We know there are tons of questions that are being asked in a small group on any given night. There are questions where the students know that the answer is “Jesus.” There are questions about something that happened in the Bible. There are questions about life that have to do with the study. Then there are questions that students ask that have nothing to do with anything. Questions are great for learning. As small group leaders, we need to have at least 3 types of questions in our small groups every time we meet. These questions help students get the most out of the group and push them to be better followers of Jesus.
Here are the 3 types of questions:
The Thinker: I think every group needs to have their brains challenged with questions that will get them thinking. For me, it is usually something do with the character of God/Jesus. We want to get them thinking about who God is to them. We should get them thinking critically and get their mindsets in the right place before moving onto a heartfelt question. When the mind is engaged with a good question, the heart is more open and available for change as well.
The Heartfelt: We need to be asking questions that allow students to show a little bit about themselves. Not only what they think, but how they feel. This allows the group to be more authentic with each other because they are opening up a little bit about their own lives. Authenticity builds a deeper group. A deeper trust builds on itself to create more trust and openness. We need to be asking questions that stir up emotions of the heart and bring them to the forefront of the group life.
The Challenge: The head has been challenged to think. The heart has been moved to act. Every small group should end with a question of challenge. Their minds are open, their hearts are open, but it won’t mean anything unless they are challenged to act. Ask questions for which the answers will be practical ways to practice whatever lesson you just went through. If it was on prayer, in what ways are they going to engage in prayer? If it was on service, what are some practical ways to serve others this week, etc? A step forward in faith is a win. Don’t leave the group without practical steps to move forward.
There are probably a thousand different ways to ask each question. Each one will be different depending on your group and your context of ministry. If you are asking these types of questions in your group, I know you will see some great discussions and some great growth within your group.