"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

Good Questions

This is the first of 2 articles on creating good small group questions.

Good questions are the foundation of leading a small group discussion. Creating them takes effort and deliberation. At the small groups conference earlier this year, I heard someone say (loosely paraphrased) that you can use someone else’s questions, but it’s kind of like wearing someone else’s shoes. They might get the job done, but you’ll never be comfortable and you’ll never perform at your best.

Good questions invite people to share their lives with others. Ideally everyone contributes and you are not doing all of the talking while everyone listens. This can get messy if you’re an agenda driven leader, but people sharing real life allows encouragement while inviting others to share. Gently steer the conversation as needed and everyone wins.

Good questions are focused – Say what you mean and keep the thoughts to a single thought per question. If it feels like a question is missing something make it into 2 separate questions. I often find that someone else will pick up on what’s missing and I don’t need the second question at all. The point here is to keep the question focused and easier for people to know what you want.

Good questions are open-ended – A series of yes or no questions are good for interrogatory situations, but in small group discussion, they can feel a little oppressive and make people feel like they are taking a test.

Good questions can come from the group – Not all questions that come from the group are good material for discussion, but some are – Don’t be afraid to take a good question from someone in the group and ask others in the group to answer it.


October 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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