The Art of Asking Good Questions with Kevin Baker

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One of the more important parts of a small group is the discussion time. But facilitating great discussions isn’t a natural talent; most of us have to learn how. In this session, Kevin Baker, Small Groups Pastor at Ada Bible Church near Grand Rapids, MI, takes us through a step-by-step process to asking great questions that will get your group talking on a deeper level.

But first, listen to new small group leaders, Ben and Emily, as they candidly share about their fear of leading. They reveal how a little basic training and a willingness to be vulnerable allowed their small group to thrive.

Ben’s number one fear was that someone would ask a question and he wouldn’t know the answer—that he didn’t have enough biblical knowledge to lead a group. But notice that it wasn’t Ben and Emily’s knowledge of Scripture that helped this group grow spiritually, it was their willingness to be open and honest about their lives. What hesitations, concerns or fears do you have about leading a group?
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Page 2

In this first clip, Kevin Baker, Small Groups Pastor at Ada Bible Church near Grand Rapids, MI, answers the question, “Why are questions important to small group discussion?”

Which of the following was NOT one of Kevin’s top three reasons why great questions are important to small group discussion?

Choose one

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Page 3

We know that asking great questions is important, but how do we know which questions are great, and which ones are less than fantastic? In this clip, Kevin shares a four-step process to asking good questions.

Kevin’s four steps (from broad to specific) are:

  • Lean in – something light and non-threatening.
  • Look down – observation questions about the Bible passage.
  • Look out – build a bridge from ancient context to today.
  • Look in  – personal application.

Which types of questions do you ask the most often? Which step are you missing? Are you eventually discussing personal applications issues in your group?
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Page 4

In this last clip, Kevin gives us some encouragement and final pointers on how to lead a meaningful discussion.

Kevin encouraged us to do four things:

  • Evaluate the material we use and add, edit, or delete questions as needed for your particular setting.
  • Embrace silence. Don’t be too quick to answer the question. Let people think.
  • Leave room for the Holy Spirit to work.
  • Pray

From what you’ve learned in this session, what one thing will you apply in you small group discussion time this week?
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As you develop the art of asking great questions, be patient with yourself. Dynamic group discussions don’t always happen overnight. Remember that what most people want is a chance to develop authentic relationships with people who really care about them.

Please let me know if there is any way I can help you in this process.