Skip to main content

How to Enhance Your Discussions Without Even Asking Questions

Asking good questions is an important part of leading a succesful group, but sometimes the best gift you can offer your group is not a question at all, but rather a simple statement. Imagine the following scenario:

You've asked one of your finely crafted questions, and Janice, a young Christian who doesn't usually say very much, gives a hesitating answer, that shows she's on the right track. You can tell by the wrinkled forehead that she has got a lot more thoughts in her mind, but is unsure about her first answer, so has not said any more. So now is your chance to deploy the finest two words in Bible study history. 

Are you ready for them?

Take a deep breath and repeat after me:
"Go on"
Say these two words out loud now - they will change the face of your home group forever!
"Go on"
These words say loads of things to Jittery Janice, or shrinking Stephen, or hesitant Hannah, or timid Trevor. They tell them:
  1. You're on the right track
  2. I'm interested in the thoughts that are in your head - please share them round so that other people can be encouraged by them
  3. The stage is yours...
It's the equivalent of what some books call an "extending question" - but without the need to think of another question. With the right tone, or even prefacing it with "I think you're on the right track here, go on..."or "That's an interesting idea, go on...", you are encouraging them to speak so they can encourage everyone else.

Most of this post is borrowed from Tim Thornborough. You can read all of his thoughts on this topic by clicking here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.