Several years ago, I heard Alan Roxburgh make a statement something like this: “The Spirit of God is at work among the people of God.” He went on to say that, as a result of this relationship, God has already provided within God’s people the ability to fulfill God’s mission.
One way to discover what God’s people have to offer in fulfilling that mission comes from developing spiritual and relational vitality in the congregation. Another way is to ask questions that will challenge members of the church to dig deeper and not settle for their first response. These questions “peel the layers off the onion.” In coaching, we call this “asking powerful questions.”
Powerful questions come in many forms, but the primary characteristic of a powerful question is that it moves a person to a new perspective. I always know that I have asked a person or a group a powerful question when the response is, “Now that’s a good question.”
Powerful questions are not miraculous. They simply encourage people to dig deeper, reflect effectively and discover untapped resources. Many of these questions are ones we would ask ourselves given enough time and effort. I often say to people, “Each of us knows more about what we should be doing than we are doing.” We are resourceful people and that is enriched when we recognize that the Spirit of God is at work in us.
What’s the question that will lead you and your congregation to the next level of ministry?