Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to Answer Your Kid's Questions

What's your favorite ride at Disney World?

My family has made three trips to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As we reflect on our trips from time to time, someone will usually ask, "If you could go back right now, what would be your first ride?" Another way to pose the question is, "What is the "can't miss" ride for you?"

I'm a little nostalgic with my pick. In fact, I prefer to board my at night. My "can't miss" ride at Disney World is the Jungle Cruise river ride. The humor is always lame, but comical. In fact, without the narration, it would be a very boring ride. This is because the river guide helps you know what to look for as you weave your way down the "Amazon." This is how I approach my time reading the Bible.

Reading scripture is like a treasure hunt where God serves as my "river guide" and helps me know what to look for as I weave my way through the lines of His word. I've shared before how I engage with scripture. You can watch the video some friends and I produced here. I love this method. I always discover something new. Today I noticed something I think parents and leaders alike need to consider when working with their children and staff.

I am currently working through the book of Exodus. I just arrived at the moment when God is compelling Moses to be the leader who will take the Jewish nation from slavery to freedom and on to the land God promised to them through Abraham. This is a very interesting exchange as God lays out the vision and Moses lays out the excuses. This is where I made my discovery for today.

Every time Moses would ask a rebuttal question, God would return with a question.  In other words, God would answer a question with a question. Consider these examples from Exodus 4:

  • 1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”2 So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
  • 10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, Iam not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? 
  • 13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? 
What's even more interesting is how Jesus did the same thing. By some accounts, you can find almost 100 questions in the Gospels hat He asked those who engaged with Him as he completed His ministry. When you realize that God the Creator of the Universe and Jesus engaged with people they influenced by asking questions, then would we be wise to consider that model with those we influence as well?

What's the value of asking questions? (I'm glad you asked...)

  • clarify understanding
  • reduce misunderstandings
  • prompt more interaction than one question and one answer
  • generate more communication
  • expand your understanding of the individual
  • create teamwork
  • force both parties to consider different perspectives / solutions
  • help you plant your own ideas
The challenge for me is to slow down enough to recognize that my kids or those I work with have asked a question and the opportunity I have to engage with them rather than float the answer their way so they can leave me alone. Obviously, we can't go crazy with this strategy. Do that and you won't have to worry about questions at all.

What do you think? Is this valuable to your leadership? Or would you just prefer to give out answers and keep moving?

No comments:

Post a Comment