Jesus taught we are changed more by what we say than what we hear:
He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ Mark 7:20 (NIV)
That is why the Bible makes such a big deal about what we confess.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
It is not enough to believe. We must confess. The implication is we don’t really believe it until we say it. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear.
This is why Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” It is not like Jesus did not know. He knew that when Peter said, “You are the Christ” he would believe–really believe–and be changed by that message.
This is why I believe so profoundly about the importance of Good Questions as a means of teaching adults. Not that Good Questions are the only way to teach. We need sermons as well. But, we get that in the worship service. We don’t need another one of those. If we do need another sermon, John Ortberg will probably do a better job than you or I. What people need is a conversation. They need the opportunity to process. They need the opportunity to confess. They need the opportunity to speak the truth and be changed by it. Good Questions do that.
Here are some of the kinds of questions that are included in Good Questions that Have Groups Talking.
The Life Exposure Question
Example: State your name and one strength you have as a teacher.
What Does the Text say?
Example: According to Acts 18:25 what three qualities make up great teaching?
Acts 18:25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately.
What does the Text mean?
Example: Does anyone know what is meant by the term, “perdition”?
“How Did They Feel? ” Questions
Example: How did the prodigal son feel as he approached the father near the end of the story?
Jump ball Questions
Example: Is Christian living easy or hard?
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Acts 14:22
“Where are you at?” Questions
Example: How often does the average believer share their faith?
Example: How can we apply this to our lives specifically this week?
“What is in it for me?” Questions
Example: What are the advantages for you of having a daily quiet time?
“What will it cost me if I don’t?” Questions
Example: What might it cost you if you don’t treasure your wife?
Example: How did you discover your spiritual gift?
How Has It Worked So Far?
Example: Tell me about how you learned to have a consistent quiet time?
Example: Would you join me in recommitting your life to Christ and to being obedient to the command of God to rejoice in the Lord always.
Example: How were you able to apply what we talked about last week?
Those are just some of the questions you can use. You can likely think of more, better ones. However you get there, lead your people to confess the truth and be changed by it.
We learn more from what we say than what we hear.
That is why, I have one more suggestion for you.
Before I make this suggestion, let me ask you a question. Have you enjoyed these articles? Have you been motivated to buy the book? Did you enjoy that? Do you really want to learn to be a sticky teacher?
Here is the suggestion: teach this material. That is right, teach it. Gather a group of like-minded teachers together and teach this material. Why? You learn more from what you say than from what you hear.