The Art of the Question

When I was a classroom teacher, I liked to create and maintain a kind of weekly rhythm in my lesson plans.

· I liked to give tests on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

· We would usually pray for our pastors and our churches on Mondays.

· Wednesdays we would talk about the verses that would appear on the Friday verse quiz.

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· Thursdays were for HotSeat, when we would get a student up on a stool in front of the class and ask “getting-to-know-you” questions.

·  I would always conclude HotSeat sessions with my own two questions for the student:

o   What do you think you want to do when you leave high school?

o   How can we pray for you now?

In my discipling relationships with eight men in four triads (micro-groups of three), I like to follow a rhythm as well. I have three questions I like to ask the guys each week:

·         What are you hearing from God? As you read Scripture, and reflect on it, what is God telling you? I ask this question not only to encourage my guys to be in the Word, but also to encourage them to think deeply about what they read.

·         What are you trusting God for? What are the things that you are praying about? What are the obstacle or burdens that you are struggling with? How can we support and encourage you in these matters?

·         How is God using you in the lives of others? Most of my guys are married, so that’s an obvious place to start. But I want my guys also to be thinking about how God might use them in the lives of their pre-Christian friends, neighbors, and relatives.

Jim Putman has written about four key diagnostic questions he likes to use at the beginning of a discipling relationship, “Four Enlightening Questions To Ask The People You Are Discipling.” These questions not only give provide insight for the one doing the discipling, they also give the disciple some understanding of what to expect in their time together.

Questions are a powerful device in the disciple-maker’s toolkit. As you pray about investing your life into the life of another, think about your own set of questions that you can use.