Small groups are all about discussion. that is one of the many benefits and draws it has for teenagers to even consider joining one. Fellowship is a huge part of it as well yes, but having it be a place where students can actually have a discussion about faith, what the Bible says and what they believe is huge. From talking with leaders from all over, one of the biggest set backs are leaders who dominate the group. If small groups are the place of discussion, they definitely are not the place for the leader to give a 30 minute sermon, pray and then dismiss.
Here are some thoughts when it comes to leading an effective small group:
- Is small group time about you showing off how much you know about this subject? Or is it a time where you get to see how much your students know about it?
- Do you like to hear your voice more than you like to hear about how your students wrestle with whatever the topic or passage is?
- Do you spend so much time studying (which is not a bad thing at all) that you want to make sure you say all you need to say int he group time?
- Do you say, “Any questions?” at the end of your teaching time or do you start with a reading of the passage and ask, “Any questions?” and allow students to dictate where the discussion goes?
- Do you value your own questions or do you value the questions your students are actually asking?
- Do you want to show how close to Jesus you actually are or do you want to help your students get closer to Jesus through discussion time?
- Do you talk way too much or do you know how to ask the right questions to get students talking about their faith?
When we get students to talk about their faith it means they are actively thinking about their faith. When students get to talk about their faith, we get to see the state of where their faith is in real time. When we stop talking and ask good questions, we get to teach more on who Jesus is and what He wants to do in their lives because we get to help guide them in their faith and doubts and help them develop their own, solid faith rather than the faith we tell them to have.