Over 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?