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.
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.