Sometimes as group leaders we can be control freaks. And in a small group environment we need to remember that when we are too controlling in during our meetings it can often mean we are less relevant.
Often when we are making our way through a Bible study we have prepared for, or some other study guide we've purchased, a topic will pop up during discussion that the study doesn't address. I'll never forget the day that my group was right in the middle of our Bible study in the book of James and we were supposed to be talking about temptation because that is what I was prepared for! However, my group needed to have a different discussion that night.
Every question we discussed during our study kept bringing us back to the sermon we had heard on Sunday. The previous Sunday's sermon was all about gossip and healthy conflict resolution. After having two questions in a row on temptation turn into discussion on gossip and conflict I quickly realized I needed to close the study guide and put it down. We completely shifted gears and spent the next 30min going where the group needed.
To be an effective discussion leader in our groups we have to remember not to be a control freak about our prepared studies or study guides. While those tools are great, they cant predict the needs that our group has each week. So as a leader, pay attention to where your discussion is going and pray for God to help you let the needs of your group control the discussion and not you.
- By Frank Chiapperino, Senior Pastor at Hope Summit Christian Church and founder of Small Group Help.