Questions, questions, questions.
Questions precede and invoke both answers and engagement. If you want someone engaged in a process questions are one of the best ways to pull out of them conclusions and insights they may already have, but are not fully aware of until the question/s was posed. I’m sure you have found this to be so on occasions?
Questions are an excellent means of not cornering a person with confrontational demands, but at the same time getting them to see, buy into or admit something.
Matthew 16:7-11 and 13-15. In the first of these verses Jesus asked his disciples five questions that lead to a conclusion. The questions were in fact rebukes but still expressed as questions. In this case the questions made them face, and think through, their assumptions. These questions forced an issue without it being overtly aggressive, and V12 sees them realizing what he has just said, “Then they understood …”
In the second of these verses Jesus wanted to know what they thought – in the previous it was what he thought. He was using questions to do this. He let them come to a conclusion – to see what and who he really was. This was achieved by questions. Firstly he asked who others thought he was, and they listed the usual suspects, and then he asked them who they thought he was. He narrowed the field from general to specific as good questions can and should do. They didn’t just answer a question, they stated a revolutionary idea – that he was, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Questions create buy in and engagement, in a way that simply being told doesn’t.
Questions are an art, as Jesus shows. They both challenge and confirm.
Questions help us see what we may know but didn’t quite see.
And they encourage us ask questions as well, which is never a bad thing.
Do you agree?