Guess Who?

guess whoOver the Christmas break I was able to watch as some kids at Katie’s winter break camp played games.  On of the games was a favorite of mine back in the day.  It was “Guess Who”.  This is the game where you try to guess through a process of questions and elimination which person your opponent has chosen.  There was always a little self-satisfaction as you swipe down an eliminated candidate with a thwack of the board.  The only downside was if you got a girl (there were about 4 in total )or someone with a hat (maybe 5 total).  Soon you would realize that the game would be coming to an end because of the lack of diversity in the game. 

Regardless of that, I saw the importance of coming up with good questions so that you could weed out the losers from the winner.  I think the importance is true with youth ministry as well.  We need to be able to ask great questions and follow-up questions to get at the heart of who our kids are. 

I have tried to come up with some of my thoughts about asking questions, but i would like to hear yours too.  I know that I am very bad at this and so it has taken some work and effort to get to the place where I am.  Here is my brain dump of question asking:

  1. Start slow: Start off with something easy.  Ask for some information about a student that isn’t really taxing and so you can get an idea of where they are located in life.
  2. Open a Door: Ask open ended questions where there is no “yes” or “no” answer.  This will make them think and give you something else to talk about. 
  3. Care by listening: Allow the conversation to build on what they have already talked about.  Don’t just ask your questions without thinking about what the students are saying.  Asking follow-up questions will show that you are listening and that you do care.  Having an adult really listen is something that many students lack in their lives and is meaningful. 
  4. Repeat:  Check back in with them the following week about something that they shared with you (a sporting event, test, birthday…).  I have to write these things down or I forget.  But, it is always cool when people remember what is important to you from week to week. 

What are some other ways you have found to ask great questions?

Leadership: A slow coming revelation

System-PreferencesSo the past couple of weeks have allowed me to come to a better articulate a revelation.  In listening to groups cast vision and set course for the direction and things that their ministry will take them i have been struck by the power of framing.  The way that the leaders frame directions and visions will set the tone for their whole ministry as it seeks to live into the changes and advances of the larger church’s ministry.  This can be a super powerful thing and it can also be a very destructive thing.  I guess it just reaffirms to me the implications of being in leadership… PEOPLE ACTUALLY LISTEN TO YOU (even if they are throwing spitballs during your youth talk or falling asleep during the sermon some how the message gets through).