Focusing Our Group Attitude

Some nuts-and-bolts ideas that will help your group get organized and focused.

When asked to teach an adult small group, I thought, "This shouldn't be too tough." But I had a few things to learn. Have you ever felt your leading was floundering, that your group was accomplishing nothing? I have, but along the way I have gleaned some nuts-and-bolts ideas that have proved helpful in getting organized and focused.

SMALL GROUP TIME IS WORSHIP TIME. Knowledge of this will help group members avoid "chasing rabbits." This time is your offering to the Lord; use it wisely. Begin on time; stay on task; accept responsibility for group conduct.

APPROACH THE GROUP EXPECTING TO MEET WITH GOD AND HAVE HIM USE YOU IN HIS SERVICE. This is where it gets exciting. When you, while leading the group, realize you are developing ideas you hadn't studied or considered — and it's happening almost as if you were a bystander — then you want to just praise Him.

PRAY DAILY FOR EACH GROUP MEMBER. During group time, ask members for concerns. Then through the week pray for each one and that God will use you (acknowledge your inadequacy) to help them. This benefits you as well: it increases your concern for members, it makes you more aware of their needs, and it personalizes your leadership — you know who is grieving, who is joyful, and you can address those needs. "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." (1 Samuel 12:23 NIV)

BE A GOOD LISTENER. This is a learned process not guaranteed by having perfect hearing. We tend to concentrate on what we'll say when we can interrupt. Rephrase the speaker's statements or ask questions to be sure you understand and to show interest.

SET A GOOD EXAMPLE. Attempt, by God's grace, ...

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