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I just returned from the Regroup Conference at North Point Community Church, a leader in training and equipping churches to build thriving groups ministries. One of my favorite breakout sessions taught us to use a powerful tool: the golden shovel of influence.

Would you agree that we all want to influence our group members toward walking closer with Jesus? We wouldn’t be leading groups if we didn’t share that goal in common! In past Communiques, I’ve shared that Jesus was a question asker. Jesus did not need to gain information by asking questions. Rather, He knew that asking questions is an effective way to influence others and influence is a major catalyst towards changing behavior. But the art of question-asking that Jesus practiced was not for the purpose of manipulating people to change. Jesus came to love and save and serve, not to manipulate.

The goal of manipulation is to get something from another. But the goal of influence is to want something for another. Jesus wanted to influence through His teaching and leading because He wanted something for His listeners. He wanted to give them truth and He wanted to give it to them in a way that would compel them to change.

That’s the beauty of questions. They help us to make our own discoveries and our brains have to do the work. They have to dig. So asking questions is like using a golden shovel of influence.

Think about it… for you parents out there, which does your child value more? An iPad that your child has to work to purchase or an iPad that was given to them by a favorite grandparent? Now, there’s nothing wrong with a loving grandparent giving his grandchild an extravagant gift out of love and generosity. However, the child who has to sell lemonade, rake lawns, and babysit to earn the money for an iPad, well, that child will likely care more about and feel a stronger sense of ownership for their prized possession.

Do you want your group members to own their spiritual growth? Do you want them to dig into the material you are discussing together? Or, do you want them to set it aside and leave it sitting on their night stand to gather dust? What they work for they will own.

Lead well by asking great questions. Influence your group members towards a closer walk with Christ by making their brains dig so they can own what they discover and be transformed.

Interested in learning more about asking great questions?

Click here to watch this training video from North Point Community Church.

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