Using Questions to Teach

Using Questions to Teach

In my older teenage class one day, sat a girl I'd never seen before. I'd hardly started my lesson when she interrupted, pouring out questions that seemed to disrupt my message, but galvanized the attention of the class. Within a month that girl was in eternity. How glad I was that we sought to answer her questions and that she found THE answer in Christ!

Questions are a Wonderful Opportunity

That's hard to believe, says a "question-weary" mother. But it's pathetically sad when children stop asking questions. Have the children in your charge stopped asking? Children stop asking when repulsed, when ignored and when no real concern is shown towards the questioner! The questioner is more important than his question. The question may only be a desperate appeal for help and understanding. A child's problems and questions are just as real as an adult's. Their problems are multiplying in a sin-sick world. Don't assume you know why they want to speak with you. Hear them out, give them time, and answer as well as you can. The proper use and understanding of questions will deepen the relationship with the child and multiply your effectiveness. Sad to say, I know of several who have left our Sunday Schools for other places because their questions were not really answered.

Questions and Answers

"They found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them and asking them questions." Luke 2:46. Are we giving "stones in answer to a plea for "bread?" or "serpents" for "fish?" Matt. 7:9-10. The lack of an understanding teacher has turned many away to fall back on the standards of their peers or upon the habits of ungodly or unfaithful parents. Questions are seen in scripture as asking interpretation (counsel), Hosea 4:12, Judges 20:18, asking information, Luke 18:36, and asking to inquire, Luke 18:18. All require answers.

Questions are Voluntary Feedback

The questions of children may be voluntary feedback so invaluable to the teacher who excels. This feedback will indicate the areas that are of concern to the student. These should be kept in mind or jotted down for further thought and prayer, to be dealt with in future lessons. Though a child's question may sound spurious, in reality he may be revealing the thoughts of his heart, the background and troubles in his life, or even pleading for the attention he craves! Matt. 20:22 is a question of this sort to which the Lord answered, "ye know not what ye ask!" and went on to deepen their thought and reveal himself more fully. May we imitate the teaching of Christ.

Questions as a Teaching Tool

The Lord Jesus posed questions in this very way to INTEREST, ILLUMINATE and INSTRUCT his hearers. So the teacher can, in his lessons, use well-thought-out questions to advantage. Note, however, that the Lord did not use this tool with every lesson he sought to teach. We are not in need of "cookie cutter" methods but in search of spiritual tools.

Questions for Review

These questions are a real check on the teacher and his teaching. The answers or lack of them will help him to correct weak or misunderstood points in his teaching. Some review is necessary each week, but a special quiz-time should be set aside periodically in the class. Possibly this could take the form of a competition, or "Question Bee", or game to review verses and lessons. This has a three-fold advantage: A. To find out how much the child retains; B. To promote class participation; and C. To discover if some have thought more deeply than others.