Give Your Study Some Context

Many small-group leaders feel the need to teach their group members by providing a lot of information, principles, and theories instead of leading an actual discussion. In case there is any ambiguity, let me be clear: this is a bad idea. It's called lecturing, and it should be reserved for professors behind their lecterns (and to some extent pastors behind their pulpits). But that doesn't mean small-group leaders should have nothing to say. We should. In fact, I believe it's important that group leaders spend a little bit of time explaining the context of a Bible passage or topic before the group digs into a discussion. I also believe that group leaders need to address context on two levels: textual and personal.

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