questions, questions, questions

This morning I had an interesting experience that reminded me of something which happened in church when I was a teenager. (Yes I can remember that far back!) I was giving a talk to some primary school aged children and left it with an open question. The idea was that by doing this it would give them the opportunity to explore in their own thoughts and imagination rather than having a closed answer fed to them.

What I found interesting was that when I’d finished somebody else, referring to what I had been doing (including performing a magic trick with a duck) asked a completely different open question.

The event that happened when I was a teenager in church was that a young man who was exploring whether or not he was being called to become a minister had led the all age part of the service. I believe he did something to do with Noah’s Ark (although don’t quote me). Anyway, at the end of his talk he left us with an open question. The minister of the church then followed him and proceeded to give the “correct” answer. I can remember that my dad (a schools adviser) was really upset by this. He felt that the young man had given a genuinely engaging talk and left us with something to consider that would have left a lasting impression on us, even if there was a risk that we might come to the “wrong” answer. The Minister, however, could not bear the thought of open questions being left open and wanted to make sure that we all left having the right answer spoon fed to us. (The prospective minister is now one of our Baptist Regional Ministers!)

I’m glad to have been reminded of this because I know that there is always the temptation to try and make sure that we give what we perceive to be the right answers all the time. In many ways you could say that sermons are an extended essay in answer to a question which somebody hasn’t asked yet. But how often, I ask myself, do I leave people with an open question to consider, ponder and pray about – trusting God to help them in their searching?

be blessed, be a blessing

One thought on “questions, questions, questions

  1. If anyone wants to hazard a guess as to which of our current Regional Ministers that was (and they are no longer a young man) I will confirm if you are correct. Of course that Regional Minister may wish to “out” himself!

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