Tonight I was cleaning out some files. I am a great clipper of articles, blogs and studies related to church technology, growth and groups. I use a popular program to store all of this useful information and to search for the things that I need later.
From time to time, I like to go thought and delete things that are no longer relevant and review and categorize the things that still have value to me. Some of the things that I find valuable I like to share with my leadership team and others.
I ran across an article entitled 10 Habits of Highly Effective Small Group Leaders by Paul Sohn. While I will not take the time to share the entire article with you, I found his list thoughtful and something every Adult Sunday School/Biblical Community leader might want to consider when seeking to improve the effectiveness of the discipleship in their small group.
Here is Sohn’s ten habits.
- Don’t do all the talking
- Be comfortable with silence
- Be a good listener (Personally hard for me.)
- Don’t answer your own questions
- Ask open-ended questions
- Make sure everyone understands the purpose of the group from day one
- Try to involve everyone
- Remember, the focus is not on getting through the material
- Pray (Before you start for guidance, after you finish for assurance)
- Remember that God is in charge (Remember – loaves and fishes)
Why do I think this list is important enough to share? I think the list reminds me of three very important things. First, in my preparation (1-3), I should plan to facilitate a group treasure hunt, not explain where I have been. I learned early that it was more fun to go on vacation with my family than to watch a slide show of where someone else had been.
Second, most people learn better if they are given a chance to think, reflect and discuss (4-7). I some dusty recreation class notes, I once wrote you cannot force someone to have fun, you can only place them in position to enjoy themselves. I think this would also be true with a group that is learning together. You can’t force it, you can only get them in position.
Third, I am reminded (8-10) that my role is that of facilitator, it is the Holy Spirit at working through me and the participation of the group members that bring about transformational discipleship. Number 10 is the one that I most often have to remind myself about. I sometimes that my hours for preparation are the key, while useful and a great offering we must remember that it is God at work that changes lives in a Sunday School/Biblical Community group.
Well, just something from the files tonight.