The “Five Why’s” is a great tool for uncovering trends and discovering information. It works as a personal discipleship tool and as a diagnostic tool for ministry teams.
Never settle for a basic answer to a basic question. Instead, ask “why?” five times.
Ask a question, get an answer, and then ask “why?” Repeat that four more times.
You’ll get a lot more information than if you just take the initial answer at face value.
Here is an example for work with someone you may be discipling mentoring.
“Why do you work?” To make money.
“Why do you want to make money?” To have financial security and to contribute generously to God’s work.
“Why do you want to have financial security?” So my kids don’t have to pay for my retirement and so the church can accomplish its mission.
“Why is that important to you?” So they can do what they are meant to do – my kids and the church.
“Why do you want them to do what they are meant to do?” Because that is my purpose as a dad and as a follower of Christ. My purpose is to give of myself in order to see my family and my church thrive.
It’s a long way from “I work to make money” to “I work to fulfill my purpose as a a dad and as a Christ-follower”!
You can use the Five Why’s as well with your leadership team both to deepen commitment and a sense of resolve in your mission AND to ask hard questions about whether or not a ministry initiative should continue or be retired.