Group Leader Tips: How to Lead a Group Discussion?

Sharing buttons:

hey everybody hope you're doing well I'm

sure you're sitting there right now

thinking why am i watching Joe Gallagher

on a video well let me explain I was

speaking to a couple of our staff and

leaders and I got some feedback from you

guys and we thought it'd be really

helpful if we start developing group

leader tip videos and so really the

heart behind this is just to help you

guys along the way grow as group leaders

and shepherding and leading your groups

as well and so along with that I'm going

to need your help too if you guys have

any ideas for how it would help all of

our groups please email me and talk with

me and we'll try to get videos out to

you either weekly or every other week

just with some tips for how to grow as a

group leader

so the first group leader tip that I

want to send you guys comes from Nick

Massa and me and him were talking last

week and we were talking through group

discussions and group leader discussions

and he had some really good points and I

thought it'd be really good to share

with you guys about how to grow as a

group leader in leading discussion I

remember a few years back when I first

started leading in group when I was a

senior in college that was one of the

first fears that I began to feel I was

like man how do I lead a group of twenty

people through a discussion on a passage

or a topic that's a lot of work and

there's a lot of maintenance with that

but but what's cool is what I learned

along the way is there's some really

helpful tips we can all learn to help

grow as group leaders leading

discussions and so here are some things

that I've learned along the way and I

hope it's a help to you as well and so

with that start with number one a first

tip that I've learned as a group leader

in leading discussions is this

facilitate don't dominate and so

basically what that means is this um the

group discussion leader is somebody who

facilitates the conversation they're not

leading it they're not taking control of

it they're not throwing out a question

and saying oh well here's the answer to

it no no the group leader is

facilitating the conversation throughout

the whole group and hopefully getting

everybody in the group to communicate

somehow or talk about what the scripture

is speaking in to them in some way and a

common lie that I think we've learned as

group leaders and what I've constantly

dealt with is this feeling that I have

all the answers a feeling that you have

to have all the answers if you're

leading a discussion and the truth is

that is not true that's a lot you know

have to know all the answers I remember

when I was first on a leadership core

team pastor Robb was our group leader at

the time and I remember every time Robb

had a question and it came right to him

someone would say Rob why does the Bible

say this why does this happen why does

why is this true he would never answer

the question right away he would always

throw it back to the group and say

that's a great question you know what do

you guys think about that and it was so

cool because through that people felt

like Robb trusted them and that the

discussion wasn't just based on him and

his knowledge but actually the group and

then along with that what does the Bible

say about that to do as a group leader

the idea is to facilitate the

conversation you're not going to

dominate the conversation and so that's

number one number two is this let there

be silence let there be silence silence

is a great tool and me as an introvert I

love silence silence is one of the ways

I recharge and I love just to sit back

and think and relax now for some of you

extra hurts silence is like the worst

thing in the world right I'm sure some

of you set in your groups or you've been

in a room and you felt awkward silence

and there's like a pressure where you

feel like oh man

I have to say something now because I

have to fill the room everyone's quiet


no silence is a great tool and when I

was a teaching I learned this - it was

silence is a great way for people to

process and stoke so what we need to do

is we need to start thinking it's not an

awkward silence it's a process time and

so silence is a great tool to help

people process through what you're

asking them and many times - people

don't respond right away when we ask a

question because they just need time to

process it and so many times what I'll

do is I'll have a little clock in my

head I'll say okay I'm going to wait

five to 10 seconds before I say anything

at all made a problem work like ten

seconds and if people don't say anything

I don't jump right in say well here's

the answer

know what what you need to do is you

need to just restate the question very

simple just restate the exact question

you asked and then that gives people

more time to process and eventually

people will answer so that's two so

number one number one tip facilitate

don't dominate number two let there be

silence in the number three and is this

tangents are okay tangents are okay and

so just let me explain tangents tangents

are if you're in a group discussion it

goes off course and so sometimes in that

situation I don't know if you've been in

that place where you're having a


leading it things are going well but

then all a sudden it just goes off

course and I'm telling you that tangents

are okay don't worry about it tangents

are a great tool to help get more people

in the room talking and I think what's

cool too is tangents are a great great

way to show people that you don't have

to be so serious you this is a loose

room this is a fun room our groups are a

fun place that people can come to and

learn about Jesus and have a great

community and a lot of times even when

you're with your friends you go on

random tangents and you have fun and you

goof around and I think what's cool too

is I've seen sometimes people won't talk

when you're having the actual serious

discussion and then when you go on a

random tangent all of a sudden people

start talking and and that's a big key

is when you're leading discussion you

want people talking and and it's a great

way to get people in the room

communicating and then bringing people

back as well you'd obviously don't want

the tangent to go too far off course you

want to and you want to bring people

back at some point

I remember an example of this though was

when I was a freshman I was in a Bible

study with Roth and I used to get

frustrated because we would be talking

about a topic and it would be going a

certain direction I'm like

like we're really communicating this is

great and then all of a sudden he would

make a joke and he would intentionally

take the group off-course a little bit

and I used to get frustrated I'm like

man why are you doing that doesn't make

any sense and he would say to me he's

like no I do that intentionally because

I want people to feel like this is a

comfortable environment that we have fun

here that we don't always have to be

serious and then along with that bring

people back into the conversation

so that's a great way like I said to

pick up people and along with that you

don't want to lose control you want to

bring people back and so usually what I

say to bring people back from tangents

is just like hey that's a great point

guys hey here's let's to get back on

track or hey you know here's what I kind

of picked up based on that person's

comment in the Bible or here's the

question again and it's just a great way

to just ease people back into it without

being so serious

alright group leaders that's all I have

for you this week hopefully this video

was helpful for you and we're learning

how to do it better as well and so if

you guys have any questions feedback

possible future topic ideas just email

me back and I would love your help and

feedback along the way so thanks guys

love you so much so proud of you and

excited to see how your groups continue

to grow as the Lord leads you and

directs you