Too often, questions asked in church are given single, “pat” answers, given with little thought. There is a story of a junior teacher describing a squirrel, asking his class what it was, and a boy saying it sounded like a squirrel, “But … I’ll say it’s Jesus!” Adult classes sometimes mirror this type of thinking.

Following are a couple ways to encourage your class to learn by brainstorming:

Using a whiteboard, and writing down answers in a list can help students think more deeply about issues. (One technique this writer was taught was to always add a new bullet point after being given an answer; doing so creates a mindset that there are more possible answers.)

Depending on the question and type of lesson, creating a mind map (writing down various concepts, scattered on the board, then drawing lines indicating the relationships between them) may also be an effective way of exploring an issue.