How Good Questions are different
Good Questions that have groups talking are different from most lessons you have seen. Here are a few reasons why.
Discussion-based rather than lecture-based
Our tag line is, “Good questions have groups talking” and that is the goal of every lesson. Look at one of the sample lessons and you can see this difference right away. Put these lessons into the hands of all your teachers and watch your classes transform from lecture-based groups to discussion-based groups. Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking.
Why is this important? Jesus taught that we are changed by what comes out of us. Until we confess the truth–not just hear it–we are not changed by it. What we say is like the bit in the mouth of a horse; what we say steers our whole life. See this article for more details.
Commentary quoted from world-class writers
Most curriculum has an inherent flaw. They can often get past it, but it cripples nearly every series made. Here is how it works. A committee gets together and decides on a text and topic. Then, someone is assigned to find someone who can write something brilliant about it. Turns out, this is a very difficult assignment and does not always meet with success. One of the reasons I have been a fan of Lifeway’sMasterworks series is that that series goes at it in the opposite way. They find someone who has already written something brilliant–books by people like Beth Moore, Billy Graham and John Piper–and turns it into a curriculum.
I try to do a similar thing with my lessons. Each question is footnoted with answers taken from some of the best commentaries ever written. John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe, Holman, Life Application Commentary, and many others. I also include great illustrations and stories from illustration books, trade books and devotional books. Quotes from world-class sources make these lessons different.
Application is not tagged onto the end. We don’t spend an hour talking about the passage in a rather abstract way then tag on a question on the end about application. Application is woven all through the lessons. Application is the point.
Howard Hendricks used to say that the goal is not to make smarter sinners. Jesus taught us to “teach them to observe” not just teach them.
Make it easy to find teachers
These lessons are so easy to use, they make it easier–a lot easier--to find teachers. In fact, when I was a Minister of Ed, I never struggled to find teaches again after I started writing these lessons. Click here to read that story.
Underlying theology: it is always in our best interest to live the Christian life.
God is a rewarder. We cannot come to Him unless we believe that He is a rewarder. We must come to Him for reward. We must believe it is always in our best interest to live the Christian life. Prayer must become a sweet hour of prayer of we are not praying very well. We must come to love serving or we don’t serve. We must come to love the Word, or else I bet you didn’t read this morning. We must come to love the Christian life or we will never come to live the Christian life. Check out this article.
Every lesson is driven by this theology. I continually ask: how does it benefit me to follow God? What does it cost me if I don’t follow God? We ask this in every arena. What does it benefit me to forgive; what does it cost me if I don’t forgive? When people come to confess that it is in our best interest to live the Christian life, they begin to live the Christian life.
What others have said:
By the way using the strategy of fellowship and a decent lesson we have grown from 12 to 40 in 2 and a half years. By using Good Questions Have Groups Talking there is always something that penetrates my spirit and sets my mind to work. Josh Hunt's Good Questions, try it. Your teaching will be anointed!
Highland Terrace Baptist Church
God has utilized the Lesson's from Good Questions to minister to us. The questions are really good for facilitating meaningful conversation. Our class grew from 10 people to more than 40 in one year!!! We don't have a room big enough for us now. The format saves us time in preparation in order that we might be able to work on the ministry needs of our class.
Indiana Ave. Baptist Church
I love using your lessons. I use them almost every Sunday. They really do get the conversation going. I usually learn more from my class input in 45 minutes than I do studying the background info, for hours, on each lesson. These lessons nearly always provide insight I would never have seen. Thank you for taking the time to write these lesson questions. I believe my presentation would be a lot less interesting without your help.
Life Community Church
class age 35-75
I have started an outreach Bible study in our gym during the Sunday School hour. I am training our Bible study leaders to use your Good Questions that go with the LifeWay’s Life Truths series. I have trained 10 people to be table leaders for three weeks and we are now ready for outreach. Our goal is to have 100 new Bible study members by starting new classes around “round tables”. So far we can report enrolling 3 new members and the discussions that have ensued have been “stimulating” and “discipling” (if you allow me to coin a new word). Your Good Questions save me a great deal of time and have been utilized to train new leaders to teach through directed discussion of God’s Word. Thank you very much for your ministry.
Dr. Robert Dickerson
First Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Sunday School Lessons
Weary of struggling to recruit teachers?
I used to be–before I started writing Good Questions that Have Groups Talking.
I served for 11 years as a Minister of Education. In this role, I lead a group. Each week I wrote up a lesson that consisted of 20 or so questions that I would use in class to teach my group. The group grew and we needed to divide.
Big surprise–I really struggled to find teachers.
One of the guys I talked to about teaching made a suggestion. He said if I would continue to prepare my lesson as I was doing, he would take a class. He took the class, I continued writing lessons and all was well.
Now, this wouldn’t work for just anybody. For it to work, the teacher needs to have reasonable biblical background, spiritual maturity, and good people skills.
Before long other teachers heard about the lessons, and I started distributing them to the whole church.
People liked the lessons. Teachers like them because they saved them time. Students liked them because the classes were not boring lectures any more.
Everyone didn’t like them. The classic teacher-types were only mildly interested. They liked to study and read and dig it all out for themselves. My ready-to-use lessons saved them work that they didn’t want to be saved from. But a lot of others really liked them. And, here is the most important thing. A whole lot of people agreed to teach who would have NEVER taught without the lessons. I never struggled again to get adult teachers.
The church did well. In the 11 years I served as Minister of Education, it nearly tripled in size, going from one service and one Sunday School to four services and four Sunday Schools. Of course, the lessons were not the only reason. I served under three good pastors.
The party strategy helped. There were other contributing factors. Church Growth is nearly always holistic and complex. But every growing church needs to create new groups and the key to creating new groups is to get more leaders. Good questions made it easy for me to get new leaders. I can honestly say that from the time I started writing Good Questions I never struggled to recruit adult teachers. Never. Now, you don’t have to struggle either.
Here is one key to making it work: don’t just pass out the username and password you will receive with your order; print up and pass out the actual lessons. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines, as well as the International Standard Series, and can be used along withcurriculum or as stand alone lessons.
Others heard about the lessons and I started mailing them out. But, with the cost and trouble of printing the lessons, putting them in an envelope, and putting a first class stamp on each one. . . it just didn’t work very well.
Then came the Internet.
I will never forget my brother telling me about the Internet. I knew immediately I had a distribution system for these lessons. Only one problem. The computer I had didn’t have enough hardware to get on the Internet. I remember asking my brother what I needed. “Just make sure you get a 28.8 baud modem (in contrast to 14.4). That is the speed of choice.” I bought an Acer desktop with 4 meg (that’s meg, not gig) of RAM. At $100 per meg of additional RAM, I maxed it out at 8 meg.
Within a few days, I had my first web page up and running with four lessons on the book of James. The rest, as they say, is history. I have been posting these lessons online since the days of 28.8 modems and they are all available to you. Four new lessons are added each week–corresponding with Lifeway’s outlines, plus the International Standard Series. The lessons can be used to supplement these other outlines, or as stand-alone lessons. There are lessons on every book of the Bible and a wide variety of topical studies.
It gets even better. About a year ago, I bought about $3000 worth of electronic commentaries, Bible dictionaries, illustration books, and trade publications. Now, instead of just providing questions, I also provide answers in the form of quotes from some of the best theological writings ever produced. In addition, I provide great stories and illustrations to make the lessons really come alive.
There is a sliding scale that makes these lesson affordable for any church.
Josh Hunt's book should be read by all who are looking for new ways to reach people.
Author, Purpose Driven Life
Josh Hunt believes in the power of the
small group ministry in your church. And, his belief is contagious. In
his new book, Make My Group Grow, Josh presents sound application to
easy to understand research
Growth means change. Not every change brings growth, but all growth brings change. Josh has given anyone who is serious about the Great Commission some new thoughts that call for change. If followed, I believe they will bring growth to the church.