Asking Great Questions

The best book on the art crafting powerful statements that influence and communicating effectively is “Words that Work” by Frank Luntz. This book is the best I have read on the art of asking questions. There is so mucWords that Workh great information to digest, perhaps too much. Just like the new shiny toy, this is information that you want to run home and play with right away.

I’ll begin with commenting on the negative aspect of this book, because from my perspective there is only one. Here it is . . . there is ab
solutely no way that this great information can be completely consumed, digested and properly applied in any short order. In other words, it seems that this type of information isn’t something you can be taught and then go out and put into practice. Instead, I would venture that the author acquired this information through a combination of years of academic study and even more years of practice through trial and error. And that is in addition to, what I would imagine is, a natural gift for asking great questions.

As I read through this text, I found myself constantly nodding my head with great approval and agreement. The author systematically laid out several ideas, principles and facts that I have been fortunate enough to either learn on my own or put into practice. My trouble came when I began to process the remaining information and begin to contemplate how I might go about taking my new toy for a spin during my next Bible class. As I alluded to, I’m not sure I can.

It seems foolish for offering remarks that might appear to be remotely critical for an author offering too much positive information. No, it is foolish. Instead, of trying to digest the book as if it were theory, I am going to treat it as an invaluable piece of reference material; and take one idea at a time and practice applying it over the course of several weeks. For my purposes though, the greatest value is putting this book in the hands of my small group leaders and teaching them to do the same.

In terms of the specific aspects of the book, again, there are simply too many to comment on or even list out. As I just mentioned, what I value most about this book is that it will serve as a terrific reference for my small group leaders, who lack either the experience or natural skill at leading a meeting/Bible study by crafting thoughtful and powerful questions.

In terms of the actual content, the “Top Ten Principles” shared on pages six through fourteen are worth the price of admission. This list is small enough to be digested and most likely carried into the next small group meeting.


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