Leading Dynamic Discussions:
How to Keep Your Group on the Edge of Their Seats 4
Ask Good Questions
Good questions are the key to any good discussion.If your questions are boring, your discussion will be boring. And you know what happens then. Let’s look at several indicators of a good question.
A good question creates or maintains interest.
It keeps the attention and interest of the participant. There needs to be enough variety in type and format of the questions so the study avoids taking on a sing-song feeling.
A good question keeps people awake…
…and that’s always a good thing. Don’t laugh. I’ve had people fall asleep in my studies. You’ll want to keep the interest alive so that even after a hard day of work, people stay awake and engaged.
A good question moves the group to the next question.
It goes someplace. It’s not an end in itself. It’s like an escalator; it moves participants from one level to the next. One question easily leads to the next and the next.
In the best of discussions, people won’t want to leave, even as the evening draws to a close. One question will pique their interest and cause the discussion to continue even as they walk out the door.
A good question serves a useful purpose in the overall plan of the study.
It contributes to the theme or purpose of the study. It moves the reader’s attention toward the logical conclusion. It isn’t thrown in just because it’s there. It keeps the group on track.
A good question respects the members’ intelligence
It affirms that the member is an adult with an average level of intelligence. It avoids the obvious, such as, “What did Jesus say in verse 3?”
A good question keeps the members thinking,
even into the next week. It’s like a cow’s cud that they keep chewing on. It may cause them to do further research or at least continue the conversation.
A good question causes the members to seek or see a personal application.
It leads the participant to an “Aha!” experience. It either points to or points out a way the reader can integrate this passage into his or her life.
A good question keeps the participants applying the Word of Truth to real, common, everyday life.
It answers the question, “So what can I do with this on Monday morning?”
Obviously not every question or every study guide will meet all these criteria all of the time. But as you develop your plan of attack, look for questions that meet at least several of these principles. Your group will thank you. And best of all, they will keep coming back for more.
Finally, you need to understand the four types of questions and when and why to use them.