Teach One Reach One spends a lot of time training Bible class teachers to ask students questions on a variety of levels. These varying questions will help young people process the Bible and form faith foundations in increasingly more complex ways. If you haven’t seem them before, you might want to read our free handouts on Bloom’s Taxonomy for Bible Classes and Asking Better Questions In Bible Classes.
Perhaps one of the most important questions you can ask your students is “Why?”. It is a crucial question for assessing whether your students are not just learning the facts, but understanding why they are important. It can help you discover whether or not your students understand why God wants them to do something. It can even reveal a bit of their hearts and minds, if you ask it in non-threatening ways.
Want to conduct a little teacher experiment? I will warn you, this is only for the brave and may very well break your heart. Ask your students the following why questions. Their responses will give you a hint as to how much of a faith foundation their parents, their church and Bible class teachers like you have helped them build so far.
- Why do you think God put this (story/passage) in the Bible?
- Why is it important for us to read our Bibles – a lot?
- Why is it important to become a Christian?
- Why do you think God gave us this command?
- Why is it important to obey God’s commands (as they were written)?
- Why did Jesus die on the Cross?
- Why does God want us to be baptized?
- Why does God care about our hearts and not just our actions?
- Why do we pray?
- Why do we take communion?
- Why did God want Christians to form congregations with other Christians and not just worship Him on their own?
- Why does God want us to be so different from non-Christians in our choices of thoughts, words, actions and in our hearts?
- Why does God want us to serve others and share our faith?
- Why does God want us to put Him first?
If one or more of your students can’t answer a question, it is an area where extra teaching is definitely needed. Don’t be fooled though. Even if they can answer the questions accurately, it is not a guarantee that they believe the answer to be absolute truth or have any intention of putting it into practice in their own lives. Those are heart issues that may or may not be revealed as students attempt to answer the questions.
The answers will however, definitely illuminate huge weaknesses in the faith foundations of each student. So ask “Why?” – a lot. If the answers are confused or wrong – keep addressing those commands and principles. Share concerns with parents so they can work with their children more intentionally on these faith foundation basics. Let leaders know what concepts need to be emphasized more in classes for kids and teens. Asking “Why?” may just be one of the most important gifts you give your students.