21 Questions to Ask Those You Lead

21 Questions to Ask Those You Lead

I have had the privilege of being a wife and mom for over 20 years now. One of the (many) things I’ve learned during that time is how important it is for me to ask great questions when I communicate with my family. Stress and strain can result in my relationships if I don’t communicate well. Can you relate?

Healthy relationships thrive on being able to reciprocate good, healthy communication strategies. My mom refers to this as ‘tossing the ball back’ when having a conversation. I speak, you listen. You speak, I listen.

Sure, there are lots of ingredients that go into having a conversation with someone (talking, listening, eye contact, body language, tone, etc.) but I think some of it boils down to asking great questions. Great questions can often determine the course of the conversation. Some conversations can come to a screeching halt before they even start if we’re not careful! I certainly haven’t mastered this, but I have made significant strides in this department. For example, I now ask open-ended questions that don’t garner a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Sometimes I push the “How did you feel about that?” question and sometimes I don’t. More often than not, I find that pausing to pray before speaking and asking God for wisdom has saved me quite a few times! I’ve learned, too, that it’s not always what I’m saying but how I’m saying it.

This same principle applies to ministry relationships. Effective communication is vital in leading others and to the health, growth and success of our ministry. In addition, good communication develops trust between a leader and those they care for.

If you want to engage someone in conversation, you have to be intentional about setting both of parties up for success. Here are just a few questions to help get those important conversation started:

Questions for Your Staff

  1. What do we do well?
  2. What can be improved?
  3. Who can we invite to be part of our ministry team?
  4. How does this program or event fit into our ministry vision and goals?
  5. Who should we invite to be part of this discussion? Who needs to be around the table?
  6. How can I pray for you?
  7. How can we grow together as a team?

Questions for Your Volunteers

  1. What worked well?
  2. What can be improved?
  3. How can we better equip you to lead well?
  4. Is there anyone you know who would be a great addition to our team?
  5. We are thinking of [insert idea]. What are your initial thoughts about that?
  6. Do you feel challenged in your role right now?
  7. How can I pray for you?

Questions for Parents/Families

  1. How would you describe our ministry?
  2. How can our ministry better serve our church’s families?
  3. What can we do to better equip you to disciple your family?
  4. What conversations are your family having? Where are these conversations taking place?
  5. How can we pray for you?
  6. What is your child struggling with?
  7. How can we better strengthen the relationship between your home and the church?

Of course, there are risks involved when questions are asked. We see vulnerabilites in people and become vulnerable ourselves. We also have to be open to receive feedback (both positive and negative) that might trigger a certain response. But think about this…how much are you and I missing out on because important, strategic questions aren’t being asked?

This article originally appeared here.

For more great articles on leading volunteers, check out 25 Best Articles on Leading Volunteers (That Get Them to Stay and Thrive!)

Previous articleSome Churches Should Die & Be Reborn
Next articleThe Growing Church Series | Reflections on Church Governance
Kathie Philips
Kathie Phillips felt called to children’s ministry at the age of 13. She is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to overseeing Route 45 (Preteen Ministry for 4th & 5th graders), she also oversees The Treehouse (for 1st – 3rd graders). Married to Lance and mom to Daniel and Kennedy, Kathie shares practical tips and inspiration for kidmin leaders each week on her blog, KidMinspiration.com.

Get the ChurchLeaders Daily Sent to Your Inbox