Sometimes people go to a group and try to make a group be what they want it to be. Some people want to be part of a group focused on prayer, so they try to have a lot of prayer in your group. Some people want to study the Bible and theology, so that is all they think your group should spend its time on. Other people want to have Christian friends and experience fellowship, so they only want to enjoy time with others and have no interest in Bible study or prayer time. 

Facilitator Tip 19 - Ensure Everyone Understands the Purpose of the Group from Day One

ENSURE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THE PURPOSE OF THE GROUP FROM DAY ONE

Yet, as a LIFEGroup, we want to have a balance of several areas. Your job as a facilitator is to ensure your group touches on the different elements that each small group needs to have. It reminds me of a story from the book of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah Sets the Pace and Direction for His Ministry

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A group agreement guides the group and helps ensure a healthy atmosphere for discussion and spiritual growth. Be sure to review it yearly and give it to the new people that join your group.

 REVIEW A GROUP AGREEMENT YEARLY

What Is a “Covenant” in the Bible?

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John Calvin was a Swiss reformer and contemporary to the well-known Martin Luther (Calvin is twenty-six years younger than Martin Luther).

In the city of Geneva, jewelers and goldsmiths made crucifixes, chalices, and other items that people were reverent to and sometimes even worshipped. When John Calvin had political influence in the city of Geneva, one thing he instituted was a Consistoire, or “ecclesiastical court.” This “court” got rid of jewelers and goldsmiths making crucifixes, chalices, and other instruments serving papacy and idolatry. However, John Calvin allowed the clockmakers to stay.

In John Calvin’s mind, timeliness was a virtue because a Christian was not supposed to let minutes go unused for the Lord. In Calvin’s theology, every Christian would have to give an account to God for every moment of his life, and the personal clock was a way to help Christians make the most of the time they had. 1

Similar to John Calvin and his reverence for time, you too, as a small group facilitator, need to make the most of the time you have in your group meetings. However, be sure to begin and end on time.

BEGIN AND END ON TIME

Starting and Ending on Time Is Your Responsibility as the Facilitator

As the small group facilitator, you are the leader of your group. The king of Israel, David, reminds us about the limited time we have and how we must make the most of it, Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Jennifer McNutt, and David Lauber, The People’s Book, p. 100.

If you have led a small group for any length of time you know that sometimes you ask a question and no one responds. And, let’s be honest: it is awkward, embarrassing, and discouraging. But as a small group facilitator, you don’t want to answer your own questions.

Facilitator Tip 16 - Don't Answer Your Own Questions

DON’T ANSWER YOUR OWN QUESTIONS

Why Not Answer Your Own Questions?

If you as the facilitator ask a question—then jump in and answer it before others talk—it discourages the group from sharing their thoughts. The group recognizes you as the leader, so if you share your answer before others share, then it tells the group that you have all the answers, and that you have shared the right answers. As a result, others will be scared to share their answers because they might differ with yours. You only want to share your answer to a question after others have already had a chance to share.

The Goal Is Get Others to Talk

While it is tempting to answer your own questions when people want to talk, it is important that you focus on getting others to talk and share their thoughts. Your goal is to get people to talk about the Bible (while using a tool like the Wiersbe Bible study guides or Chip Ingram study guides), what’s going on in their lives, and how they can apply what they are learning.

How to Not Answer Your Own Questions

Here are three basic tips to help you not answer your own questions.

  • First, let the group sit in silence for a bit. A little bit of silence is okay.
  • Second, ask the question again. You might want to read the question slower or maybe rephrase it slightly to help people understand it.
  • Third, just move on to the next question.

If the group struggles to understand what a question is asking or is not sure how to answer, just move on to the next question.

You’ve spent time throughout the week preparing for your group, praying for the people in it, and now it is time to facilitate a discussion. You are excited to get the group to talk about Scripture and see how they are applying what they are learning to their lives.

Then you show up to the group, ask a question and no one says anything! It is awkward and embarrassing and discouraging.

So, what do you do?

I would like to explain to you why silence is okay in your small group, what not to do with silence, and what to do with the silence.

Facilitator Tip 15 - Silence Is Okay

SILENCE IS OKAY

Why Silence Is Okay in Your Small Group

It is easy to think that silence in your small group is bad. However, there are various reasons that people might not speak up and answer when you ask them questions. Continue Reading…

Coaching is an essential element to groom potential leaders. Even if potential leaders do new projects and actively pursue professional growth, they still need a little bit of coaching every month from their direct supervisor. What is coaching? According to Clinton and Stanley, “The Coach’s central thrust is to provide motivation and impart skills and application to meet a task or challenge.” 1 Let’s look at how to do that.

How to Develop Potential Leaders with .0025% of Your Time Each Month

Photo Credit: Robert Sullivan

THIRTY MINUTES A MONTH

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Notes:

  1. Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton, Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1992), 73.

Professional growth is a requirement for potential leaders. While people might have potential for leadership, active professional growth removes the gap between potential leaders’ current skills and the skills they need to lead. 

How to Design and Implement a Professional Growth Plan

Photo Credit: Robert Sullivan

Professional growth must be customized to the learning of the individual and it must occur regularly. Individuals learn in many ways; therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for professional growth plans. An organization should require professional growth of potential leaders, but it should not require the specific details of how that growth occurs.

THE DIFFERENT TRAINING TYPES

The Four Training Types

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In his book, Developing the Leaders Around You, John Maxwell writes, “Varied experiences add incredibly to people’s development. It keeps them growing, stretching, and learning. The broader people’s base of experience, the better they will be at handling new challenges, solving problems, and overcoming difficult situations” (p. 118).

Providing potential leaders with new projects and tasks gives them the skills they need to develop into leaders. Thankfully, this idea helps current leaders because they can get rid of projects they are working on which can easily be delegated to potential leaders. However, this is not an opportunity for leaders to dump tasks that leaders do not want to do onto potential leaders.

How to Develop Potential Leaders by Giving Them New Projects and Tasks

Photo Credit: Robert Sullivan

If you are a leader that needs to develop potential leaders, here’s how you can develop those potential leaders. 

LEADERS DELEGATE PROJECTS AND TASKS

Leaders must be intentional about what they delegate. Three criteria are important to follow when leaders look for projects to delegate to potential leaders. Continue Reading…

An Introduction to Titus

January 18, 2020

The apostle Paul was not married and had no children, but he did have a son in the faith: Titus. Paul’s letter to Titus shows his love for this young man and desire that Titus lead well. Let’s do a brief introduction to the book of Titus. 

An Introduction to Titus

An Introduction to Titus

BIG IDEA

Live for God, teach the truth, and correct others with your living and your teaching. 

KEY VERSE

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You know you must train your potential leaders but you have no money to make it happen. What do you do? My advice: practice the 70-20-10 strategy to train your potential leaders. 

How to Train Potential Leaders When You Have No Money

Photo Credit: Robert Sullivan

The 70-20-10 strategy was created by the Center for Creative Leadership based on thirty years of Lessons of Experience research. 1

The 70-20-10 rule for leader development follows this breakdown:

  • 70 percent challenging assignments,
  • 20 percent developmental relationships, and
  • 10 percent coursework and training. 2

In nonprofit organizations, these three components reinforce each other and add up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. 3 Before examining the 70-20-10 strategy closer, it is important to describe what it is not.

Robin Hoyle mentions he has seen the 70-20-10 approach misrepresented in these statements: 90 percent of learning is done on the job, it is how people naturally learn, the numbers do not matter, the 20 percent is done most effectively through Twitter and LinkedIn, and since most learning is done on the job there is no need for training courses. 4 However, let’s look at the correct understanding of the 70-20-10 principle.

THE 70-20-10 STRATEGY FOR LEADER DEVELOPMENT

70 Percent Challenging Assignments

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Notes:

  1. Ron Rabin, Blended Learning for Leadership: The CCL Approach (Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership, 2014). The 70-20-10 principle is also described by Kramer and Nayak, Nonprofit Leadership Development, 82-101; Kramer, “Solving the Time and Money Puzzle”; and Hoyle, Informal Learning in Organizations, 168-177.
  2. Rabin, Blended Learning for Leadership, 2.
  3. Kramer and Nayak, Nonprofit Leadership Development, 83.
  4. Hoyle, Informal Learning in Organizations, 169.