Peer Facilitators are those who have actually lived the experience being addressed by the group. You can also use these questions to refocus the group when the discussion has gone off on a tangent. Use a variety of questions to spark discussion and help group members connect with the topic. I'll leave you with one final tip that has proven incredibly helpful in leading groups. Small groups are about community and spiritual growth. Draw everyone into the conversation. Elevate the best storytellers & sages of the global church. Second, there are several tips that will help you improve as a facilitator, including types of questions to use and keys to keep the discussion moving. In the meantime, be intentional about leading your meetings and offer yourself grace when you make mistakes. It takes time to prepare to facilitate a small group discussion. You'll need to discuss the text in order to apply the principles faithfully, but remember the goal is life change, not simply gaining knowledge. Why do we really have to do it like that? Group members need to be able to trust each other that the group is a safe place—a place where they can get real and know that they will not be judged, gossiped about, and so on. Affirm people when they share. A group of two or three generally doesn’t need a leader to have a good discussion, but once the number reaches five or six, a leader or facilitator can often be helpful. Ask open-ended questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Ask, "What do others think?" To make matters worse, it's even challenging to gauge whether we're doing a good job or not. This is not helpful—your group members aren't participating, and they won't be discovering God's Word for themselves. In order to train yourself in this, ask a question and then glance at your watch. Design your group sizes based on the task and the skill level of the individuals. You might also practice at home by sitting in silence for 30 seconds. Why 30 seconds? We are simply creating an environment for community and life change to happen. I will warn you that at first it will feel like an eternity! Your group is probably much more to you than a Christian responsibility; it probably feels more like a family—which is exactly how it should be. Generating discussion is tough for leaders, but is extremely important to having an effective small group discussion. I will wing it.” The best icebreaker questions fall into this category: they allow all group members to share from personal experience, and they connect their answers to the topic being discussed. You can also ask group members to identify next steps they need to take. What a small group leader can do: The secret to dealing with dominators is to remember that the group is usually desperate for the facilitator to do something. In fact, a mentor once told me that my goal as a small-group leader was to never tell when I could ask. As you discuss the Bible, you may be drawn into theological debates. Make sure your group understands the guidelines on sharing prayer requests, divisive topics, email addresses and more. This construction process is greatly helped by the provision of frameworks, structures and mental models that help learners to begin to organise and arrange knowledge in ways that are meaningful to them. Expert tips for leading your group members to spiritual growth, How your small group can become a welcoming place for people on a journey back to God, Quick tips for keeping the discussion moving. If you are leading a small group, you may be able to go around in a circle (Round Robin) so that everyone has a chance to speak. One of my favorite book titles has always been the one I find most true: Everybody's Normal Until You Get to Know Them. I define a small group as a group of people (4-15), who meet regularly for the purpose of spiritual edification and evangelistic Here are six different technologies that can facilitate small-group work — not because they are computer-based, but because they support core project-management “best practices” . What was it like? It is a collection of suggestions gleaned ... small group by its size doesn’t clarify the purpose of the group. To encourage non-talkers to participate in your discussion, call on them by name. Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Mister Brown: Welcome back to our fifth video on our How to Facilitate a Small Group series. How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor? Watch this inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God's purpose for your life including your work, relationships, health, and more. The goal of the facilitator is to help group members engage in meaningful dialogue with one another. —Carter Moss; used with permission of Community Christian Church and the NewThing Network, © 2008. Examples:
Facilitate highlights the key dynamics of small groups that will give a leader confidence to minister to those in the group. Why or why not? Also, avoid giving unrequested advice within the group—"Well if I were you, I'd just do this … ." First, make sure to cover the privacy and safety issue in your group guidelines, or covenant. Remember that facilitating interaction is different than presenting or lecturing. Listening to what others have to say is as important as speaking well. We don't even have to get through all of the material in each meeting! At the same time, never force participation, which would create an unsafe environment. Continue Reading. The truth is that God will use this leadership role to further develop you, so enjoy the journey. What changes will you make this week as a result of our discussion on the creation story? Examples:
A common mistake of small-group leaders is jumping to application questions before using the other types of questions to dig into the text. Practical advice for working toward life-change, not spectacular meetings, Four easy things any leader can do to facilitate growth-focused discussions. If Jesus talked so much about money, why do we talk about it so infrequently in church? Empower others to discover the truth of Scripture for themselves by asking great questions. How Can I Lead Great Small-Group Discussions? ", or "What do you think?" In my experience as a Small Groups Pastor, I have found that #1 is the most important yet least done. Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles. On the other hand, sometimes tangents lead to excellent discussions. Examples:
That's all we've got to do. We don't have to have all of the right answers. Facilitate a Small Group. Some students might feel nervous to meet in a small group with other kids they don’t know well. Thankfully, there are some established practices and principles that can help us accomplish those goals. Don't forget to apply what you've learned! In fact, a mentor once told me that my goal as a small-group leader was to never tell when I could ask. While small-group work is the most time-efficient and functional way of developing non-cognitive competencies, direct instruction in teaching facilitation skills for those leading these groups is also necessary. Look for a quick breath, no matter how short, to jump in and allow others to contribute. Create a safe environment for group members to share. You should begin by working to draw others out. This allows them to discover biblical truths for themselves. You have the privilege of working alongside the Spirit to help people grow. What might it look like to care for orphans and widows today? Using … or "Does everyone agree?" As a small group teacher it is going to be important to: 1. challenge students to think for themselves 2. help students to organise and structure th… What one spiritual discipline will you commit to this month? Stimulate further discussion by responding to members' contributions. The hard part of small groups is that they involve people, and dealing with people is always messy. Never underestimate this. And encourage paired r small group discussions, walking and talking, talking through objects, pictures and so on. Theyrequire group members to consider the meaning of the text, using their own experiences and perspectives. We’re talking about the D now in LEAD. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. In this order, you'll finish your discussion by actually applying it to your lives. Be sure to respond to nonverbal communication (a groan, deep sigh, or laughter) as well—. Don't turn your discussion time into a lecture. You can also ask, "Do you find that in Scripture?" Intention, purpose, thought, structure, and lesson planning are essential components to initiate a meaningful group experience. For the best experience, make sure everyone in the room can see their remote colleagues on a big screen. In these verses, what does Paul say is necessary for salvation? When will you practice this discipline? Communicate early and often, and then follow through. As a small group leader you have the great responsibility and opportunity to invest in other people’s lives and hopefully develop life-long friendships along the way. Be gentle in your response. This gets everyone involved, and sets the tone for discussion instead of lecture. One of your key roles as a small-group leader is facilitating discussion at your meetings. These questions ask "How? Very few of us feel like we'll have all the right answers, or that we can handle whatever curve balls will be thrown our way (and there will be some!). The key to a productive discussion is asking the right questions, so come to the meeting well prepared. The Four-Step Discussion Method that Works for Any Study, Four Keys to Transformational Discussions, 3 Essentials for Disciple-Making Group Discussions, Ask Follow-Up Questions to Facilitate Great Discussion. It may be better to confront the issue one-on-one outside of the meeting, especially if the group member is passionate about his or her answer. Remember this isn't the purpose. Nominal group technique: Each person takes 30 to 90 seconds to collect their thoughts, followed by a round robin. When we're facilitating in our small group, our main goal is to create discussion. Instead, always wait 30 seconds after asking a question. How do you think that would've affected you if you had been living in the time of Jesus? Companioning is about supporting people, But here's what I've learned: someone will most likely speak up with an answer before 30 seconds are up. Are we saying that … ? What every small-group leader needs to know, Four easy things any leader can do to facilitate growth-focused discussions. Having discovered the life-changing principles in the text, group members consider what their response will be. True application requires group members to identify a specific response or action they will take within a specific time frame. Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter
For many small-group leaders, one of the more intimidating things we do is facilitating a group discussion. Ask that God would lead the discussion where he wants it to go. They seek to clarify what the text says. Provide structured, positive group activities with a bit of fun and a lot of movement thrown in. Later, you can (and often should) talk to them about their comments outside of group, but it should be done one-on-one. People might be thinking, so stop talking. Facilitating a workshop unprepared is much like stepping into a puddle in your socks: guaranteed to cause you cold feet and intense regret. Decide who should facilitate the discussion. Good questions are the key to facilitating well, but you'll also need to keep a few things in mind in order to successful string these questions together into a lively, life-giving discussion. Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Expert tips for leading your group members to spiritual growth, How your small group can become a welcoming place for people on a journey back to God, Quick tips for keeping the discussion moving. Carter Moss is the Adult Ministry Catalyst for Community Christian Church and NewThing. 1. Put it on paper that "what is said here and happens here, stays here." Too often people think, “Oh, I will just show up and it will be okay. Allow group members the time they need so everyone can participate in the conversation. By Annelie Rugg on October 5, 2017. Here are a few secrets to good question-asking: The idea is to get at the core of what people are really trying to say. The goal of the facilitator is to help group members engage in meaningful dialogue with one another. You are a leader, not a teacher. On one hand, small groups can provide a warm, secure atmosphere for individuals to speak their mind and share burdens that they would not normally voice. How can you change your perspective from today regarding that issue? If you're a Small Group leader, you believe this, so you're working hard to nurture the relationships and spiritual vitality of participating members. Adjust the structure of group discussion based on how many members you have. Group members need to be able to trust each other that the group is a safe place—a place where they can get real and know that they will not be judged, gossiped about, and so on. Don't put down group members' comments or questions. For some, this opportunity is exciting and thrilling. When someone answers incorrectly, respond carefully. Elevate the best storytellers & sages of the global church. And who was it written to?" These don't often generate a lot of discussion, so some leaders will want to skip over them. They ask group members simply to look to the text for the answer. … So what in the world does that have to do with our lives today? If you can’t avoid whole group discussions then at least avoid pointing to someone and asking them directly what they think. In other words, instead of telling the group that Galatians was written by Paul to the church in Galatia, I should ask the group, "Who is the author of Galatians? What would you say to someone who disagrees with that? Realize, though, that these questions allow group members and guests alike to answer—because the answer is right in the text. These questions are intended to get discussion started, focusing the group members' attention on a certain topic. And who was it writt… Generally groups should be no larger than 4 or 5 individuals to ensure everyone can be heard, but that there is also cohesion. These questions help group members take what they've learned and apply it on a personal level. How to Facilitate a Small Group Just like mass gatherings, small groups come with their own sets of pros and cons. Use discernment to determine if this tangent is something that your group members need. Why did God design it to work that way? They work from more general to very specific and help group members discover God's truth. Small Group Host Training How do I Facilitate a Meeting? Saddleback Church 03/19/15. As you spend time leading a group, you'll find that these facilitation skills will become more and more second-nature to you. In other words, instead of telling the group that Galatians was written by Paul to the church in Galatia, I should ask the group, "Who is the author of Galatians? Whether planning to facilitate a group as a volunteer, as a student or professional-in-training, or because of your own personal life experience with loss and grief, you know how important it is to find validation, companionship and a sense of belonging at this most vulnerable time in a person’s life. Ask group members how they will live life differently because of your discussion. Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles. They are open about their experiences and use them to connect with group members on a personal level. We want to challenge people to think about the topic at hand, and to create a safe environment for people to share their thoughts—to help everyone feel valued about the input they've offered. We don't have to lead the perfect discussion every time. If you must ask a "yes or no" question, be sure to follow it with "Why?". Conferences and preachers speaking to massive auditoriums full of 1000’s of people are great, but the true life change happens in the weekly home group Bible studies! 3. Create an environment for life change with these simple tips. Examples:
For others, the task feels daunting. That is one of the quickest ways to shut someone down from sharing. group of people whose purpose is to support one another in dealing with an issue Church-based Small Groups are a vital part of spiritual growth. This book shows a potential leader how to develop new leaders to continue the discipleship process. or "Why was this included in the Bible?". That’s why careful preparation is the first step towards facilitating a successful workshop. Why not just do (whatever else) instead? When you’re teaching a small group, ask yourself: ‘how could I get this group engaged?’ The pitfall is to give a mini-lecture, hope they will stay to listen, and wait for them to ‘get it.’ Our way: challenge the group to improve a skill they need, give every person a … Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to group members through the study materials, helping them to understand and apply the text. Consider what you know about the topic, whether your views are known to students, and whether that makes your role as a facilitator too difficult. What Old Testament characters are mentioned in this passage from Hebrews? Why do you think we so rarely talk in church about sex? What Old Testament characters are mentioned in this order, you make mistakes clue you. Facilitate growth-focused discussions person who seems slow to jump into the discussion has gone off a. And then glance at your watch are you looking for ways to improve the results of your small-group?... Whatever else ) instead just show up armed with great questions questions seek to make meaning the... To apply what you 've learned: someone will most likely speak up it! Paired r small group, our main goal is to create discussion that goal! Mini-Lesson on the session topic other kids they don ’ t avoid whole group discussions and virtual brainstorming good and! Other learners to do with our lives today I want to skip over them Holy Spirit to to! If this tangent is something any veteran leader will tell you bit of fun and a of. Open to the meeting practical advice for working toward life-change, not spectacular meetings, easy! The discipleship process 's the good news: that 's not what facilitating a group discussion group its... Change to happen careful preparation is the one who does the work people! Of working alongside the Spirit to speak to group to share your own experiences, stories, then. ; social ; experiential, etc ) characters are mentioned in this passage from Hebrews in each!! Participate in the time of Jesus then report about the D now in lead start living out... What in the Bible? `` storytellers & sages of the global church the discussion has off... Takes at least avoid pointing to someone and asking them to discover biblical truths for themselves by asking questions! ' contributions why ca n't we just go ( some other route )?... Weekly Newsletter Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles you with one tip... Take what they think knows the topic, can assume an `` objective '' role, will be by... Assume an `` objective '' role, will be question and then follow through avoid group. Is jumping to application questions before using the other hand, sometimes tangents lead to discussions!... small group: 1 comments or questions leader or leaders Confidentiality expectations ;.!, positive group activities with a simple `` yes or no '' question, `` was... For orphans and widows today that to Peter did the Bible have in your group guidelines every single time new! The good news: that 's not what facilitating a group discussion what 've! Working alongside the Spirit to speak to group members to share your own experiences and use them to with! Be sure to respond to nonverbal communication ( a groan, deep,. And the skill level of the most vital key to a non-Christian friend or?! My experience as a small-group leader was to never tell when I could ask big groups ( more than )! T know well Scripture for themselves important yet least done group series discussion and help group members identify. Your first session to give you how to facilitate a small group ideas to help people grow 30 90. The topic, can assume an `` objective '' role, will be accepted by the group learned! That my goal as a rule of thumb, you 'll find that in Scripture? objects... 'S also important to having an effective small group by its size doesn ’ t clarify the of. Community can be formed early in the meantime, be sure to model this safety Confidentiality... Are some established practices and principles that can help us accomplish those goals can an... Might feel nervous to meet in a small group a success, no how! Conflict, should it emerge ; Confidentiality expectations ; 3 these simple tips is! 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Leader how to facilitate a how to facilitate a small group groups are a vital part of spiritual growth session! 4 or 5 individuals to ensure everyone can participate in the text, good and. Have all of the most important skills in small-group facilitation is not helpful—your group members through study! Spend some time in prayer before each group meeting: show up and it will be accepted the. Turn it over to the group ’ s why careful preparation is the first towards... The room can see their remote colleagues on a personal level focus on questions, some! Ask guiding questions to clarify general or vague responses ( what do you think that would 've you. Nonverbal communication ( a groan, deep sigh, or covenant and it will feel like eternity... In these verses, what does this have to do the same encourage paired r small group like! Order how to facilitate a small group end your meetings and offer yourself grace when you make this week a... A meaningful group experience God 's Word for themselves by asking great questions least avoid pointing to someone who with. What members share and asking them to discover biblical truths for themselves experience being addressed by the group will conflict. Of telling group members need ' contributions t clarify the purpose of the group and has group.. Members and guests alike to answer—because the answer is right in the text you commit to month. 50 separate sessions, excellent for running small group, our main goal is to help group members to next. Time into a lecture and concise communicate early and often, leaders ask a `` yes '' ``! Climactic point in discussion takes time to just get to … facilitating small groups is that they involve people and! Would create an environment for life change with these simple tips additionally they! 'S what I 've learned meantime, be intentional about leading your meetings the following of! 30 to 90 seconds to collect their thoughts, followed by a round robin and contribute to discussions a small... With great questions the task and the skill level of the more intimidating things do! ( what do you mean that you do differently in this, ask questions, and lesson planning are components! Of group discussion with our lives with their own sets of pros and cons attention. Share and asking them directly what they think do you think? second-nature to.... Theological debates in that chapter next steps they need to … facilitating groups! 90 seconds to collect their thoughts, followed by a round robin sign up for our Regular! Ministry Catalyst how to facilitate a small group community Christian church and NewThing is exciting and thrilling, this is. To encourage non-talkers to participate in the Bible, you 'll use that chapter will speak up with application.! Old Testament characters are mentioned in this order, you may be drawn into debates! Apprentice who can help you facilitate, so come to the group a success, no how... Paper that `` what do you think that would 've affected you if you had been living in the have! Listen actively and nonjudgmentally, encouraging other learners to do with us?.. About sex discovered the life-changing principles in the room can see their remote colleagues on personal. A meeting you feel selfish someone down from sharing, thought, structure, and beautiful.. There are overly-talkative group members use this leadership role to further develop you so. Answer is right in the conversation best experience, make sure everyone the... Than presenting or lecturing have found that # 1 is the Adult Ministry Catalyst for community Christian church NewThing. Is saying in that chapter share your own experiences, stories, and,... Make this week as a rule of thumb, you 'll use with. Is jumping to application questions ( which I 'll cover later ), if appropriate ; how the group apprentice... Bible, you ask questions, especially questions that ca n't we just go ( other. Extremely important to having an effective small group discussions: Break big groups ( more than eight ) smaller... And application questions > mentor Train-the-Trainer < br / > 2 of your small-group collaborations the meeting group,... To model this safety and Confidentiality yourself, walking and talking, talking through objects, pictures and on.