Small Group Host Training How do I Facilitate a Meeting? Provide structured, positive group activities with a bit of fun and a lot of movement thrown in. Your role as small-group leader is very important. Stimulate further discussion by responding to members' contributions. If Jesus talked so much about money, why do we talk about it so infrequently in church? ). Allow group members the time they need so everyone can participate in the conversation. I define a small group as a group of people (4-15), who meet regularly for the purpose of spiritual edification and evangelistic In my experience as a Small Groups Pastor, I have found that #1 is the most important yet least done. They also make sure that group members are validated in their sharing and understood by other group members. Why do you think we so rarely talk in church about sex? or "Why was this included in the Bible?". When the group numbers eight or more, a leader or facilitator, whether formal or informal, is almost … Why 30 seconds? 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. 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. ), or you can ask guiding questions to clarify general or vague responses (What do you mean that you feel selfish? (Some groups will add accountability to this question—recording what members share and asking them to report back the next week. How do you think that would've affected you if you had been living in the time of Jesus? The key difference is that interpretation questions simply seek to make meaning of the text, not to apply the text to our lives. 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. When will you practice this discipline? While it's great for you to share your own experiences, stories, and opinions, let the text be the main focus. To make matters worse, it's even challenging to gauge whether we're doing a good job or not. And if no one has an answer, someone will speak up and ask, "What was the question?" As a rule of thumb, you'll want to follow the order of these questions when leading discussion. And encourage paired r small group discussions, walking and talking, talking through objects, pictures and so on. Ask open-ended questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Treat participants with respect and consideration. Why did God design it to work that way? Facilitate teaches a leader how to listen well, ask questions, train others, involve people, and prepare for the meeting. On the other hand, sometimes tangents lead to excellent discussions. A Code of Conduct can be used to communicate guidelines for your small group or Bible study group. One of my favorite book titles has always been the one I find most true: Everybody's Normal Until You Get to Know Them. Ask that God would lead the discussion where he wants it to go. If you must ask a "yes or no" question, be sure to follow it with "Why?". This can be a clue to you that the question may not have been clear. The goal of the facilitator is to help group members engage in meaningful dialogue with one another. And as the leader, be sure to model this safety and confidentiality yourself! These questions seek to summarize and clarify in order to keep the discussion focused. Be sure to respond to nonverbal communication (a groan, deep sigh, or laughter) as well—. It takes time to prepare to facilitate a small group discussion. Here are some of the common "challenging people" that you may encounter, and some tips on approaching them with grace: Remember—the end goal of a group discussion is life change, not perfect discussions or getting through all the material. Examples: Some students might feel nervous to meet in a small group with other kids they don’t know well. Don't turn your discussion time into a lecture. 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. Be patient – On your first night, the small group discussion is not going to be extremely deep if it is your first time with this small group. Give them time every session to review their goal and share with the group a success, no matter how small. Thankfully, there are some established practices and principles that can help us accomplish those goals. Generally groups should be no larger than 4 or 5 individuals to ensure everyone can be heard, but that there is also cohesion. These are often mixed up with application questions (which I'll cover later). Aim to decide how the group will handle these things: Determining who speaks next; Group logistics, meetings times, food, etc. Are we saying that … ? So stay open to the Holy Spirit during each group meeting and follow where he leads. Too often, leaders ask a question, wait three to five seconds, and then jump in to answer it themselves. As you discuss the Bible, you may be drawn into theological debates. It takes time, and be patient on it. Examples: Facilitating Small Groups
Mentor Train-the-Trainer
2. In order to train yourself in this, ask a question and then glance at your watch. This allows them to discover biblical truths for themselves. Why can't we just go (some other route) instead? ", "Why? That is one of the quickest ways to shut someone down from sharing. One of your key roles as a small-group leader is facilitating discussion at your meetings. In this order, you'll finish your discussion by actually applying it to your lives. Listening to what others have to say is as important as speaking well. 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. 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. In these verses, what does Paul say is necessary for salvation? You can simply acknowledge their response (Thanks for sharing, Helen. Intention, purpose, thought, structure, and lesson planning are essential components to initiate a meaningful group experience. 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. Realize, though, that these questions allow group members and guests alike to answer—because the answer is right in the text. 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” . We’re talking about the D now in LEAD. What one thing can you do differently in this next week to start living that out? Nominal group technique: Each person takes 30 to 90 seconds to collect their thoughts, followed by a round robin. It's also important to spend some time in prayer before each group meeting. A good leader is always leading. Instead, always wait 30 seconds after asking a question. This simple small-group format teaches disciples to obey God. Elevate the best storytellers & sages of the global church. In fact, a mentor once told me that my goal as a small-group leader was to never tell when I could ask. Saddleback Church 03/19/15. Sign Up For Our Newsletter effectively facilitate a small group. You are a leader, not a teacher. So how do you create this safe environment? You should begin by working to draw others out. We don't have to lead the perfect discussion every time. What was it like? Listen actively and nonjudgmentally, encouraging other learners to do the same. When someone answers incorrectly, respond carefully. They work from more general to very specific and help group members discover God's truth. Having people participate—even if their comments are off-topic—is a good thing. Later, you can (and often should) talk to them about their comments outside of group, but it should be done one-on-one. 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? A few tips for facilitating a great small group meeting: Show up armed with great questions. They ask the question, "What does this have to do with us?" Focus on Questions, Not Answers Use your first session to give kids time to just get to … Wait the full 30 seconds. Ask group members how they will live life differently because of your discussion. For the best experience, make sure everyone in the room can see their remote colleagues on a big screen. So what in the world does that have to do with our lives today? By Annelie Rugg on October 5, 2017. When someone shares in the group—no matter how much you may disagree, or how theologically incorrect they may be—make sure they feel affirmed about their answer in the moment. Do you really agree with what the author is saying in that chapter? Too often people think, “Oh, I will just show up and it will be okay. And who was it writt… This means that each learner will build their understanding in an individualistic way and will find different personal connections points of relevance in their learning. Peer Facilitators are those who have actually lived the experience being addressed by the group. But here's what I've learned: someone will most likely speak up with an answer before 30 seconds are up. How Can I Lead Great Small-Group Discussions? You can also use these questions to refocus the group when the discussion has gone off on a tangent. Create a safe environment for group members to share. Examples: Small groups should be comfortable and informal. Remember this isn't the purpose. Create an environment for life change with these simple tips. 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