There’s a secular book and educational movement based on asking students the question, “What is one thing you wish your teacher knew?” While that’s a great question to ask your Bible students, there is another question you can ask that may have an even greater impact on their faith.
One of the factors that encourages young people to reject the church and God is their unanswered questions and doubts. Bible class teachers, ministers and parents often do a good job of asking young people questions, but usually don’t make enough room for kids and teens to ask their own questions.
There is one question you can ask that can reveal not only your students’ spiritual questions and doubts, but their answers may also reveal their struggles and even a bit of their hearts.
The question? “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?”
For the best results, have your Bible students write down their question. Reassure them, you want to help them find the answers to their questions if possible. This will remove the fear of embarrassment for most students.
Don’t try to answer the questions immediately. Take them home and do your research. Get help from other Christians if you need it. Tell students you will share the answers to their questions within the week.
It’s entirely possible there will be one or two questions to which God only knows the answers. That’s fine. Just explain that clearly to the student who asked the question. Or you may choose to share the questions and answers with the entire class, while keeping the identities of the questioners private. Chances are if one student has a question, others may have been wondering the same thing.
Don’t worry about students somehow “catching” each other’s doubts. If you have solid biblical answers with sound logic, you are more likely to prevent some of your students from developing those same doubts later in life. Studies have shown it is unanswered doubts, not the doubts themselves that undermine faith.
Ask the question periodically to give your Bible students plenty of opportunities to get answers to their most important faith questions. It’s a great tool for helping young people build stronger faith foundations.