If you remember anything from your math days, you’ll recognize what the title of this post is intended to communicate! Today’s post is an excerpt from the book Teacher: Creating Conversational Community. In this particular section of the book, the authors discuss the importance of allowing conversation to trump presentation.
Conversation trumps presentation almost every time as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. Community that accelerates transformation is best done in circles. We believe that groups pursuing and practicing conversational community are the best environment for people to be in a posture to experience the Transformational Sweet Spot (TSS)…When a person is allowed to sit and soak, they are far more likely to have a posture of hardness to truth. But when those people move out of the comfortable silence and solitude of rows and into circles, suddenly there is an expectation of participation. A group in which people participate is much more likely to be a group receptive to the convicting and transforming power of the Holy Spirit…In environments like this, the Holy Spirit uses not only the leader but also individual group members to speak to each other. Through sharing their experiences, their struggles, and their stories of God’s faithfulness, they spur one another on to good deeds and godliness.
How does this compare to the way you conduct your Bible study group? Do you ask people to “sit and soak” as you pour information into their minds, or do you allow them to share stories and struggle with the truth as they openly discuss their thoughts and feelings about the biblical text?
If your group meets in rows, consider reshaping that configuration and arrange the room in a circle, or several half-circles. Big groups can be broken down into smaller 4-6 person buzz groups to talk about their responses to an interesting discussion question asked by the group leader. It is in these kinds of smaller, talkative groups that we see transformation begin to take place as people teach one another, guided by Holy Spirit-inspired conversations.