Facilitating Group Discussion
In November I posted Session 1 and Session 2 of our online Small Group Leader Training. I’ve had several people ask for the remaining sessions so over the next 3 Friday’s I will be posting these. Please feel free to take them and use them at your church. If you see something that you would change…let me know. Working together we can make each module better.
Welcome to Session 3, Facilitating Group Discussion. During this session, you will learn and practice skills to facilitate group discussion. We encourage you to use a journal to record your answers to these questions. An online journal has been provided for you, too. Be sure to bring your notes when you meet with your mentor.
Our Group Edutainment Video
Watch Episode 3 of the video series, “Our Group” where Chris is asked to facilitate the group discussion in Doug and Michelle’s absense. When you have finished watching the video, reflect on the questions below:
- What stood out to you the most from this episode of “Our Group”?
- How would you rate the discussion questions that were being asked by the leaders?
- What mistakes stood out to you in this episode?
- What do you think was going through Chris’ mind as discussion spiraled out of control?
- What mistakes do small group leaders commonly make that lead to discussion being derailed?
- In your opinion, what are some key elements for generating dynamic discussion in a small group?
Video Teaching with Josh Surratt
Watch the followingtTeaching video and then answer the questions below.
- How does the discussion time during small group help build good friendships?
- What challenges do small group leaders typically face in generating good discussion?
- Which of Josh’s tips helped you the most?
- Great discussion starts before the study
- Try an icebreaker
- Don’t ask a bad question
- Get comfortable with silence
- Ask Follow up questions
- What are some ways you can get quiet people to participate?
- What are some ways you can help your group refocus if discussion goes off track?
- How long should the small group discussion time (study time) go for?
Explore Read the following Bible passage, Luke 10:25-37, and reflect on the questions below:
- Describe Jesus’ teaching method in this passage?
- Why do you think Jesus used this teaching method so frequently?
- Why is it important to allow people to think through information and participate in the learning process?
- What challenges do you think small group leaders sometimes encounter as they use discussion as the primary method of learning?
The Challenge: Working with your mentor choose one of the following assignments that is most appropriate for your developmental level. Then discuss with them what you did well and what you could improve.
- Choose a passage of Scripture and practice writing 4-5 discussion questions that you can share with your small group leader/ mentor to evaluate.
- Work with your small group leader/mentor prior to group to watch them prepare the questions for the group study time. Try to understand their reasoning for asking certain questions. Evaluate the questions using the 5 C’s Josh shared.
- If you are new to facilitating small group discussion have your small group leader/mentor let you lead the icebreaker/opening question at the next small group meeting.
- Lead a subgroup during one of your next small group meetings. A sub-group is when the leader breaks the group into 2-3 smaller groups to discuss one or two questions during the small group meeting time.
- Facilitate the group discussion at one of the upcoming small group meetings, then meet with your mentor to discuss how you did.