Forming Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are those which require more than a yes, no or one-word answer. These questions tend to probe the heart. When you are leading a discipleship relationship, open-ended questions are key to engaging the disciple. The following are suggestions for formulating good open-ended questions. To begin formulating, ask these questions as you read material or passage.
- What is the truth presented?
- How does your life line up with the truth? (this should not be a subjective “what do you think about the truth?”)
- What needs to happen to respond to the truth if your life does not line up with the truth?
- Are there underlying factors regarding your disobedience? (This should be a question that digs to the state of the heart.)
- What is your commitment to respond? How can you grow in practice in the truth?
Another approach could involve asking yourself these questions and formulating appropriate questions in this vein.
- What did I learn from this reading or passage?
- What convicted me in this passage?
- Is there anything that describes me in this passage/reading? Why?
If you are having a conversation, it is good to ask questions like this to check in:
- Tell me about your fellowship with God this week.
- How is the state of your heart this week?
- Where have you been challenged to be obedient this week? How have you responded?
- Tell me about the quality of your prayer life.
- Where have you been convicted of sin?
- How have you lived beyond yourself?
- What are the areas of growth to focus on in your life?
- What has been the hardest part of your week?
- Where are you weary?
- Have you felt alone in some area this week?