As I continue to press on with writing The Discipline of Discernment and as I see the book starting to come together I am slowly beginning to consider some of the finer details. For example, I have decided to add a “Key Thought” to the end of each chapter. I always appreciate when authors are deliberate about ensuring that the reader has understood the purpose of each chapter (Bryan Chapell’s Praying Backwards is an excellent example of this) and that the reader understands the flow of the book (and I think Alex Chediak’s With One Voice does an admirable job in this regard). Because my argument builds from chapter-to-chapter I feel it is important that people understand each of the components and that they remember what has already been covered. Other details may include whether there will be an index, a Scripture index, and so on.
Another item I am considering is study questions or application questions. This would be a short list of five or ten questions at the end of each chapter that would allow people to think about the topic and begin to apply it to their lives. However, I am not convinced that such a guide would be worth the effort. I will, to my shame, admit that when I read a book it is very rare that I pause at the study questions. I would not be surprised to learn that most other people also pass over them.
And so I thought I would take this public. This is not to say that I will necessarily base my decision on the consensus view here, but more that I am simply interested in learning about your reading habits. And thus I ask: Do you read the study guides or application questions in the books you read? Do you consider the questions and answer them, or do you simply pass over them and move to the next chapter?