Small Group facilitating is truly a blessing especially when you have a few tools to manage the challenges!
When you bring together many personalities even to discuss spiritual matters; there are bound to be situations that need to be addressed. Some participants may be more chatty than others; leading people sitting around the table to feel bullied or left out of conversations. Sometimes opinions can be shared with gentleness and love; other times a more staunch or heavy approach is taken. Although we are all one body in Christ that doesn't mean the parts will always play well together. In order to keep the group from becoming imbalanced or "sick" - facilitators need to be proactive in establishing group expectations. Furthermore, leaders need to be aware of the groups personalities and communication styles. A prayer for sensitivity and wisdom to the Holy Spirit before each meeting never hurt! The key to keeping the focus on Christ is to remember the reason we've come together - and to be ready with many tactics and techniques because there is really no ONE way to insure a friendly, spiritually fruitful group!
Keeping the Group on Point:
Dealing with the Derailer
Lastly, I want to touch on the inevitable inclusion of the "derailer" . This person can actually change for meeting to meeting - all depending on the subject and their current life circumstances. First, you have to be clear what your objectives are - support or spiritual. It is not that the group can't ever engage in that personal level of discussion but if it overtakes each meeting; especially when participants are not signing up for that - then it can become toxic to the group dynamics. Second, there are times when you will need to appear like the heartless meanie to keep the focus on Christ and not on individual members.
There are a few ways to handle this situation:
Have any further questions or concerns regarding facilitating a small group faith sharing or bible study? Feel free to email me -and I will address it in an upcoming blog post!
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016