“Community” The Importance of Questions

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The community does not shift by having any new conversation.  Nothing will change if the new conversation is a discussion about better language, or if we work harder on analyzing or explaining the issue at hand.  Studying, trying harder to understand, seeking better programs or tools – these have no power.  They are only interesting.  Without a conversation that has accountability into it, we may build relatedness and the room may become gentler, but the community and how it constructs itself do not shift.

Conversations that evoke accountability and commitment can best be produced through deciding to value questions more than answers, by choosing to put as much thought into questions as we have traditionally given to answers.

Community: The Structure of Belonging” by Peter Block, page 102-103.

Every community has them.  The question ‘people.’

I worry that our church communities have not been kind to these folks.  I’m not meaning the simple questions that merely reinforce the status quo, but the big questions that make communities uncomfortable.

I remember hearing a story about a guy who asked why he couldn’t play drums in church, only to be labelled a ‘heretic.’

Even as a church leader myself, I have, often painfully, come to appreciate a good ol’ earth shattering question the facilitates my curiousity of something different that my experience failed to provide. It is uncomfortable. Questions that transform often are.

Be good to the question’ers’ within your community. They are important.  They will invite you to explore new terrain.

What about you?  Is your community good with those who question?  Do you have a question to ask?  What prevents you from asking it?

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4 comments

  1. len1919 · May 29, 2012

    Questions are fateful. They determine destinations. They are the chamber through which destiny calls. – Godwin Hlatshwayo

    • chris lenshyn · May 29, 2012

      Great quote. So true. I am constantly reminded by this as I run into people who were at one point or another labelled ‘heretic’s’ by their community for merely asking a question.

      They bring us into new realities that we many have never even considered before. A world without people asking questions is a scary place.

  2. len1919 · May 31, 2012

    Never kill a question;
    it is a fragile thing.
    A good question deserves to live.
    One doesn’t so much answer it as converse with it,
    Or, better yet, one lives with it.
    Great questions are the permanent
    and blessed guests of the mind.
    But the greatest questions of all are those which build bridges to the heart,
    addressing the whole person.
    No answer should be designed to kill the question.
    When one is too dogmatic or too sure,
    one shows disrespect for truth and the question that points toward it.
    Beyond my answer there is always more,
    more light waiting to break in,
    and waves of inexhaustible meaning
    ready to break against wisdom’s widening shore.
    Wherever there is a question, LET IT LIVE!
    -a poem by Gerhard Frost found in his book, “Bless My Growing”

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