COMMENTARY

Ministry through asking good questions

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Jesus often interacted with people and ministered to them by asking good questions.   He was the one person who was most equipped to always give solutions, yet he often interacted and ministered to people by asking great questions.


To the disciples on the boat in the storm he asked, “Why are you so afraid?” Mark 4:35-41


To Simon Peter he asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:13-20


To the paralyzed invalid he asked, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5:2-9


Ministry has changed a lot in the last six weeks, from in person conversations to phone and web conversations.  Our desire to effectively minister and care for people has not changed.  Given our current mode of interaction, and our continued desire to minister effectively to people, why not follow the ministry practices of Jesus in asking good questions?  Asking questions invites the Holy Spirit into our conversation to pinpoint needs and bring them to the surface of our interaction with people.   When people respond to our questions it gives us an opportunity to join the Holy Spirit in addressing pertinent needs in people’s lives through encouragement, prayer, speaking truth and giving hope. 


Asking good questions also helps people open up from surface responses like “Things are good,” to communicating on a deeper level. 

Here are some good questions to consider in your interaction with people this week:


What has God been teaching you in the last month?


In what ways have you seen God at work during the last month?


What has been your greatest challenge (personally) (as a family) in navigating this pandemic?


What are your greatest concerns as you consider the next few weeks?


What losses or disappointments have you faced in the last month?  (This helps address issues people are grieving over)


What words would you use to describe your current state (spiritually or emotionally) right now?


How can I pray for you?


Is there a way I can serve you beyond praying for you? 


How might you raise the bar of ministry effectiveness in the next few weeks by asking good questions?  How might you equip others to do the same?  


What good questions would you add to this list?


During this time of communicating by call, text and by video, we may have to dig a little deeper to encourage and find ways to care for people. Asking good questions can open doors that might otherwise remain closed.

ALAN WITHAM is a regional consultant group leader at the Kentucky Baptist Convention .

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