I first learned about the use of “can we” questions when I was doing a few days of speaking in Australia. I was working with a gathering of leaders on developing multiplication movements. One group brought their entire team from across the country– 15 leaders from all over Australia.

At every break and every meal they would get together and capture the “can we” questions generated by the talks: “Can we do X? Can we do Y?” They kept a running list of questions, always looking at possible strategic initiatives triggered by presentation. They accumulated close to 200 of these questions.

Then on Friday night, at the end of the presentations, they began to walk through the questions and pray together. They started sorting and categorizing them into similar groups. Out of that, they framed the core questions they wanted to talk with me about. They had previously scheduled a half-day consultation with me for the Saturday after the conference.

That was the most effective half-day conversation I’ve ever had with any group because of the phenomenal amount of prep work they had done. I asked them about their process and learned that they had gotten it from a business consultant and used this method regularly as a way to generate breakthrough ideas. It was astonishing to me how sharp their thinking was because they were so used to seeking God and looking for possible courses of action. I saw the power of can we questions firsthand through this group.