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Ten Questions to Prompt Small Group Discussions

Open-ended questions for small groups and cell groups

Doug Britton, MFT

Page Summary
Summary: Small group leaders and facilitators usually want to get good discussions going, but they often do not know what questions to ask. In this free online study, you will learn ten “open-ended” questions to ask that will help you get group members talking. Asking great open-ended questions generates great discussions.

The importance of good questions

Do you ever feel at a loss when trying to get a group discussion going? There’s nothing much more frustrating for a small group leader or facilitator than when a group falls silent and lets the leader do all the talking.

The success of a small group meeting depends on the ability of the leader to get good discussions going. The more actively people are involved in talking about something they are studying, the more impact it will have on their lives.

There are many things leaders and facilitators can do to promote discussions, such as praying for God’s Holy Spirit to lead them, creating a comfortable environment and asking good questions. In this online study, we will focus on asking good questions.

In the gospels, we see that Jesus’ words were designed to get people to think and to evaluate their own hearts. We can do the same thing.

This study is adapted from How to Lead a Christ-Centered Small Group.

Ask open-ended questions

A key way to get group members involved in discussions is to ask “open-ended” questions, ones that cannot be answered by one word (such as “yes” or “no”).

Examples of “closed-ended” questions. These two questions can actually cut off discussions since they can be answered with silence or one word — “yes” or “no.”

  • “Do any of these points apply to you?”
  • “Does anyone have any comments?”

Ten open-ended questions to start good discussions

  1. “Which of the five points we just discussed most applies to you? Why?”
  2. “What do you think about that?”
  3. “How does this section affect you?”
  4. “What did you learn from this study?”
  5. “What is one box you checked? Why?”
  6. “Which of these points do you need to work on?”
  7. “How does the memory verse relate to the chapter and to your life?”
  8. “Which point in this chapter spoke to you the most?”
  9. “Does anyone disagree with a point in this chapter? If so, why?”
  10. “What was your favorite part about this lesson? Why?”

Personal application

Which of these questions will help you lead or facilitate your small group?

Related: How to Lead a Christ-Centered Small Group (book)

Next: Questions you can ask at any small group Bible study

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About Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

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