Placing the Catalyzing Question

“There are few things as powerful as a well placed question.”
Bobb Biehl, Founder of the MasterPlanning Group

In his book Jesus Asked, Conrad Gempf notes that of the 67 different story units in Marks Gospel where Jesus is questioned about something, in no less than 50 of those units he responds with a question. Not a particularly new insight but one that nonetheless helps us understand the right question are the tillers or the earth of our soul, they create self exploration, and a sense of journey.

Questions catalyze the questioned one and provoke some real soul searching . Questions reveal our desire to learn from the one questioned, and demonstrate our desire to hear their story and take interest in their space. I challenge you to develop a battery of questions that you have on the tip of your tongue. You will be surprised at the life development happening at subterranean levels. Here are couple gems for starters…

• What is the most important thing you’ve learned this month?

• Best book in the last 6 months?

• Best blog you read ?

• How can I help you most right now?

What are some of the questions you have learned to ask that help you get growth mileage?


14 Responses to “Placing the Catalyzing Question”

  1. Ron–It’s great catching up with you on your blog. A few thoughts. I’ve found aspects of the Ignatian Examen helpful; two questions in particular: What brought consolation today (or what brought life)? What brought desolation today (what took life away?) If we believe that Jesus came to bring us life and life more abundantly, these are great questions to ask in trying to discern God’s leading in our lives.

    Parker Palmer in his book, “Let Your Life Speak,” also talks about Quaker spirituality and how the Quakers have what’s called a “Clearness Committee.” This committee is to assemble anytime a huge life-altering decision needs to be made. Basically, the idea is that trusted friends sit and ask you questions, questions only, for a couple of hours. Answering those questions, for Palmer, was arresting on one occasion in particular, and it told him more than all of those people combined ever could have.

    Looking forward to your new book by the way.


  2. […] Ron Martoia reminds us of the importance of the catalyzing question. Isn’t that […]

  3. What did you do today that will still be important a week from now? A year from now?

    This inspires met to keep my priorities straight. At the end of next week I will need to mop again – but the time I spent helping a neighbor, or reading to my children will be important forever. I want more of my time to be spent on things that will last.

    BTW – I REALLY enjoyed Static!


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