What’s your communication tendency?

Do you tend to be more telling, directive, and closed or more question-asking and open-minded?

Consider the power of good questions.

A Lesson from Jesus, the Master Questioner:

“Bartimaeus, a blind beggar […] was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth [walking by], he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.’ And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ And the blind man said to him, ‘Rabbi, let me recover my sight.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.”  

(Mark 10:46b–52) [emphasis added] 

Jesus asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” Since Bartimaeus was a blind beggar, the answer might seem obvious. But is it? Healing would change Bartimaeus’s life dramatically. Jesus’ question was an invitation to transformation.

The Scriptures record Jesus asking hundreds of questions during his time on Earth. His insightful questions often cut to the heart of people’s hopes, perceptions, concerns, and fears. He wanted to cause people to think, reconsider their ways, and choose the best path forward. Jesus always had a greater purpose beneath the question.

Great Leaders ask Great Questions.

“Great leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.” – John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions

We (or maybe it’s just me) often assume we must provide all the answers. The thinking goes that bold assertions exude confidence. When we “have all the answers,” we are able to make quick decisions and run the ministry more efficiently. (My good friend and ministry colleague once said of me, “Darryl is never in doubt…but often wrong.” Ouch! That was a wakeup call!) Now, a growing school of thought suggests top-down leaders (i.e., leaders who believe they possess the answers) may actually limit the effectiveness of their teams. This type of leader can come across as arrogant, which can hinder collaboration and erode trust. 

A better approach is to become skilled at asking good questions. Curiosity, not certainty, is the hallmark of a great leader. As leaders, we want to influence lives and produce fruitfulness. Rather than simply giving directions, good leaders establish rapport, expand their perspectives, and seek shared solutions by eliciting thoughts and ideas from others. By asking questions, we can cultivate a culture of learning where our teams take ownership, collaborate, and make informed decisions.

Church Multiplication Network:

Please join us for our next Church Multiplication Network online gathering as we consider and learn together about the power of good questions in ministry and disciple making.

Please join us at 3pm (Frankfurt) 8am (Panama), Tuesday the 8th of August.

Your Church Multiplication Leadership Team looks forward to seeing you!

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