FFB: The Best Get-to-know you Interview Q & A’s

Fellowship is an important part of the church. In order for you to truly have fellowship and not just surface level conversations you must actually get to know people in your church. One way that I try and get people to know each other is by just doing a quick, relatively painless, simple, somewhat goofy “interview” with people in front of the rest of whatever group I’m leading. By doing this I actually get to hear more about a person’s interests, background and maybe even some little known facts that I could never know about a person from just surface level conversations. God has called us to do the one-anothers of the New Testament; things like praying for one another, exhorting one another, admonishing one another, and etc. But, how are we going to do any of these commands well if we don’t first know and love one another? Jeff Mills says repetitively, and I agree with him, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” So, for this Friday Fun Blog (FFB), I want to go ahead and show my readers the questions I ask in interviews for the sake of getting to know people better, and I will provide answers for the questions in regards to myself. I am purposefully exhausting this list, so that you can use as many of these questions as you would like to get to know your Bible study, life group, youth group, or wherever you have a sphere of influence.

  1. What is your full name? Brandon Faulkner Smith
  2. Where were you born? Kettering Hospital in Kettering, OH.
  3. Where did you grow up? Mostly in Miamisburg, OH.
  4. How many siblings do you have? And who were your parent figures growing up? I was raised with my older sister. I also have 2 younger half-sisters who lived with their Mom. I have a younger half brother who lives with my Step-Mom and Dad. I have a step sister from my Step-Dad. Growing up I was largely influenced by my Mom who raised me during adolescence as a single mom. My Dad did not live far from where I grew up. My uncle also lived very close for a large chunk of my upbringing.
  5. Who would you say have been some of your role models in your life and why? My Mom was a role model for me because she found herself in a tough situation working a full-time job, going to school and raising 2 kids, but she owned it and did her best. I’m not suggesting I fit squarely into the middle-class that it seems everybody strives to get into, but I can say I didn’t go without what I needed and I look back on how my Mom raised us and I’m very very thankful. Other role models for me came in the form of pastors when I became a Christian– especially the pastors I now work with at Parkside Church. I look up to each and every one of my colleagues in some way, shape or form. For Parkside members who know Jon Cameron-I look up to his communication skills. For Parkside folks who know Danny Schillero- I look up to the way he owns a ministry and loves the people in it. For people who know Jeff Mills- I look up to his work ethic and his availability for people. I look up to Alistair Begg who has taught me some ministry principles I will always be able to apply wherever I go in life. And I could go on and on about the different colleagues I have/had at Parkside and what they’ve taught me, but I think everyone gets the point.
  6. What was your first job? My first job was working as a concession stand attendant at a movie theater in Miamisburg. I got to eat all the popcorn and drink all the Icees I wanted.
  7. Did you go to college and where? If so, then what was your favorite class you took? I went to Cedarville University and I am currently a graduate student at Southeastern in Wake Forest, NC. My favorite class I’ve ever taken… I really do not know. Greek was helpful, Jesus and the Gospels, Ethics of killing, Ethics, logic, philosophy of religion, but I guess I’d have to say undergrad hermeneutics. That was the first class I really learned the importance of context in studying the Bible.
  8. Who is your favorite author? Nobody has ever written in a way that stretches my imagination quite like C.S. Lewis.
  9. What is your favorite book? I’m not really sure… But since I said C.S. Lewis is my favorite author I will go ahead and say “Mere Christianity.” I’m not sure that any book has impacted me more than this one (excluding the Bible).
  10. What are you reading right now? I just finished Jonathan Holmes’ new book “Counsel for Couples” which I loved and I reviewed it on March 5th- so go read that review. Besides that, I read a chapter of “Devoted to God” by Sinclair Ferguson yesterday, I read “Spiritual Leadership” by Oswald Sanders a bit at a time, and I’m almost finished with “The Call” by Os Guinness. In the Bible, I am currently teaching 1 Peter and Job. I read the Gospel of John everyday in my current Bible reading.
  11. Have you been pleasantly surprised by anything lately? Yes, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by God actually. Most people close to me realize I’ve spent the last month or so with an injury to my achilles tendon. I had a week or 2 before and after surgery when I was having a very difficult time seeing hope, joy, light at the end of a tunnel. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been lifted up by my brothers and sisters in Christ. Through them, God has surprised me with joy in the midst of tough situations. I’m not suggesting I’m loving not being able to walk, drive, and the like; I’m simply suggesting that God teaches us through the difficulties– he slows me down when I need to.
  12. Sports– do you like them? Which is your favorite? Who’s your favorite team to root for? I LOVE SPORTS! My favorite sport is football. My second favorite sport is baseball, but I was awful at it growing up and could never figure out how to hit the ball. I also enjoy basketball, rugby and some others. My favorite team to root for is the Cincinnati Reds. I’m fully anticipating us to win the NL central this year. Early predictions: Nick Senzel ROY, Joey Votto future Hofer, Sonny Gray gets back to Cy-young level, Rasiel Iglesias leads the NL in saves, Suarez leads the NL in dingers, and so it’s going to be a great year. I’ll repost this in October so I can say “I told you so!”
  13. What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before? I was going to hike the Grand Canyon next week… Well, that ain’t gonna happen! But, I would like to do something this year I’ve never done before that involves some sort of traveling, hiking, excursion. I just want to wait to walk again and then my wife and I can choose exactly what excursion we’d like to do… Maybe Colorado hikes through the rockies? I’m not sure. Maybe try and fly to Iceland to catch a glimpse of the Aurora? We’ll see.
  14. Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? When I was 17 I went on a trip to NYC with my digital design senior class. I appeared on TV 3 times in a week, so I determined the camera loves me and I’m famous. I’ve never been on TV since that week, and perhaps I never will again, but for that one week I was famous.
  15. What’s the best advice you ever heard? This isn’t really advice-it’s more of a command. In Matthew 6, Jesus says “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the rest (of your needs) will be given to you.” God commands us to seek Him and His perfect and Holy kingdom, and everything else will work itself out. The difference between trusting in ourselves and trusting in God is drastic. This is why Jesus goes on to say, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow for each day has enough trouble of its own.”
  16. How do you like your eggs? I prefer egg whites over and against eggs with the yellow left in. I prefer my eggs cooked well done, but I don’t care if it’s scrambled or sunny side up or whatever.
  17. Got any bad phobias? I am absolutely terrified of snakes.
  18. What is your all-time favorite movie? “There Will be Blood” with Daniel Day-Lewis. This movie is phenomenal in every way! Awesome acting, great music, wonderful writing, almost perfect drama, and 4 of the best scenes you’ll ever see in a movie (Plainview at lunch with his competitors, Plainview in the church, Plainview and Eli at the end with the famous “I drink your milkshake” line, and Plainview with his Son in the house).
  19. What is your favorite car you ever drove? I’ve had so many cars for a guy my age. I’ve driven a couple of pick-ups, a Ford Probe, a Buick Park Avenue, a Toyota Corolla, a Honda Civic I once crashed into a horse in (story for another time), my current civic, but my favorite car I ever drove was the first one I had-a 1989 Dodge Dakota. I was so proud just to have a truck of my own, so even though it was a piece of junk I loved that thing. I remember driving to football practice with my shirt off and pads in the bed of the truck, blaring some rock music without a care in the world. I didn’t care at all how I looked; I was just a kid who loved his pick-up truck.
  20. At this point in the interview I always leave off asking “Would you mind sharing your story? How did you get here today? And where did faith come into your life?” I’m not going to answer this question since I’ve already basically done so in the article stuck to the front page of Thinkchristiandaily titled “About Brandon F. Smith.” I’ll leave you to go check that out if you’re interested in the answer.

Here is a list of other good get-to-know you interview questions:

  1. Have you ever met anyone famous?
  2. If you could pick up a new skill what would it be?
  3. Have you seen any good movies lately that you can recommend?
  4. What is your favorite family tradition?
  5. What is your favorite quote or piece of advice?
  6. What was your favorite band 10 years ago?
  7. Have you traveled any place new for the first time recently?
  8. Who is your favorite super hero and why?
  9. Are you an animal person? What is your favorite animal?
  10. Who is your favorite musician?
  11. Have you seen anything lately that made you smile?
  12. What’s the best place you ever visited?
  13. Do you collect anything?

I encourage you to steal as many of these questions as you’d like and use them to get to know those in the ministry you lead better. It’s important that the people in your ministry are known and loved, and asking good questions, and listening to their answers is key to knowing and loving people.

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