SUMMARY: On this week’s episode, Brian and Chris sit down with Barnabas Piper to discuss his latest book, The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life.
The Curious Christian is an examination of curiosity, a look at life through the lens of wonder. Barnabas defines curiosity as “a way to see the world that God has given us that draws out all the important aspects of life, specifically in regard to our relationship with God.” Brian, Chris, and Barnabas discuss the importance of curiosity in deepening both our faith and relationships. Barnabas explains that the only way to reflect God is through a deep exploration of who He is, and wonder propels such exploration.
Brian, Chris, and Barnabas talk about the implementation of curiosity within small groups. Barnabas encourages group leaders to change their questions from, “What have you learned?” to, “What have you noticed?” Noticing is just as important as learning; small group leaders should rephrase their questions and dialogue to encourage members to revel in the things that God has done and is doing. When we live our lives from the lens of curiosity, our gaze is placed on more of what God did, and less on what we are “to do.”
The three also talk about how curiosity breeds humility in the faith, and how the asking of difficult questions will naturally lead to a deepening trust in God. Discovery is inherently rooted in faith in the gospel, and wonder gives us the freedom to explore our faith at a deeper level. Your “question is not going to overwhelm the gospel,” explains Barnabas. “Curiosity cuts through the shallowness.” Curiosity not only deepens faith, but also grows meaningful relationships. When we are genuinely curious and encouraging of the details of our friends’ lives, we reject the plateauing of relationships and cultivate hearts of empathy toward others.
The Groups Matter Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us.
GUEST: In addition to The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life, Barnabas Piper is the author of The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity and Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith. Barnabas hosts the Happy Rant podcast, and co-hosts the 5 Leadership Questions podcast with Todd Adkins. Barnabas writes for The Blazing Center along with several other publications, speaks at conferences around the country, and works at Lifeway Christian Resources in Nashville, TN.