Friday, November 1, 2013

Interactive Bible Study and Asking Questions

I speak weekly for our large group worship event and it is interactive. Students make comments and ask questions. No; it's not a huge crowd...its less than 200 on a normal night....but its not a small group either. I believe that one of the tasks of a College Minister is to help students learn to think for themselves. Also, as students decide for themselves what they believe, it is important that they be allowed to ask questions and taught to wrestle with scripture for themselves.

As a part of encouraging students to speak up, I ask questions. Some friends say they wrestle with coming up with deep questions to ask......I don't ask deep questions. I find with a deep or right or wrong question with a specific answer, students are reluctant to speak up for fear of looking foolish.

Asking Questions At Your Student Events:

1. Ask opinion questions...."What do you think"?

2. Ask experience questions....."Have you ever had an experience like this and how did you respond"?

3. Never ever ever, put down what a student says or make them feel dumb!

4. When possible praise comments that are made or questions that are asked.

5. if someone says something that you simply feel must be countered, say something like, "I see where you are coming from, but I would take a little different view". Always be kind.

6. Ask students to read scripture...just let them volunteer. Sometimes, you can ask students to read the same passage from different translations or paraphrases.

7. Sometimes, I've even had a giveaway for the first student to speak up.

Students hear lots of preaching...but, they don't often have a chance to hear other students comment on scripture and be challenged by what their fellow students say.

Ask questions and let your students speak....often, the best thing said will come from one of them.


  1. Arliss, I have always heard and practiced that asking "What do you think" could be bad as it could allow students to weigh scripture based on their opinions solely. What do you think? When I was younger I know in a lot of Bible Studies it seemed the question "What do you think" was posed and it did nothing but let my peers give their thoughts on Scripture out of context, or without regard to the totality of the Bible.

  2. One thing I ask regularly is "What do you see in this text?" That gives them the freedom to look for themselves and massage the text like they would do in their own personal study.