facilitating group discussions
Tips for Facilitating Great Discussions
If you find yourself as the lead facilitator of the group discussion, here are three things you can do to guide your group through a dynamic and helpful conversation:
1. encourage everyone to participate
Limit your own opinions and input in order to give the entire group space to speak. A good rule of thumb is that you should talk less than 20% of the time.
2. STeer the discussion without controlling it
Don’t be afraid of out-of-left-field input from a group member, but don’t let one member monopolize the discussion. Look for group members who are quiet but seem like they might have something to say. Give them the floor by asking them what they’re thinking.
3. Be Curious
Actively listen to group members and ask clarifying questions in order to discover what’s going on in their lives.
Interested in exploring more leader training and other group resources at groupleaders.org? We recommend you start by selecting Leader Training or I'm New at the top of the page.
Asking great questions is one of the most useful skills you can add to your leadership toolbox. It's both strategically smart and relationally powerful.
Using launching, clarifying, and following-up questions requires intentionality and a little practice.
The ability to ask good questions is key for any leader. Unfortunately, it doesn't come naturally for most of us. It's a skill we have to develop over time.
The leader's main role is to create an environment—both physical and relational—where people have the opportunity to connect with one another and grow closer to God.
Asking good questions is one of the most important skills a group leader can develop.
The essentials of being a great group leader.
Messes in groups aren’t the exception; they’re the rule. That’s because people are messy.
Just like airline passengers, the members of your group have a destination in mind. It's your responsibility to chart out a course to help them get there.
In John 15, Jesus uses the metaphor of a vine and branches to instruct his followers to “abide.” When we stay connected to Jesus in this way, we welcome God’s work in us and through us.
By encouraging and facilitating connections outside of regular group meetings, you demonstrate the priority of relationships.
Shared participation (facilitating the study, hosting the meeting, preparing the snack, leading prayer time, planning socials, guiding the curriculum-choice discussion, etc.) creates broader ownership of the group.
Serving those outside of the group is a great way to leverage the influence of the group while strengthening the relationships within the group.
If we truly value the life change God brings about in people, it is important that we take the time to celebrate it in our groups.