Bible Study Teachers… Ask Questions with a Purpose

If you teach the Bible and you want to teach like Jesus did, then you will engage your group in questions and answers. There are a lot of different types of questions that you can ask. Here is a good tip of the week from The Gospel Project to help you think about the types of questions that are best for you to ask as you teach. 

Different types of questions have different purposes that are necessary for good discussion. Some ask for more evidence (“How do you know that?”) or for clarification. Others include open questions, linking or extension questions (“Is there a connection?”), hypothetical questions, cause-and-effect questions (“How might halving our class size affect our discussion?”), and summary and synthesis questions (“What do you understand better as a result of today’s discussion?”). Knowing the purpose of your questions can help you craft questions that are not only meaningful but also give a reason for asking a question in a specific way.

–Stephen D. Brookfield and Stephen Preskill, Discussion as a Way of Teaching

I have found that good preparation as a teacher includes thinking about the types of questions that you want to ask your group. The ability to formulate questions on the spur of the moment can be helpful too.

One important tip from me: when you ask questions, give time for people to respond. Some teachers are afraid of silence after a question, but sometimes the group is silent because everyone is thinking about the question. Don’t be afraid of silence. As people think and respond, God is sinking His truth deep into their hearts. Then they will be able to respond to His truth through a life of faith and obedience.

As you teach the Bible, ask good questions!

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