What is a Spiritual Running Partner?
Just like athletes who train to reach physical goals, we need spiritual training partners to provide encouragement, pacing, and motivation for our spiritual goals. A running partner is another person who I can trust with my struggles and concerns, as well as my dreams and goals. We encourage each other to become all God intends us to be.
A running partner is another person (or couple of people) who I am willing to learn to entrust with my deepest concerns, spiritual struggles, and sins, as well as dreams, successes, and plans to grow.
Together, we’ll agree to walk together for a season in complete honesty to help each other grow spiritually to be more like Christ. Like exercise partners, we are running with each other along a spiritual path. The purpose of running together is to provide the encouragement, pacing, and motivation we all need to keep running toward wholeness.
We are agreeing to listen, to care, to pray for one another, to point out patterns we see, and to urge each other to keep moving forward in growth to become all God intended us to be.
The goal is to think, live, and act more and more like Jesus would if he were living my life, working at my job, and in my relationships.
Who Should I Look For?
- Someone in your Small Group or your entire small group (sub-divided into groups of 2’s and 3’s).
- A person you already trust who is part of your church (best for the long-term) or from outside your church.
- Husbands and wives can be partners, but often it is difficult to get detached feedback because of proximity and affect on each other.
- You can have more than one running partner, but be careful not to spread yourself too thin.
How Does it Work?
- Agree to “run together” for a defined period of time. (take it in short bursts so nobody feels stuck)
- Set a time and place to meet or have a phone appointment weekly, and agree to meet face-to-face at least monthly.
- Take turns asking each other the “How Are You Running” questions. Let the conversation go where the Holy Spirit leads. Pay attention to upholding the “Rules of Running.” We suggest you re-read the rules before each meeting as a reminder.
- Refer to the Running Partner Guide for additional information.
“Rules of Running”
- Accept and encourage as often as possible.
- Ask questions often; give advice once with permission.
- Give reproof or correction only when absolutely necessary.
- Never give judgment.
- Always protect confidentiality.
“How Are You Running” Questions
- What do you think God is trying to do in your life right now?
- How have you experienced the fruits of the Spirit lately (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control)?
- How have you treated those you do life with?
- What sin have you been conscious of this week?
- If there’s one area you need to focus on to better love God, love people, build character, or be the body (Christ’s Church), what would it be?
- What’s one thing you will intentionally do to take steps of growth in this area?
- Have you said the “last 10%” or have you held back today?
Running Partner Tools
- Print the “Rules of Running” and/or “How are You Running” Questions on a card that fits in your purse, wallet, or Bible.