Give Me a Good Question!

If you plan your meeting using carefully thought-out questions, you’ll be on your way to leading a study that changes lives.

How often have you sat through a Bible study where an unskilled leader asks questions that are downright boring? The evening seems to drone on and on, going nowhere. People yawn and start side conversations. They leave wondering why they devoted three hours to that. Whether you use a published study guide or write your own, the key to an invigorating Bible study is the ability to ask good questions. If you plan your meeting using carefully thought-out questions, you’ll be on your way to leading a study that changes lives.

Good Bible study guides and leaders use three types of questions in each lesson, preferably sprinkling them throughout in a way that keeps the participant on his toes. If the study guide you choose doesn't include all these types, you may need to supplement it.

What Does It Say?

The observation question simply asks, What does the text say? It usually has a single right answer that is clear from the passage. Sadly, over 90 percent of the questions in many published studies are observation questions. They'll bore your group to mutiny, even if they are well-written. Look for study guides that ask observation questions that don’t insult the intelligence of your group like, What does Jesus say in verse 14? UGH!

Now don't get me wrong. A study needs observation questions. They direct the student's attention to the biblical text and move the lesson in a definite direction. They clarify what the passage says and what it doesn't say. But like white bread, they get boring if that's all there is. So look for a study that uses observation questions sparingly (no more than one third of most lessons) and phrases them creatively. For example, "Read Matthew 22:34-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, and Leviticus 19:18. Summarize the ...

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