By Fiona Hammond
Sometimes all the planning in the world won’t make a Bible study or Sunday School class go well. I’ve had my fair share of disasters, or more often “ho-hummers”, you know the ones, sessions that just could have gone better. On reflection, often the cause of blandness is the quality of the questions posed, or raised by the participants. My eyes lit up when I saw the work by Jeanne Muzi and the title “Questions, Questions Everywhere” and found the content to be enlightening on the topic of asking the right questions to get a group buzzing, brains and hearts engaged with the Bible.
It turns out that questioning stimulates critical thinking, and that the types of questions we ask can encourage our brains to work at a variety of different levels, kind of like driving a car with gears, we can gather speed and kick our brains into efficient and speedy thinking using well-crafted questions.
Let’s take a Sunday School class investigating the story of the Samaritan Woman at the well, John 4:5-42.
See through their eyes
- · Read the story together and pass around copies of paintings (very easy to find online) that depict the story and its characters.
- · Individuals choose to take the role of a character and devise a list of questions that would come from that character, about the conversation, about the environment, about the other characters. For instance...
o Samaritan Woman:
§ Why should the Samaritans believe me about the messiah?
§ How can I convince them that I believe?
§ In what ways will I be changed now that I have met the messiah?
§ What about my town? What shall we do now that we know Jesus is from God?
- · In groups of 3 or 4, match up those participants who opted for the same character. They get to ask their questions of each other, staying in role. They then choose 5 of the top questions to come out of their group.
- · They face the other “characters” and take turns asking their questions, and answering others, while still in role.
Check out the “Focus on Christian Education” at http://christianeducationfocus.com/ . Tuesday, March 14, 2017 for some other useful ideas!