Have you ever wondered why students don’t get engaged in your group Bible study lessons?
It can feel frustrating for you to ask a question and get no response from your students.
Could it be that your questions are unclear, defensive, unspecific or controversial?
Students love questions that cause them to think out-of-the-box. No matter how important your questions might be, if they do not cause the learners to think, they’d be ill-prepared to give it a try.
So, how do you know if your questions are uncalled for in bible study lesson?
In this blog post, I am going to share with you 4 eye-rolling question-types you should avoid in a bible study lesson.
1. Questions that call for defensive actions
I remember some time ago attending a youth bible conference and the teacher assigned to our study group asked us this bizarre question:
Rise on your feet if you know you’ve never had sex before?
I almost choked at the stupidity of his question.
Now, that doesn’t mean I was guilty.
I had not had sex before and I was not interested in letting everyone know about it. But his question put those of us who never wanted to make public our virginity in a fix.
Sitting down meant we were guilty of fornication even when we were not, and standing up meant going against our desire to publicize our virginity.
So I decided to sit down. To make matters worse, he spent the rest of the time schooling us on how fornication is sinful even though some of us weren’t fornicators.
Questions like this drive your students crazy. They might obey your instructions out of respect but secretly wish you never taught them again.
You do not want to be in that position as a bible teacher.
Remember, you are a bible teacher and not police. Your job is to throw seeds and hope they land on fertile soil. Don’t be unnecessarily mad at people’s weaknesses or demand unrealistic expectations from them.
Stay above questions that cause learners to feel judged negatively.
Another defensive or even unethical question to ask could be: Raise your hand if you have never cheated on your spouse before?
Any question asked with the motive to judge the learners is sinful and should be avoided. Ask questions intended to cause learners to see a reason why they should make changes to their current lifestyle.
2. Questions that have no clear-cut answers
These are questions with diverse opinions, or with no clear-cut answers from the bible. For example:
Each time I attend a bible lesson and the teacher drags us into old debate questions like: Is it right for a believer to consume alcohol but not get drunk? Can a believer lose their salvation?
It just reveals to me the teacher did not prepare their lesson and is looking for a strategy to kill time.
How do I know this? Because there is no clear-cut answer to the question he or she is asking.
Such questions have been battled upon by theologians and Christian educators for centuries and none have come up with satisfactory answers.
So get familiar with such questions and stay away from them completely. They do not help learners in any way. They rather waste a great deal of lesson time.
When a question causes learners to become more interested in defending their viewpoints rather than learning something new, it breeds rivalry and resentment among members in your class.
Focus more on application questions.
You could rather ask: How does excessive alcohol consumption destroy the life of a believer?
3. Questions that are Unspecific
At the mention of these questions, students get confused immediately because they don’t know from which angle to begin answering your question.
For example: Is it easy to forgive someone? How effective is your Christian life?
The better way to ask the first question could be: Is it easier to forgive someone who cheats on you or someone who raps you?
The later question keeps students more engaged than the former.
Always narrow your question to a specific answer. Learners are less likely to answer questions that are unspecific.
In the second question, it might cause the learners to think: to what extent does he want me to explain the effectiveness of my Christian life?
You could rephrase the second question like this:
List three things you do on a daily basis to improve on your faith in Christ?
This is clearer and attainable. It also engages the learners immediately.
4. Questions with Obvious Answers
Understand that students don’t like questions with obvious answers. Such questions make them feel bored or underrated. Moreover, it doesn’t give them any fulfilment upon responding.
For example: Do you think it is good to cheat on your spouse as a believer? Who deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Unless your audience is completely naïve to what you teach, stay away from questions with obvious answers.
Good questioning can make or break a bible study class.
Stay above questions that will bash your students and plan to ask questions that get them to think and share their thoughts in a meaningful way.
Do you have other examples of questions that bible teachers should avoid completely in their lessons?
Please do not hesitate to share with us in the comment box below.
Unto God’s glory,
Go teach like a Pro!