Contextualizing and Personalizing Questions

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Coffee break uses a unique method of learning called “Discover Your Bible” (DYB). Rather than a deductive approach, DYB enables an inductive strategy to help members of the group learn more from each bible study. This method challenges group members to answer questions about the text while reading, opposed to reading the whole passage first. Another aspect of Discover Your Bible includes taking turns to read the text to increase members’ participation and feelings of belonging. Small priceless discoveries can be made as members dig through the text while working as a group to answer personalized questions.

The challenge of the DYB method is personalizing DYB questions in an effective manner. Coffee Break workshops train leaders to develop questions based on four different types.  

The 4 types of questions include:

  • icebreakers
  • factual
  • interpretation
  • application

It is beneficial for leaders to develop questions that are unique for their respective groups. Ice-breakers are meant to do exactly as named, break the ice. A good ice-breaking question would enable participants to tie in a memory or personal story to the passage topic for the day. Factual questions are questions that can be answered directly from the text. Interpretation questions are more the “why” and “how” questions that challenge groups to think outside the text. These often tie in beautifully to the last type of question, application. Application questions prompt members to put into practice what they have learned. Finally, gauging the group to see if they can dive a little deeper rather than develop foundations in shallow water is an important technique leaders ought to consider.

Coffee Break has been around for 45 years and has included a variety of individuals with different experiences. Some have suffered the loss of a child, some divorce, and some financial hardships. Some have experienced difficulties that they are not ready to share yet. Being considerate and sensitive while developing personalized questions is invaluable. The DYB method strives to incorporate personalized questions in a way that draws people closer to the Bible through discovery while building relationships through sharing.

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What are the some of the best Icebreakers you've heard?