Leading a Small Group Meeting –

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led
them” Ps 78:72
Our leadership needs 1) Integrity of heart = CHARACTER
! ! ! ! 2) Skilful Hands = ABILITY
1)Practical Things
a) Venue “Is it suitable?” (Space, Location, Security etc)
b) Seating “Can everyone see everyone?”
c) Unnecessary distractions e.g. pets, telephone etc.
d) Times – start & finish, duration etc.
2)Elements in the meeting:
a) People to people – relational/friendship
b) People to God – worship
c) God to people – sharing, ministry, praying for people etc.
d) People to the world – vision
a) People to people = relational/friendship
• Often easiest over tea and coffee or juice, snacks, food etc.
• When do we have ʻplannedʼ relational time?
• Sometimes an exercise facilitates it (e.g. groups of four to answer
questions. Where were you born? Where have you lived? What was
your favourite place as a child etc.)?
• Should never be an added extra.
• Our friendships are the glue that keeps the group together!
• May need more “planned” relational time if friendships are still forming.
b) People to God – worship
• Worship is a ʻheart thingʼ
• Instruments/Music does not produce worship! They can be useful in
facilitating it.
• What works best?
• Creative ideas include CDʼs, written worship, and prayers of worship/
thanks.• Must be life-giving.
c) God to people
• Will be discussed in more detail later.
• Not really a good place to teach or preach.
• Aim is edification (building up)
d) People to the world
• Before leaving a meeting – should always be a few minutes on ʻHOW
• Create vision
• Depends on where the group is at, as to how they will apply it.
• Should be a mix of love to each other and loving the lost!C. LEADING A SMALL GROUP MEETING (Part 2)
This section takes section [c] above and enlarges on it because we consider
leading a small group discussion such a vital skill in small group leadership.
Matt 16:13-20
Note Jesusʼ method of approaching this discussion: He firstly asks a general
question ʻWho do people say the Son of Man is?ʼ (v13) and then He asks a
second question but makes it more personal: ʻBut what about you … who do
you say I am?ʼ (v15) By doing this He gets a response from Peter that is real
1)Learn to ask good questions!
• Different methods of teaching
1) Telling people answers
2) Helping people discover answers.
• We remember best our own answers to questions.
• What skills are there in question asking?
3 Levels of questions a) Surface level (Facts and things ʻout thereʼ)
! ! ! ! ! b) Opinion level (“I think….”)
! ! ! ! c) Feeling level (“In my life…”)
Good facilitators learn to skillfully move from a) to b) to c)
Life transformation happens at Opinion and Feeling levels.
Example 2 Cor 1:3-7
Surface level questions:
________________________________________________________?Opinion level questions:
Feeling level questions:
2) Listening and facilitation skills
• Look for the words behind the words.
When leading a small group discussion you can get:
• Off-track responses. (person gets side-tracked)
• “Glimmer of hope” responses. (This person finally sees something
of the truth).
• Devilʼs advocate (always puts forward the opposing point of view)
• “Dux of the school” answers (gives the answer so correctly that
everyone else feels like there is nothing left to say)
• Funny guy (cracks jokes constantly and avoids the question)
• Tough questions
How should we handle these responses?
A good group facilitator is like a traffic controller. By giving direction to the
flow of conversation and bouncing questions around the room he gives lots of
people chance to speak.