Maximizing Spiritual Growth through Discussions

Spiritual Growth is the primary goal for small groups. As leaders I know that your desire is to lead an interesting, enjoyable, and impactful conversation about the Bible passage to help others achieve spiritual growth. How can we do that? We will look at some guidelines I have found that will assist you in this endeavor.

Asking Questions

Whether you are using the Message Based Questions or another Bible study, ask yourself, Stu SmallGroupDinner 300x199 Maximizing Spiritual Growth through DiscussionsWhat is the heart of the lesson? (i.e. the “main truth”) Identify the questions that reveal this “heart” in greater detail. Categories of such questions include:

  • Informational/Fact:  What is it?
  • Opinion/Reflection: How do I feel about it?
  • Application: How can I use it?

Also, as a facilitator of a discussion, usually it’s most effective to be quiet and encourage the other group members to participate.  This could involve encouraging the shy members as well as dealing with the “motormouths.”

Managing Time

The effective management of discussion time creates the best environment for the spiritual growth of your group members.

Consider the P & T approach to effectively manage your group’s time:  How many people (P) should participate and how much time (T) should be spent on a particular question in order to maximize the discussion’s impact.  Keep in mind that one person is probably adequate to cover Info/fact questions.  The other categories of questions — those that hit at the heart of the lesson — require more participants.  Spend more time on those questions that foster growth.  This may require skipping some questions and/or interrupting less productive discussions by saying “let’s move on.”

A “typical” small group time breakdown may break down as follows:

  • Share (e.g. Ice Breaker) 20%
  • Reflect (Bible study) 60%
  • Care (Prayer) 20%

If a 90 minute group starts at 7:00, the above may work out as follows:

  • 7-7:15 Share
  • 7:15-8:15 Reflect
  • 8:15-8:20 Care.

If time is tight for your group, be sure to train everyone to arrive early.

Encourage your members to review the questions in advance during the week before the meeting.  This can lead to more introspective, quality responses when the meeting takes place and also encourages private meditations on the spiritual truths covered in these lessons.  This is where spiritual growth can really take place.

If you have any questions or need additional training, please contact your Coordinator.

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Winter 2014 Workshop: Are You Pregnant?

The Winter Small Group Workshop on January 11, 2014 was highlighted by our guest presenter, Dr Phil Foster, of the Institute of Christian Psychology.    His talk titled, ARE YOU PREGNANT? Or How to Deliver a Baby  gave guidance as to how typical small group can facilitate Sharing our lives, Reflecting on God’s Word and Caring for others (i.e. the E-Free Small Group mission).

This highly beneficial workshop is reprised here in a ten-part video series (most in tiny bite-sized portions).  Taking these teachings to heart will increase your effectiveness as a small group leader.  To get maximum benefit, follow along with these handouts: Are You Pregnant and Johari Window Model.

SHARE – Discusses the levels of connecting.   Use Ice Breakers.  What level of risk are we willing to take?

REFLECT – Spiritual Formation.  Are you pregnant?  Is Christ being formed in you?

CARE – The delivery phase.  Do you know how to deliver a baby?  Do you care enough to help someone where Christ is being formed in them?

If you have any questions, please contact your small group coach or Email Stu.

 

 

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Small Group Leaders Appreciation Dinner – September 20, 2013

September 2013 Small Group Leaders Dinner

On September 20 2013, small group members met for a meal, fellowship, and encouragement for their making E-Free small groups a success.

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