The Quest for Great Discussion Questions

Why is asking good questions important to a Small-Group Leader?

Why is asking good questions important to a small-group leader?

Perhaps that question prompts you to think about question-asking. That's the first benefit of good questions-they make people think. Jesus used questions to force his disciples and others to consider things for themselves. "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15) was one of many questions Jesus used in his teaching.

How to Lead Small Group Bible Studies (NavPress) lists four types of discussion questions.

Launching questions. Ask what members have discovered themselves. "What did you learn in this section about Jesus' identity?" "What impressed you most about Peter's response?"

Guiding questions. Keep the discussion moving and draw out thoughts and ideas from the group. "Who else would like to comment on this?" "Lisa, why do you say that Peter is impetuous?"

Summary questions. Ask questions that help the group summarize what has been shared. "What I think I hear you saying is that Jesus wanted the apostles to discover for themselves who he was. Is that right?"

Application questions. Help the group apply the Scripture and what they have discussed to their lives. Application questions can be in past, present, or future tense. "When and how did you come to know Jesus as the Christ?" "Compared to a marathon, where are you in your spiritual journey right now? (Warming up? Just off the starting line? Running the race, but getting tired? Another option?)" "How can our group help you continue to know Jesus better?"

What makes a good question? Julie Gorman, editor of A Training Manual for Small Group Leaders (Victor), gives four guidelines.

Concise. Have one idea in mind when asking a question.

Clear. Keep it understandable.

Creative. Ask open, not necessarily "clever," questions. ...

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