Why Do We Ask So Many Questions in Small Group?

Why Do We Ask So Many Questions in Small Group?

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).

Does Your Face Light Up?

Does Your Face Light Up?

What a child really wants to know is: does your face light up when they walk in the room?” (Toni Morrison) Our volunteers often joke that everything seems to go wrong on Wednesdays. Files get mysteriously deleted at work, cars run out of gas, and kids accidentally leave a much-needed textbook at school. Stress can run high as we rush to church. But if you have the honor of working with kids, do your best to leave your stress at the door. Prayer is the very best way to do this. Seriously. If you’ve had a rough day, sit in your car for a few extra minutes and ask God to clear your mind, fill you with joy so much that it overflows, and help you to see His kids the way He does.

As a teacher of Bible Lessons for kids or a small group leader, you have been given a precious opportunity. You are Christ’s messenger. “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20a

The very next sentence begins, “We speak for Christ…” Let that sink in for a minute. For a period of time, ordained by God, you will be His mouthpiece. What will you say–and just as importantly, how will you say it? Will you be short and impatient, or will you speak with understanding as Jesus did? Will you listen intently for the answers to the questions you ask? Will kids leave your presence knowing that they matter to God?

Keep in mind that some of your kids (usually the ones who are giving you the hardest time) are dealing with very difficult situations. We live in a fallen world with broken people. Sadly, our kids are not shielded from the cares that affect us all. Let’s show them that there are Biblical solutions to the problems they face, and let’s echo the Father’s joy as He sings over each child (Zephaniah 3:17).

Transparency Leads the Way

A group of KidzLife boys are very engaged in their small group activity. 

A KidzLife Small Group leader recently told us this story:

During our small group, we were talking about times that it is hard to really believe what God says. Even though my co-leaders and I were asking great questions, none of our kids would open up. I had prayed about sharing something personal, and I felt that perhaps if I shared my own struggle, the kids might open up. So I told the kids that I had started smoking when I was a teenager. Over the years, I have tried to stop many times. But this time, as I am trying to stop smoking, I am believing God for His help and His power. Some of the kids (and the other leaders) were shocked that I admitted this problem, but I felt that it was really important for me to be honest with my struggles. It was really cool to hear the kids, one after the other, share stuff that they were dealing with too. In church, as an adult leader, it's hard to admit short-comings because we so want to be a role model to our kids, but I am learning that part of being a good leader means that I have to be honest and willing to admit areas in my life where I truly need God's help.