Thursday, October 15, 2015

The 5 responses to a question

Following on from yesterday's post about small group questions.

Here's the advice I'll be giving my leaders about responding to questions posed to them in a small group.

Why do you ask?

This is critical, for, behind every question is a story and your response will be vastly different if the query is purely intellectual (I saw something on TV or heard something at school) or deeply personal (my cat died, my mum just had a miscarriage, I've just been diagnosed with cancer). Questions can be significant pastoral concerns.

I don't know, let's find out together...

The first part of this answer is vital if you actually don't know. Honestly helps far more than grasping at straws. And, if you think the question should be dealt with immediately, you're then able to bring in outside help to assist you.

I'm not 100% sure, but this is how I live with it...

Sometimes, there are no answers, just tensions which need to be managed. This response allows the leader to explain some of the processes they themselves have gone through in wrestling with the question.

What do you think?

Give the student a chance to unpack what they already think about the topic, this alone might help guide them towards to answer.

Here's my answer...

Some questions can, and should, just be answered on the spot. For I firmly believe that following Jesus makes sense, thus, if appropriate, I'll provide them the best answer I can (like I've tried to do with the apologetics topic on the blog).

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