Appreciative Interview – Sharing Different Faith Traditions

To counter fears and ignorance, people from different faith traditions are coming together to share their experiences within their religious communities. One way to build bridges of understanding among people from different religious traditions is by engaging in appreciative interviews.

An Appreciative Interview is a simple process that creates opportunities for people to speak about what is meaningful in their lives. It is a mutual interview with another person where both partners listen and speak with an open heart.

  • Appreciative Interviews like this one can be offered to begin a meeting or as the focus activity to deepen perspectives on the topic of exploring different faith traditions.
  • People can be placed in pairs or in small groups of three. Each person takes a turn being the interviewer and interviewee. 
  • As an interviewer, ask each question to the person you are interviewing. Give the gift of listening. Switch roles.

Questions

  1. What is one of your favorite parts from your faith tradition’s sacred text? What does it say? What meaning does it hold for you?
  2. What is your favorite holiday, ritual or ceremony from your faith tradition? What goes on during this time? What meaning does it have for you?
  3. Describe a time when you were inspired by a person from your faith tradition. This person can be a current or a historical figure.
  4. Share a story of how you express your faith tradition in your daily life. What are you doing? What messages do you hope people receive from your actions?
  5. Describe the best possible circumstances in which you could live out your faith as fully as you would like. What would make that possible? What would that look like in the world?
  6. What did you learn or experience in this conversation/interview?