When we look to Jesus as our perfect example of a teacher and leader, we can't help but notice that He was full of questions for His students. What benefit was there for His asking when He already knew every answer?
When we look at how Jesus taught in intimate settings, we see questions–hundreds of questions.
“Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:13
“Why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
“What do you want me to do for you?” Matthew 20:32
“Why are you thinking such things in your heart?” Mark 2:8
Certainly, Jesus knew every answer! He wasn’t asking to gain knowledge for Himself. The point is: He wanted the pupil to ponder. He wanted the student to dig down deep to uncover what belief filled his heart.
Noting the open-endedness of Jesus’ questions, we strive to follow suit. Rarely will we ask a question like, “How many disciples where in the boat?” That is academic; our goal is application. Rather, the questions are more along the lines of: “How do you think the disciples felt when the boat started rocking?” Followed by, “Why?” And then, “When do you feel afraid?” The deeper we dig, the more good it will do. Every action is born out of a belief held (James 1:15). Without knowing what we believe, we cannot change to align with God.
In KidzLife small groups, the line of questions we give always has a direction, but in asking questions, we leave the Holy Spirit plenty of room to work. After all, it’s God who searches the heart. No matter how well-intentioned, no leader truly knows everything about a child. We can’t know who they haven’t forgiven, the fear they hide from everyone, the small bit of unbelief they may cling to. But when we ask, and the child considers, the Holy Spirit can uncover.
Some might argue that it is easier for a leader to enter small group with a bullet-pointed list of Biblical truths to disseminate. But “easy” rarely changes a life. So ask questions to get to the heart of the matter, just as Jesus did. And trust that He will bring about the change and full life that He promises (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 10:10).