Every small group leader has moments where the conversation comes to a screeching halt. The factors involved are many. Here is a short list I have continually seen over the years.
- Tired and hungry
- Quiet kids are a dominant number of the group.
- Fear of saying the wrong thing or answering incorrectly.
- Not understanding the wording of the question
- No desire to engage in anything faith-related
- Mom and dad made them come
- Leaders not meeting the students where they are developmentally or educationally
Your list may have even more factors on it. The result can be frustrating.
Leaders feel defeated and students may not feel connected. We as youth pastors have the continual challenge to equip leaders for the many conversations that they encounter. Yet what about what I call the in-game mechanics of leading a small group.
So how do we help get a small group unstuck? Here is the first of three ways to make it happen.
Get Visual – One of the most overlooked parts of a student ministry can be identifying learning styles and applying them to how we walk through Bible Studies, discussions, and connecting. One of my favorite weapons to arm leaders with is a box of sharpies and a pad of giant 25×30 post-it notes. This portable white space can be used on a wall for whiteboarding a conversation or placed in the middle so students can draw their answers to a question. I love the continual innovation in how I see it gets used and then left up on the wall for the next week. Another way we get visual in groups is by bringing in physical objects that connect with the discussion. We all do it as speakers, but going that extra mile to help a leader see that they can bring something in from home to help discuss a Bible passage makes all the difference.
What ways do you help get your group unstuck? Check back for part two and three this week.