Asking the “Right” Questions

This week, I am reading a book from the authors of Freakonomics called Think Like a Freak. In it, the authors argue two points. First, very few of us are willing to admit that we don’t know something. Even kids when given a question that they cannot possibly know the answer to will try to answer rather than admit that they don’t know. Second, admitting we don’t know the answer is hard, but admitting we don’t even know the right question is harder. A lot of us are asking the wrong questions or not asking questions at all and arriving at good, but not great solutions. 

With these thoughts in mind, I want you to know that I don’t know a lot more than I actually do know. I recognize that I am kind of in the business that can’t truly proclaim it knows everything (mainly because when pastors do, it becomes a headache). Still, I am pretty comfortable right now, at this point in my career AKA the beginning, saying that I don’t know. However, I like to have people around me who are willing to admit that they aren’t sure either. I’ve gotten into a habit of asking people to explain things to me as if I didn’t know anything about what I’m asking about whether it’s bike maintenance or financial procedures. Part of this I realize is a lot easier because I’m new to this aspect of my position. You only get so long to pull the new card, so I’m milking it for all it’s worth. 

Now, asking the right questions seems to be a lot harder for me. This week, I am trying to plan for fall and I find myself developing all sorts of questions. What have we done to reach out to campus in the past? How well has it worked? What groups have we partnered with? What groups always schedule things that overshadow our events? How have we engaged residence life, greek life, the band, and freshmen in general in our events we offer during welcome week? I still feel like these aren’t the right questions. I feel like questions like, Is it necessary to host events at Wesley during welcome week? Would it be more beneficial to participate in events already offered on campus? Do events help people connect or do people help people connect with a ministry? Even then, the questions aren’t quite what I’m getting at. 

Fortunately, I still have a month or so develop my questions and figure out what I don’t know. Until then, I continue to poke and prod at the planning process. Praying each moment for God to move on campus and for each student to find a place to belong.  

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