How to Get Your Group to Open Up

By Brett Eastman

One Great Way to Get Your Group to Open Up

Prayer Circle

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.

Brett Eastman

Brett Eastman

Brett Eastman has served as the small groups champion in several of the largest mega churches in the country including Saddleback Church, Willow Creek and Fellowship of the Woodlands for over a dozen years. After founding Lifetogether - 10 years ago he has either consulted and/or produced Custom DVD Curriculum and training materials for 100 of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. He has published with the top 10 Christian Publishers, produced over 250 bestselling series, designed dozens of church wide campaigns, and produced on camera over 500 bestselling authors, pastors and church leaders selling over 4,000,000 copies to date including the Award Winning Purpose Driven Group Series, Doing Lifetogether Series published by Zondervan. Lifetogether's focus is to partner with local church pastors trying to help connect their entire congregation by producing innovative small group resources in order to ultimately reach their community through community.