Skip to main content

Discussion Killers

The Big Ideas for Small Groups blog has identified these different types of people who can derail your discussion. At the end are several questions. Take the time to share how you would handle these in the comments. This can be beneficial for everyone.

Monopolizing Mike: Mike talks from the moment he enters the room until the moment he leaves. He shares the same stories over and over whether they are relevant to the subject of group time or not. When Mike begins to talk, the group settles in for the long haul and appears bored and restless, and often the energy is drained from the discussion time.

Shy Sherry: Sherry seldom shares in small group time. She has trouble looking people in the eye when she does talk. She attends group regularly, but the group members know very little about her, because she has not opened up in group time. It is easy to forget that she is even there.

Expert Ed: Ed is an expert on every topic, especially the Bible. When the group discusses any topic, Ed always chimes in with the “right” answer. Once Ed shares his thoughts or opinions, the rest of the group is reluctant to share because Ed is clearly always right. Ed begins his sentences with statements like … “Clearly, the Bible is saying ______.”

Annie the Advice Giver: Annie knows what everyone should do, and is looking for opportunities to share her advice. Often when a group member shares a struggle, Annie will immediately say, “you SHOULD ______.” Although Annie desires to be helpful her advice is usually unsolicited and simplistic.

Put Down Patty: Patty criticizes people in group and out of group, especially her husband. As soon as he says something in group, Patty will say, “that is ridiculous!” He feels embarrassed and then it is a long time before he opens up and shares again.

Crisis Chris: Chris is always in crises. He comes to group looking sad and lonely and as soon as someone reaches out to him he shares his most current crises. He gets upset when the people of the group don’t help enough or in the right way. No matter what attempts they make, the group cannot seem to do right by Chris.

What kinds of things would you do while facilitating this group? What preventative measures could you put into place that would help the facilitation of a group with a difficult personality?


Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.

21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…