Ask Questions That Communicate Value and Worth

I love to be with people who are curious. Curious people ask questions.question.jpg

One of the ways we show we care about and value another is to ask good questions.

Perhaps you know this feeling. You are in a small group gathering (life group, elders’ meeting, staff meeting, etc.). You finally muster up enough courage to share a dream or idea that is important to you. Or, perhaps you share news regarding a ministry possibility that you have been praying about for quite some time.

You finish speaking and no one says anything. You feel awkward and vulnerable. You think to yourself, “I will never share what is on my heart with this group again.”

Sound familiar?

Imagine a different scenario. Imagine that you finish speaking to the group and they begin to ask questions. In fact, they ask really good questions. These are not questions designed to pick apart what you just said. No, these questions communicate interest, care, and value. You leave the gathering energized, encouraged, and valued. This is the group you will share with again.

Asking good questions, whether in a group or one to one, communicates much.

Recently, at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, I lead a class entitled “Compelling Questions That Ministers Wish Their Elders Would Ask Them.” To prepare for the class, I wrote a number of ministers asking them for feedback regarding questions they had been asked that were compelling and life giving.

The following are just a sample of these questions. If you would like the entire list, leave a comment below and indicate that you would like the list. Some of these questions include:

·      How can we “have your back” when you challenge the church and take heat?

·      How can we shepherd you and your family?

·      Can I take you to lunch?

·      What can we do to help you be successful here?

·      What do we do, as elders, that gets in your way?

·      How do you think we are doing as elders/shepherds?

·      What do you think?

·      What are your greatest gifts and how can we protect you from functioning too much of the time in an area in which you are not gifted?

·      What kind of person do you need in leadership to support and balance you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “Ask Questions That Communicate Value and Worth

  1. Good thoughts. In her book, Caring for Words in a World of Lies, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre writes that curiosity is a form of compassion and that one of the most gracious things we can do for another person is simply to ask them, “What is it like to be you?”

    • Taylor, what a wonderful line! I have read much of her book but overlooked this.

      I really like this. Curiosity is a form of compassion. Great.

  2. I totally agree with this, I have been in groups where we are all discussing ideas or things going on in our life. There are those times when people are dosing off and not really paying attention. If i am talking and then nobody has any questions or comments, things tend to feel awkward. However, when I am in a group that asks me questions and seems curious about what i am saying it makes me feel good. I am very interested in having the entire list, thank you.