach we lose some of our ability to follow up with people, but we need to be willing to “seed” the culture liberally and trust that we’ll have the opportunity to follow up another time. (That’s what seeker events are for.)
  • What is the role of community in soul awakening?
  • How can we toss out our tired evangelistic scripts and grow in our conversational skills: asking good questions, listening, allowing the conversation to go where it naturally will yet taking maximum soul awakening advantage of the topics that come up?
  • How can we use the visual arts, drama, storytelling, music, etc., for soul awakening?

— Geoff Gordon