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EXPLAINING THINGS & ANSWERING QUESTIONS!
--A Confirmatory Compilation on "Letting'm Ask!"--By Dad
DO 2653 Compiled 10/90


1. Some of our past leadership had some funny ideas that our Army for the Lord ought to be such a strictly-controlled bunch of soldiers that an officer or leader shouldn't ever have to explain anything to his men, & that the rank-&-file ought to be treated just like the World's armies treat their soldiers. Well, that's a little too military a concept to suit me; I far prefer to have much more open communication between the ranks, with more explanation.

2. Even with my first little family, my little kids, I remember many times sitting around the table & explaining circumstances & conditions to them, letting them know what we needed to do, & asking them what they thought about whatever decision it was that had to be made. I'd try to answer all their questions & see what they had to say.

3. Even when God wanted to make a decision, He frequently called the elders of the people together & more or less discussed it with them, & explained it to them! Did you ever notice that? When they were crossing the desert, the wilderness, many times God had Moses assemble the elders together & explain to them all what was going on. What's the use of doing something if nobody understands what you're doing? How can you expect their cooperation if you carry on like that?

4. It's a lot easier to get people to do things cheerfully & willing-spiritedly if you will explain why, & they really see the point of it. I've found this is especially true with teenagers; when they reach that age they want to have an explanation for everything. But that's just part of the parents' teaching process, & a major part of the kids' learning process. Parents should explain things as much as possible.

5. One reason the churches are so lethargic & that church Christians have so little motivation & are about as dead as doornails is because their leaders don't consult with them or allow them to ask questions! Their leaders permitted them to become spiritually dead by having nothing but those boring preachathons!--No open forums, no discussions, nobody answering questions, nobody asking any questions, just the big shot up front, the great high & mighty preacher who supposedly knows all, sees all & tells all from the pulpit, who never gets anything from the congregation!

6. Reasoning, discussion, patient persuasion & explaining things are all an important part of love, & will greatly help teach your children or followers to make their own decisions. And you'll find they'll stick to their commitments far better if they decide to do things themselves. Then they'll really want to do it right! They'll go a lot further that way than if they're only doing things because you're there to make'm!

7. I could be dictatorial & just ride roughshod right over everyone's heads & say, "That's the way it's going to be done!" I don't really have to spend hours & hours explaining things like I do, trying to persuade others to see & know all the "whys" & "wherefores," gently persuading them to be in agreement. But I think it's good for them! I'd much rather have people cooperate willingly & willing-spiritedly & cheerfully than to just order them around & have them obey out of duty alone.--And if they see & understand why something needs to be done, they usually will cooperate cheerfully!

8. I believe that any truly good leader welcomes questions & suggestions, & even contrary ideas to his own! He knows he needs to see all sides, & to weigh them in the balance of his judgement, prayerfully before the Lord, & to try to agree together on a unanimous decision if possible!


"GIVE AN ANSWER TO HIM THAT ASKETH THEE!"--1Pet.3:15

9. I hate to ever refuse to answer a child's questions. Their questions are a major part of their learning process, & you just have to answer them.--Even if you have to stop sometimes in the middle of something else you're doing.

10. I constantly stop when I'm speaking in a meeting to speak to the children or pay attention to them. Even if they interrupt me or ask a question, I try to answer it immediately. I just think that the children are important & I think they need to be paid attention to.

11. That's one of the reasons why it often takes me so long to finish a talk, because I feel I have to explain things to the children as I go along. I believe in stopping to answer their questions.--And I bet the Lord did that too! He said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me & forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."--Mat.19:14. So there must have been a lot of them running around when He was teaching. Their Mamas & Daddies were there, so what could they do with the kids but bring'm along too.

12. Let's face it, kids are full of questions; that's the way they learn.--Which is why we've always tried to explain everything to David & Techi. Instead of just assuming that they knew, we've always tried to explain things to them. How can they know hardly anything unless you explain it to them & tell them about it? We adults don't expect to just take things without some kind of an explanation, & children have as much right to an explanation as anybody!

13. I know it's a real battle sometimes, & it's a big job, but you've just got to explain things to children so they'll understand. And even if they still can't understand it, maybe just the fact that they know you're trying to explain it to them will help! So when things come up that require an explanation, give'm one! We really do try to explain everything that we can explain, that needs to be explained.--If we think there will be any question in their minds at all or hurt feelings, we explain.

14. In fact, whenever anybody asks me a question, I try to answer'm! Of course, sometimes I have to say, "I don't know!" Even when someone would write in & I've felt that they were nitpickin' & deliberately trying to find fault in their question, I've still tried to answer them!

15. Although I may not always know the answers to people's questions, I feel there's no reason why they shouldn't ask! If something really puzzles them & they can't understand, they should ask! The answer may be very simple! They may have overlooked something. And if I've overlooked something, I want to know about it!

16. So I certainly don't want anyone to hesitate to ask questions, especially if they're sincere honest questions. Of course, I'm not always quite so charitable with someone who's just trying to find fault & trying to show, "You're wrong & make mistakes, you contradict yourself"--like the Devil, just trying to undermine confidence & undermine faith in leadership. Their motive is what is important! Why are they asking their questions? Do they really want to know the answers? (--Or just find fault!--D.)

17. But we definitely don't want anyone to be secretly battling about different questions they have just because they don't want to appear to be doubting. When people feel open to ask questions, they usually feel relieved because they can get some help on their questions & find the answers they're asking for.

18. You could say that they are doubtful, but if a person really honestly wants an answer & he's sincerely asking & seeking help & not being critical or skeptical, then it's good for him to tell his leadership his problems & doubts & battles. No one is going to get help or counsel or victories if they're not honest with others, & are not willing to share their hearts with their leadership. Often who they ask shows what their motive is.

19. This is why I've said in the Letters that if you have any question about a leadership decision, you should mention it, & mention it to them, your leadership. If you have any compunction about it, any doubt about it, if it just doesn't seem right to you, you ought to mention it to them. You should ask them about it & discuss it with them until you reach some kind of an agreement, as much as possible.

20. The Lord Himself obviously believes in being open to His children's questions!--He says, "Ask, & it shall be given you. Call unto Me & I will answer thee & show thee great & mighty things that thou knowest not!"--Mat.7:7; Jer.33:3. How much more should we be open to questions from our children, amen? GBY!


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