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Ask This Question at Your Thanksgiving Gathering

Next Thursday we will gather around tables set with great food to celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us will find ourselves seated next to people we rarely see or hardly know. In these kind of situations, meaningful conversation is often difficult.   

Here are some questions designed to spark not only conversation, but also dialogue relevant to the season. I want to encourage you to pick one or two questions from this list and then ask the question when the time seems best.

When used with a group, one option is for each person to answer each question. Another option is for each person to answer just one or two questions.

When answering the questions, encourage people to explain the “why” for each answer.

  1. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
  2. What’s the happiest Thanksgiving memory of your childhood?
  3. What do you enjoy most about the Thanksgiving holiday?
  4. Who is the most consistently grateful person you know?
  5. What’s the one experience for which you are most thankful this year?
  6. What’s the one book, article, or blog post for which you are most thankful this year?
  7. What’s the one thing you’ve learned this year for which you are most thankful?
  8. If you could thank one person today—near or far, living or dead—for their influence on your life, who would that person be?
  9. Who’s one person you’ve never thanked for their contribution to your life, but would like to?
  10. For what do you feel most grateful to God today?

Afterward, look for an opportunity to conclude the discussion with a prayer of gratitude to God.

Adapted from Donald S. Whitney (PhD, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa) is professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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