I have noticed over the years that the best ministers are not those who provide the best answers but ask the best questions. Over and over again, a young minister, like myself, as this has happened to me over and over again, will give the best answers to situations or dilemmas. The young dude will wax on some topic with his great wisdom. He will give all of the answers and thoughts that he has on the issue. And you sit back and listen. But those who are the best in minister realize that wisdom is found in asking the right questions instead. An answer is easy, a question is mature. This is why the best coaches in ministry are those who ask the congregation the right stuff, or the elders the right stuff. It is easy to give an answer, but much of ministry is done with a complexity that really a quick answer is not good enough. A question helps people to contextualize the situation for themselves, but an answer might be good in one congregational setting but not in another. You will have a different leadership dynamic, you are a different leader, there is so much that weights in on the choice that someone just giving you an answer never really is going to hit the nail on the head. So the next time someone asks you for your advice, stop and ask some questions first. Help them to process the situation themselves, for wisdom is asking the right question more than providing the right answer.
- Read “Preaching Biblical Wisdom in a Self-Help Society”
- Wrong Questions
- Proverbs, Wisdom, and the Wicked Woman
- Reflection on Wisdom and Moral Formation and Tennessee Football
- Read “Troubling Questions for Calvinists”