By Steve Gladen
Discussion time is the most important time in a small group. This time is when hearts open and God shapes the spiritual journey of each individual in the group.
Here are six ways to leading a successful group discussion:
- You don’t have to go through all the questions. You’ll probably never get through all the questions that the publishers of your study give you. That’s okay! Pick a few and see where God guides the group.
- Teach your group members to listen with your eyes. Multitasking kills communication. Give each group member your full attention when they are speaking.
- Don’t fix people in your discussion time. When someone in your group shares something that is on their heart, listen and offer to pray for them, but be careful not to try to fix them. The Bible instructs us to weep for those who weep, not to fix those who weep.
- It’s okay for people to show emotion. Emotions are a gift from God, and they shouldn’t be viewed as something that takes away from discussion. Take the opportunity to pray for that person, acknowledging that God is doing something in their life.
- Know when to slow discussion. Some people feel intimidated by group discussions and need a small nudge to openly share their thoughts. Others might be a little too vocal and may need a little toning down.
- Know your group members. Get to know their schedules so that you have a good understanding of how they are coming into each group meeting. Their schedules determine how their discussion contributions will be.
Whatever your situation, your primary goal in leading a group discussion is to get everyone involved and to create a comfortable environment for your group members to grow as followers of Christ.