Often questions in Bible class revolve around merely remembering the facts of the Bible story. We have shared a lot in the past about using Bloom’s taxonomy as a framework for asking Bible students deeper thought questions. These questions often require higher level thinking and can encourage young people to reflect on what they are learning and how to apply it to their lives. (Our website has several free printable resources on the topic.)
There are other questions that may seem more secular on the surface, but they can also encourage deeper reflection. Call them critical thinking or deep reflection questions. The key is to take the first answer a Bible student gives you and ask them to frame that answer in the context of the Bible lesson you just taught.
Here are some examples to get you started.
- What was the most useful thing someone could learn from this? This question could be asked after a Bible story or when reading a passage of scripture. To encourage even deeper thinking ask them to think about what God wants Christians to learn from it and then how they can share that same wisdom with people who aren’t yet Christians.
- What else does this make you think of? This question can serve several purposes. It can be asked to encourage students to tie together the themes in scripture by connecting several seemingly unrelated stories or passages of scripture. It could also be used to encourage students to think of scripture in relation to things that happen in their lives.
- How does this scripture challenge you? Often this question will only be answered truthfully if your Bible students feel safe revealing their hearts in your class. The most truthful answer may reveal a doubt or a struggle with some sin.
- Why do you believe/think that? This question is designed to help them examine their beliefs more closely. Did they hear it somewhere or make it up on their own? Are there scriptures that support their belief or prove it to be false? Is there any evidence to back up their belief?
- If you agree with this, what must you disagree with/say “no” to? Sometimes young people don’t realize that one of their beliefs cancels out another. They end up trying to live a lifestyle that is not congruent – especially with God. A simple example might be, “If I agree that telling a lie is a sin, I have to say no to telling half truths and ‘little white lies’.”
- How can I help you with this? Young people aren’t used to this question, so you may get a lot of puzzled looks at first. It gives you a great opportunity though to teach them the benefits of Christian community. What about what God is asking of them in this passage would be difficult for them? Remember those answers will be as different as the ways they may need help. Do they need help better understanding what it means? Knowing how to do it? Being held accountable? Being regularly encouraged?
- What were you thinking about God this week? This is another question that is best asked when students feel safe to share their hearts. You may have to give a few personal examples to get them started. Encourage them to think of things they saw, heard, read or experienced that reinforced what they have learned about God or caused them to ask questions about something they don’t understand about God.
These aren’t easy questions to ask or answer. They will help your students mature spiritually more, however, than knowing how many people were on the Ark with Noah. It’s worth adding them periodically to the other questions you use in your Bible class.