Mastering these two qualities will make all the difference in your group’s participation
Few traits describe a good group leader as effectively as “authentic” and “patient.”
When you lead a group, just be yourself. God wants to use your unique gifts and temperament. Don’t try to do things exactly like another leader; do them in a way that fits you! Admit it when you don’t have an answer and apologize when you make a mistake. Your group will love you for it.
You can show patience when you ask a question. This is often difficult for leaders because they fear awkward silences, but someone will eventually respond. Sometimes people need a moment or two of silence to think about the question, and if silence doesn’t bother you, it won’t bother anyone else.
After someone responds, affirm the response with a simple “Thanks” or “Good job.” Then ask, “How about somebody else?” or “Would someone who hasn’t shared like to add anything?” Be sensitive to new people or reluctant members who aren’t ready to say, pray, or do anything. If you give them a safe setting, they will blossom over time. Again, patience will serve your whole group well here.
A good way to decrease response time is to provide transitions between questions. When guiding the discussion, always read aloud the transitional paragraphs and the questions. Ask the group if anyone would like to read the paragraph or Bible passage. Don’t call on anyone, but ask for a volunteer, and then be patient until someone begins. Be sure to thank the person who reads aloud.