Leading a home group: Leading a discussion
Leading a home group is a great means of helping people learn about the Lord Jesus Christ, develop relationships with others and begin spiritual growth in the Christian life. Your leadership is a great opportunity to see the Lord at work in their lives, as well as your own. Let me give you four things to consider.
First, as you lead the discussion, remember it is a discussion. You are there for the sake of the people. They are not there for you. The leader will break the ice, get everyone talking in some way over an introductory topic, related to the discussion, and then lead the group in answering questions and subject matter related to the message. The purpose is to get the people talking. You only know what they are thinking when they are talking. If you do the talking, you don’t know what they are thinking or whether they understand what you are talking about, i.e. are tracking with you. One of the best ways to get people talking is by asking questions, rather than making statements. Of course their comments need to be lassoed back to the main discussion of they get off track, but people remember subject matter much longer if they are talking and taking ownership of the material.
Second, give affirmation to comments people make. It doesn’t have to be after each person says something, but when a quiet person responds, that should be affirmed. Help people see that this is their group so they take ownership of the group. Sometimes you won’t need to say anything because people are making rapid succession of comments and the topic is developing very well. However, you as the leader are in the symbolic position of God and we have an affirming God, when people are seeking His righteousness. People need to be affirmed.
Third, find something to affirm if the comment is off target. You will often have comments that do not track with the topic or question. That’s okay. That’s where the person is in their thinking. People need a wide berth for making comments. If the comment doesn’t seem like it fits, you can always respond, “That’s interesting,” and not need to correct the person. Remember, most people are scared to death to talk in any group about God-type things. They will grow up and get on track quickly because the Holy Spirit is the best teacher to help humble people who want to grow. If the comment is heresy, well, then you may need to say, “That’s an interesting comment. What do the rest of you think?” And depending on other comments, you may need to bring it back around to a known Scripture to let Scripture speak or say, let’s talk about that later or next week. Christians have a crazy habit of thinking they have to correct every little detail as if God can’t handle things.
Fourth, thank the people for the good discussion. Friends, people today need affirmation about spiritual growth. They’ll talk about sports, hunting, cars and politics without any bashfulness. But they don’t easily talk about spiritual things related to their spiritual walk with Jesus. The leader should be the affirming parent who demonstrates grace and a welcoming presence of fellowship.
When you lead a discussion, you are setting the table for a delicious meal and fun fellowship with the Lord. You invite them into the presence of the King at a banquet table. What an awesome privilege to lead. Thanks for joining the team!