Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Group Leader Skills: Conversations Between Meetings

By Rick Howerton

The amount of and the substance of conversation that takes place during the small group meeting is directly related to the amount of and the substance of conversation that takes place between meetings.

I am asked all the time to teach on the small group meeting. The real question seems to be, “How can our group have a life-changing, biblically-driven, story revealing conversation when our small group gets together?” I always go through a list of well-known, often written about ideas:
  1. Be sure to do ice-breakers as they create a conversational environment.
  2. Be sure that as group members arrive you greet them well making them feel welcome and converse with them about their day and what is taking place in their lives so that you deal with those surface conversations before the real meeting even begins.
  3. You as a leader should model vulnerability and transparency so that the conversation goes past surface discussions into real life.
  4. Be sure you’re asking open-ended questions that lead to conversation rather than closed-ended questions that shut down the conversation, etc.
But in almost every instance someone says, “I do all of that but my group members still won’t talk.” My next question, “How much do you and your group members communicate between meetings?” And, in almost every instance, there is a revealing silence. I then state, as I did earlier in this post,“The amount of and the substance of conversation that takes place during the small group meeting is directly related to the amount of and the substance of conversation that takes place between meetings.” Communicating between meetings can take place in multiple ways.

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