People collect many things: stamps, cars, tree ornaments. I like to collect questions. Whenever I find good questions I try and write them down so that I can use them in the appropriate situation.
I came across and old article in Leadership Magazine by Judson Poling in which he argues for answering questions of a seeker (or at least the initial question) with a question. That second question can reveal what is hidden and often what motivates the question. Often what we need to do is get to the heart of the questioner before we give an answer.
These questions below will help the person you are talking with think more deeply. I think several of these are excellent questions for conversing with our older children as well.
1. “That’s an interesting question. What do you think?”
2. “What situation in your life makes you wonder about that?”
3. “Even though you don’t know, if you had to guess, how would you answer?”
4. “What information do you think would cause you to change your mind?”
5. “What is the strongest argument for those who disagree with you?”
6. “If you found out you were wrong, how would your life change?”
And for the question about Jesus being the only way, Poling suggests this question:
7. “If I were to tell you he did claim to be the only way, would you rule out the possibility that it is true? Why won’t you even consider the possibility?”