Awkward conversations are the worst. I remember the first time I struck up enough courage to call a girl I liked on the phone. I am pretty sure I said hello and then waited a minute for her to say something. Sometimes small groups and leading small groups can be as awkward as a middle school dance. We are not sure what to say, what to do, or how to respond when someone approaches us. Many times we just wait for things to happen to us, rather than leading with intentionality.
Leading with intentionality is key as you lead in life, but especially as you lead in the church or lead your small group ministry. When we lead with intentionality, we take away the awkward moments by giving purpose and meaning to the areas in life we are leading. Leading with a purpose is key to not only creating amazing connecting environments, but also in how you create meaningful relationships. Let’s face it, with technology, people are now connected more than ever, but that doesn’t mean their relationships are meaningful or have purpose. There are many ways and approaches to leading with the end in mind. I believe one of the best ways is to intentionally lead with questions.
If I had intentionally led with questions, I would have saved myself, and the girl I was talking to on the phone a lot of pain on the phone that day. My intention was to call, but I was not intentional with asking questions. Sometime, look at all the questions Jesus asked. He was a great question asker, but that is a blog for another time! Many of us have been intentional in setting up small groups, but we have stopped there and now we need to be asking the right questions. There may be people on our teams, or people that we lead that we are intentional about connecting with, but we haven’t bothered to ask them any questions.
Questions are great because they communicate value. They communicate that we value the person to whom we are asking the question, but they also show what we value. Asking questions communicates that someone or something is more important than we are, especially if we listen!
Questions show that we are learners.
Questions can help you understand what you are doing well and what you need to work on.
Questions can help you make changes and help you grow.
Questions are universal. It doesn’t matter if you are leading a church in Europe or a church in Africa; questions guide us, help us learn, and deepen relationships.
Questions create connection. Intentionally leading with questions not only helps us shape community, but creates community.
To ask your team:
- Why do we do what we do?
- On a scale of 1-10, how healthy is our church, our groups, and how healthy am I?
- What is working well?
- What needs attention?
- What are the questions we need to be asking?
To ask your leaders:
- What questions do you have or questions that you getting from others?
- What are wins you have had recently that are worth celebrating?
- What tensions are you feeling?
- In what ways can I help you develop as a leader?
- How can I support you?
- How can I pray for you?
To ask yourself:
- Why am I doing what I am doing?
- What am I doing that I need to stop doing?
- What steps am I taking today to be more like Jesus?
- In what ways have I seen God at work?
- What are opportunities that I see in front of me?
- Who do I need to connect with today?