Last Saturday morning while leading a time of training for FBC Pompano Beach, Fl., a lady in the crowd asked a great question. We’d just finished a time of training on the 8 learning approaches and had noted the many ways Jesus taught, plus the 7 ways God communicated in the Old Testament. Her question: “How do you get your group members to talk?” Her husband tends to prefer a lecture approach, and she began to see the validity of different learning approaches. It was a great question! Here are some ideas to get your group members to talk:
- Trust your curriculum. If your church provides ongoing Bible study materials produced by a Christian publisher, don’t hesitate to follow the suggested group plan. It will contain discussion questions crafted by experts. Even though you may not think a question will resonate with your group, trust your curriculum.
- Sit down. If you want your group members to talk more, ask your discussion question and then sit down. If you stand, you’re in a position of authority. If you sit, it communicates, “Let’s have a discussion. Let’s talk.”
- Count to 20. Robert Pazmino’s research has discovered that the quality of a person’s response goes up if 20 seconds or more passes from the time the question is asked. Too many times, a group leader asks a question and when no one answers immediately, the group leader answers the question! All this does is train the group members to wait on the leader to respond first. Instead, ask your question, take a sip of coffee, sit down, count to 20, and I guarantee that someone in the group will answer the question. People don’t like silence, and if you let your group members get a little uncomfortable with the silence, someone in the group will speak up and answer your question!
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