ep. 75 | The Art of Asking Intentional Questions with Lauren Weir
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Lauren Weir on the topic of asking intentional questions. Y’all know that question-asking is one of my favorite topics, and let me be the first to say that Lauren absolutely knocked it out of the park. We talked about everything from how we can ask intentional questions in our study of the Word to how we can use intentional questions to know and love one another better.
I really believe this conversation will help you in your endeavor to know and love others with the hope of loving them, enjoying them, and leading them to Jesus. So you’ll know her a little better, Lauren is a wife and mother and lover of Jesus with a heart that beats to communicate the goodness and glory of God. Her love for God's Word and discipleship led her to pursue a Master of Biblical Counseling degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the owner of Words Worth Noting, a ministry dedicated to providing resources and cultivating life through the beauty of Scripture. Lauren loves counseling, writing, creating, and discipling as much as she loves getting to spend a whole lot of time with her little girl.
I genuinely hope this conversation encourages you to continue growing the skill of asking intentional questions, not only of others, but of yourself and most importantly, in your study of God’s Word.
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Where do we see intentional question asking modeled in Scripture?
What is the aim of goal of asking intentional questions?
Besides inability and newness to a relationship, what do you think are some deeper reasons that may keep us from asking intentional questions?
How can we ask intentional questions in our study of the Word? How can doing that ground us in the gospel?
How can we ask intentional questions of ourselves (for processing purposes or as a heart check)?
How can we ask intentional questions in discipleship relationships? In friendship? When we are getting to know someone?
How does asking intentional questions offer an opportunity to meet people with the gospel?
Practically speaking, what do you think through when you’re asking questions?
What encouragement do you have for someone who feels like they’re really bad at asking good questions? Any practical tips?
What encouragement do you have if and when someone doesn’t receive your questions as you intended? How would you practically navigate that situation and walk yourself through it afterwards?
Do you have any words of caution when it comes to asking intentional questions?
What should our hope be as we embark upon the endeavor to engage others in relationship by using the tool of asking intentional questions?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to grow in their ability to ask intentional questions?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
“God asks ‘where are you?’ We know that he’s not asking for information’s sake. He is asking because he is in relationship with them. So he, the one offended, is actually drawing near and making room for their confession. These questions show us the reality that we are designed to be in relationship with God and all of our actions and desires are never limited to our own experience but are always happening with respect to God.”
“Essentially the whole book of Job is nothing but questions. Which I think puts on display that we are limited creatures with limited understanding and are left without answers unless God intervenes.”
“Jesus often asks questions instead of giving answers. He does this intentionally and makes room for their faith to grow. Because when we are simply given answers or instructions, we don’t always allow them to confront what we already believe.”
“We ask intentional questions not just to take in information but for a purpose. The two main purposes I’ve identified are to learn and to love. The learn, to grow, to understand, to gain wisdom and knowledge to navigate this life. The other purpose is really to love. It’s especially about being in relationship.”
“If we are entrusted ambassadors of the ministry of reconciliation, we ultimately love them best by leading them to Jesus. But we can’t lead them if we don’t know where they are. Not everyone experiences life the same way we do.”
“One of the reason we fail to show concern for others in this deep way is we are too concerned with self. We care more about how we’ll come off or if the relationship will get awkward or uncomfortable. We don’t want to sacrifice our time or our mental space or our image. We are afraid we won’t know what to say. To be able to ask intentional questions really takes getting outside of ourselves and cultivating a Biblical worldview that sees beyond the here and now.”
“We want to be able to forsake any pretense that we don’t need Jesus. To get low and to serve others through opening up our own lives and being honest about the places that we struggle and really be willing to be used by God in anyway so that he may get honor and that we forsake honor in the eyes of men.”
“God created us to be in relationship with him and to understand our purpose and worth in ever increasing measure by being free to come to him and live for him. But sin marred every part of our humanity. Our desires that were once for God have now been turned to self. We were never meant to lives as gods. This worship of self results in shame and loneliness. We experience confusion and chaos, depression and anxiety, disordered thinking that becomes slavery. When we can serve others by asking loving questions that engage that particular place it can bring to light their need of God.”
“All of the affection and the approval you are living for that leaves you empty and searching, God has given you an eternal measure.”
“When I see the fruit of anxiety in my life, the Spirit will often prompt me back to the Lord asking ‘how am I seeking first my own kingdom?’ Or even going to the larger context of Matthew 6 is ‘how am I trying to practice my righteousness in the eyes of men and earn their fleeting reward instead of the reward that comes in secret from my Father?’”
“We often can put God’s Word in a box only asking the application question of what does that have for me today or we come to it with familiarity and we don’t ask questions at all. But God’s Word is so much more than this. It’s the primary and authoritative means by which we know God. It’s meant to shape how we see our entire lives. And this kind of reorienting and transforming of the mind doesn’t come quickly and does not come when we don’t engage humbly and eager to learn.”
“When we ask intentional questions, we can discover important gaps where his teaching hasn’t taken root. From that point on, we can set out to spend time studying a book in Scripture or a certain topic in Scripture to faithfully fulfill Jesus’ desire for discipleship.”
“In friendships, there is a little bit of a difference in responsibility but it’s the same mission. How can I join with him in that work? How can I encourage her to endure with the gospel?”
“What piece of God’s character is this person missing? What is God doing in this person’s life that I can encourage them to engage in or take note of or rejoice in? I am always thinking about what are the roots of what they are expressing.”
LAUREN’S RESOURCES FOR INTENTIONAL QUESTIONS
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp
X Ray Questions by David Powlison
How to Study the Bible PDF by Words Worth Noting (free!)
LAUREN’S SIMPLE JOYS
Her writer’s group
Friends to spend time with day to day
CONNECT WITH LAUREN
Who do you know that is great at asking intentional questions?
How can you ask intentional questions in your study of the Word?
How can you ask intentional questions to yourself? To a friend?
What are you going to do or implement as a result of what you’ve learned this week?
Marriage After God is a weekly podcast hosted by Aaron and Jennifer Smith intended to encourage, inspire, and challenge Christian marriages to chase after God together and to cultivate an extraordinary marriage. Be sure to check out their podcast here!
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