Group meeting time is here. With your group plan in hand, your goal as a leader will be to engage everyone in the study.
Some people in the group will need you to draw them out; others will need you to remind them that others in the group
have things to say, too. What can you do to balance each of these extremes? Give the person who doesn’t talk time.
Odds are they are figuring out if they can trust the group before they engage in the conversation. You may want to talk to
them outside of group time and ask them how you can help them join the conversation safely. Get their permission to ask
them direct questions during your group time. With these boundaries established, odds are even the shyest person will
engage in the discussion.
Then there is the person who talks too much. Don’t be afraid to directly confront this in the group by gently cutting them
off saying something like, “Thanks for sharing Mike. Does someone else have something to share?” Don’t wait for them to
stop. It will kill the group. No one wants to be a part of a group where one person dominates the conversation. If the pattern
continues, you will need to talk to them one-on-one. Let them know that they are dominating the group time and that you
need their help to engage the rest of the group.
Sometimes you will need to redirect the whole group not just one member. This happens when the group begins to chase
rabbits that pull you away from the focus of the discussion. Be sensitive to this, because God may be redesigning the time
before your eyes. A good rule of thumb? Allow them to chase rabbits that lead you to a place where people are talking about
God’s activity in their lives or places where people feel challenged by God to take new steps of faith. If your rabbit trails lead
you to places other than this, you need to call the group back to the focus of the study.
This is part of Mike Hurt’s tips series, How to Lead a Successful Discussion-Driven Bible Study.