25 Small Group Facilitator Tips Small Groups Uncategorized

Facilitator Tip #17 – Begin and End on Time

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.[ref]Jennifer McNutt, and David Lauber, The People’s Book, p. 100.[/ref]

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.


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,

25 Small Group Facilitator Tips Small Groups

Facilitator Tip #15 – Silence Is Okay

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


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.

25 Small Group Facilitator Tips Small Groups

Facilitator Tip #14 – Delegate Your Busy Weeks or Seasons

Facilitating a small group discussion each week is not the only thing you are responsible to do in your life. Most people have at least one job, a family, volunteer with service organizations, and have other things to do. When you know that you have a busy season of your life approaching, you might want to delegate your facilitator responsibilities.[ref]


But, is delegation a biblical idea? Let’s take a look at some examples of delegation in the Bible.


Moses was in the wilderness with the nation of Israel and was listening to the people’s disputes against each other from “morning till evening” (Exod 18:13). He was a busy guy and likely had little time for anything else. Moses’s father-in-law, Jethro, saw what he was doing and told him,

21But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace. (Exod 18:21-23, NLT)

Jethro tells Moses to find some good leaders, to appoint them to a leadership position, and that those men could help Moses with his work.


Paul was writing about spiritual gifts to the believers in the city of Ephesus when he told them,

11Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Eph 4:11-12, emphasis added)

Here Paul instructs us that the job of pastors and teachers is not to do ministry. Instead, their job is to equip people to do ministry.

2 Timothy

Paul was writing the last of all of his letters we have in the New Testament when he told his disciple Timothy.

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. (2 Tim 2:2, emphasis added)

Delegation is at the heart of Paul’s words here. Paul is asking Timothy to teach to others what Paul has already taught to Timothy.


Paul told another of his disciples, Titus a similar message.

I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. (Titus 1:5)

Titus was left on the island of Crete by Paul to do ministry. But the time has come now for Titus to delegate that ministry to the elders.


The apostle John was told,

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star. (Rev 22:16, emphasis added)

There are a few levels of delegation here. Jesus gives the message to an angel, and that angel gives the message to John, and John is supposed to give the message to the seven churches.[/ref]


Facilitator Tip 14 - Delegate Your Busy Weeks or Seasons

Four Practical Aspects to a Healthy Small Group

You need to have four elements in place in your small group to maintain a healthy and strong group. For the sake of review, let’s take a look at those.

Grow the Size of Your Small Group Small Groups

Small Group Growth Tip #7 – Keep Going Through the Curriculum

In my early years of serving as a small groups pastor I often would talk to a person interested in joining a small group, refer him to the small group facilitator, then would find out that no one showed up for the group. Thus, I developed these ten tips because several of our groups had ten people sign up to be part of a group, then when the group was ready to start only two people showed up the first night.


10 Tips to Grow the Size of Your Your Small Group


Starting and Leading a Small Group Can Be Discouraging

As a small group facilitator you have selected good curriculum, you have called and emailed and sent text messages to people telling them about your group, you have cleaned your home, and you have provided good snacks. Then, only three of the nine people that said they would be there actually show up. It can be discouraging!

Small Groups

How to Experience Biblical Fellowship in Your Small Group

When people gather together in a small group for Bible study the thing that often happens first and most naturally is fellowship among the people in the group. When people gather together they naturally start to get to know each other and build relationships among each other. However, that fellowship needs to be biblical. And if a small group facilitator is not careful to cultivate and maintain biblical fellowship, that can cause issues further down the road in the small group. In this post I show you can maintain biblical fellowship in your small group.

Photo Credit: WELSTech Podcast

Fellowship is “the dynamic that builds and holds a small group together”
Neal McBride, How To Lead Small Groups, p. 25

(serious about loving each other)
[ref]The three main headings to this blog post about “Accord” “Authenticity” and “Action” are based on Dr. David Ward Miller’s “LIFEGroup” material he has asked me to use at our church. This is blog post is based on his framework with me filling in a lot of the details.[/ref]