One Great Way to Get Your Group to Open Up
One concern of nearly every small group leader is how to get everyone to open up. This is especially problematic in larger groups. If your group has more than seven people, here’s a great technique for encouraging sharing:
Separate your group into discussion circles of three or four people. With a greater opportunity to talk in a small circle, people will connect more with the study, apply more quickly what they’re learning and ultimately get more out of it.
A small circle also encourages a quiet person to participate and tends to minimize the effects of a more vocal or dominant member. And it can help people feel more loved in your group. When you gather again at the end of the section, you can have one person summarize the highlights from each circle.
Small circles are also helpful during prayer time. People who are unaccustomed to praying aloud feel more comfortable trying it with just two or three others. Also, prayer requests won’t take as much time, so circles will have more time to actually pray.
When you gather back with the whole group, have one person from each circle briefly update everyone on the prayer requests. People are more willing to pray in small circles if they know that the whole group will hear all the prayer requests.