The New Testament records 183 questions that people asked Jesus. He gave a direct answer to three of those questions, but he asked 307 clarifying or redirecting questions in response. One well-formed question can often be more effective than immediately giving the right answer. As group leaders, one of the most useful skills to learn is the art of asking great questions. Here are some advantages of asking questions in your group this week:
- Without questions there is no learning. Great questions spark great conversations. Great conversations help us learn about ourselves and those around us. Your group discussion should be a conversation, not a class. Don’t think of yourself as the teacher, but as a conversation facilitator.
- Questions help you know whether the group is grasping the content. Without feedback you’ll never know what your group is learning.
- Questions keep the group interesting. If you’re doing most of the talking, there’s a good chance that your group lost interest weeks ago.
- Questions cause group members to learn more together than they would have on their own. A well-placed question will cause your group members to discover the answers together. Giving people the answers will actually stunt their growth.
- Questions enable the leader to focus and direct the discussion. As a leader, it’s part of your goal to create an environment where discussion can be authentic and meaningful. Asking great questions allows you to move the conversation skillfully toward openness and growth.
- Group interaction helps relationships develop within the group, which in turn helps learning and application. Knowledge isn’t the goal of your group discussions – transformation is. At Saylorville, we want our groups to experience life change together. Great questions can lead to shared life experiences, biblical change, and practical steps of growth in your group.
As a group leader, keep sharpening the skill of asking great questions. Over time, you’ll find that the conversations you have and the relationships you build will draw your group together, increase participation, and create some great memories.