Jesus asked his followers lots of questions, including the famous duo of questions: “Who do men say that I am? Who do you say that I am?”
Perhaps his example suggests we should be more inquisitive!
Leadership guru John Maxwell wrote a book entitled Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. In it he says, “If you want to be successful and reach your leadership potential, you need to embrace asking questions as a lifestyle.”
Maxwell backs up his assertion with a list of eight reasons why this is so. As a proponent of emotional intelligence as a key leadership skill, his third reason particularly caught my eye:
“Questions are the most effective means of connecting with people.”
Of course, as a counseling psychologist who spends twenty plus hours weekly asking people questions, then listening closely to their answers, I may be biased. However, if what Maxwell asserts is true, and I believe it is, then every pastor really should master the art of asking the right questions often.
Now, if the proliferation or articles on the internet serves as a reliable guide at all, there’s plenty of advice for pastors on what questions to ask in one particular situation: when interviewing as a pastoral candidate.
Of course, that is in fact a critical time to be asking all the right questions. So if you’re interested in learning more on that topic, here’s just one of the many articles available (in this case, from Christianity Today).
My contention, though: a good pastor never stops asking great questions.
If you agree, you may want to check out this little tool I’ve prepared called Ten Questions Pastors Should Ask. It’s a great list of conversations starters that will generate insightful and helpful feedback from your members.
It’s not a conclusive list of great questions and I am sure you have others. In fact, if you have a particular favorite question you like to ask, please post it in the comment section below as a way of sharing with others!