I recently came across a new book that is outstanding. It’s a devotional using powerful questions to walk the reader through the New Testament. It’s written by Dr. Brian J. Wright who serves as a prison chaplain. This book is called Inspired Questions: A Year’s Journey Through the New Testament published by Christian Focus. I asked Brian to be my guest blogger this week with this post below. You will be encouraged.
We all know that good leaders ask great questions. They don’t just spout out answers. They surround themselves with people who have permission to ask them the most difficult, awkward, and challenging questions. But perhaps in our leadership development we’ve all been neglecting the greatest questions ever to be asked: inspiredones.
Inspired questions are the ones already found in God’s Word—the Bible. Indeed, a substantial portion of our Bible is questions. The New Testament alone contains approximately 980 questions. And asking questions was a primary teaching method of Jesus—the greatest leader of all time.
Inspired questions provide a great starting point for engaging with the deep issues related to leadership that God has preserved in His Word. These are questions that, for centuries, have moved Christian leaders to think in a different way. And they can still help Christian leaders today assess their values, face their insecurities, fine tune their decision-making process, and reach beyond their limits with God’s help.
For instance, consider just a few inspired questions related to authority, meetings, planning, values, and wealth:
“By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” (Mark 11:28)
“What is it that you have to tell me?” (Acts 23:19)
“He said to the commander, ‘May I say something to you’?” (Acts 21:37)
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)
“If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” (Luke 16:11)
Such questions capture the experiences of real people who were struggling to apply their faith to their everyday life, often from leadership positions.
Using Them for Developing Christian Leadership
Christian leadership starts with Christian values—for we are to influence and serve others in a Christlike way so that we can all Glorify God and fulfill His purpose in our lives. One way to develop our leadership skills with biblical values is to allow God to lead in the question asking.
Therefore, pick a character in the Bible and focus on the questions they asked others or that others asked them. Or simply pick a book in the Bible and then chronologically engage each question that surfaces. For instance, here are a few inspired questions from the Gospel of Matthew to get you started:
“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matt 6:25)
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28)
“‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’” (Matt 13:27)
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)
However you choose to engage them, make this a routine endeavor. Schedule a regular time each day—before breakfast, over lunch, during a coffee break, in the evening. It will require intentionality. It will not just happen on its own.
Improve Your Questions, Improve your Leadership
As a Christian leader, grappling with questions should be a way of life. How poor our leadership would be if it was only assertions, without questions. How sad it would be if we only encountered people’s questions and neglected God’s inspired questions.
Inspired questions can spark breakthrough ideas related to our Christian walk and leadership effectiveness. They can ignite spiritual change and produce lasting results.
Jesus, His apostles, and their disciples all engaged questions. Will you now consider using the same ones for your spiritual growth and leadership development, as well as for the benefit of everyone around you?