By Bill Search
At the heart of the relational pattern of connecting with one another is leading a great discussion. Here on some tips on how to do that:
Know the point of the discussion.
If you're using the curriculum guide or a video or something, it should always tell you “this is the main point.” This is the bulls eye. The discussion is kind of like a map or a compass while the goal, the objective of the discussion, is going to be the guide that you keep referring back to. It helps you know that you’re still on course. Know what the main point of the discussion is.
Start with an icebreaker.
A great discussion always starts by chipping away at the ice. Gets the juices flowing. It gets people prepared to have a conversation with one another, so start with an icebreaker.
Insist that people share what they really believe.
There's nothing as frustrating as being part of a discussion when people just share the safe church answers they think you, or other people in the group, want to hear. It’s important to have people share their heartfelt and true feelings. That is a key behind a great discussion.
Stay on course, but be flexible.
As side conversations come up and as rabbit trails develop, don’t be afraid to let some go on for a little bit, because some of those rabbit trails are actually on target. Those are part of the conversation. Those are moving you towards the goal.
Now some of those rabbit trails have nothing to do with the discussion, and maybe you let them go on for a little, but then you end them and say, “Hey this is good, and if we had more time to discuss it, we would. But let’s get back over here, so that we can move along on this discussion point.” You gently but firmly move people back to the original conversation.
Those are just a few simple keys to leading great discussion. A great discussion leads to a great pattern of connecting to one another.
*This is the fourteenth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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