Years ago I remember playing something I knew as "the question game". I used to play it with various groups of friends throughout my teenage years, and since then I may have lovingly subjected some of my students to this game as well. I'm not totally sure if they got as much amusement out of it as I did, but generally speaking, any group I've been with who has played this game has seemed to enjoy it.
To play the game, you take turns while sitting in a circle and whenever it's your turn, you have to ask the person next to you a question. You can never answer the question the person before you asks you and you can never repeat a question. You're also not supposed to pause very long before asking your question to the next person (although there isn't really a very concrete way to measure what counts as a "pause").
Generally what ends up happening, as people are forced to think very quickly, is that the questions become more and more nonsensical... which generally leads to more and more laughter... which makes it harder and harder to actually come up with a question when it's your turn. (Imagine trying to keep it together and immediately come up with a new question when someone asks you, Are you a chair? or Have you ever held a penguin?)
It seems the more random the questions, the more fun the game becomes. If nothing else, it makes for some good entertainment and memory-making with friends.
What is it about questions though? In this case they serve as the basis for laughter among friends, and I suppose it requires a certain amount of creativity and brainpower to keep coming up with good ones. (Or perhaps we should say, unique ones - whether or not they are "good" might be questionable!)
But an actual good question has a lot of power. In his book, The Common Rule Justin Whitmel Earley suggests that "good questions lead to great conversations". Would you agree? Think back to the last time you would say you had a great conversation. Did it start with a good question? Or were good questions a part of it?
I suppose questions have a way of making us think. Maybe part of what makes a question good is if it leads us to a new perspective - a way of thinking that we hadn't previously considered, or maybe one we had forgotten about.
Ultimately though, I think maybe the reason a question can be so powerful is because when someone asks me a question, I get to experience that feeling of someone caring about me. Even a question as simple as, what do you think? can make me feel so loved. You really want to know what I think? Enough to let me share my thoughts with you?
Of course maybe not everyone feels this way. Maybe for some people, the last thing they would want is for someone to ask, what do you think? But my hunch is that everyone has some kind of question that they would want someone to ask them. I wonder what that question is for you.
Speaking of questions, can I ask a few of them? (Well, I guess I'm asking them whether you give me permission or not! Of course it's up to you whether or not you want to do anything with them.)
How do you think questions fit in with prayer?
What is the best thing you know to be true about God?
What is a question that helps you really get to know another person?
What makes you want to answer a question? Or not want to answer a question?
How do you think we can become people who ask good questions?
I hope these questions can be useful to you in one way or another. Who knows, maybe if you find yourself playing "the question game" some day, you could even try asking one of these questions and really throw someone off! Unlike the game though, in this case you are welcome to give an answer. I would genuinely love to hear your thoughts to any of these questions.
May God help all of us to ask good questions. Questions that lead to growth in ourselves and those around us. Questions that help to build the Kingdom of God.
Pray with me...
... God, what do You want us to hear today?
The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:29
... God, what do You want us to see today?
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18
... God, what do You want us to do today?
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Above: painting by Hollie (Min) Yoo, our host daughter, who often asked good questions that led to great conversations
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory