Sunday Service & Church UPDATES.

Silence Proof your Small Group

  • Tyson Herald


If you want to make a small group time come to a screeching halt pull out your discussion guide and start asking questions. You’ll notice no one has a hard time talking or sharing around a meal or when everyone arrives to small group. However, the moment you begin asking questions the whole group goes silent. Here’s a few idea of how to silence-proof your next small group meeting. 

1. Show interest: When you ask a question make sure as the leader you’re paying attention. Start with asking questions you want to know to help transition from the “social” talking time to a more focussed discussion around God’s Word. For example: if you don’t really care how someones week went, don’t ask that. Here’s a few: Are you a dog/cat person? What do you do in your spare time? What’s your most embarrassing moment? Those questions beg answers and will resonate with other group members. Ask questions that’ll help you get to know group members more. As you get to know them better, you’ll be more intrigued to continue asking questions, and so will everyone else. 

2. Know what’s important: What one thing do you want to emphasize during your group time? Do you want your group to pray more? read the Bible more? memorize Scripture? Interact more outside of group? Understand a spiritual concept? By knowing what’s important it’ll help you redirect when people stop talking. 

3. Ask open ended questions: Questions that can be answered with a yes or no are destined to stop all conversation. If you have to ask a question with yes or no as the answer follow it up with, “why do you feel that way? Or another follow up question. 

4. Don’t debate-discuss: Debates are not bad. In fact, they help us arrive at difficult truths. However, chances are your small group is not the place for a debate. To debate and to discuss have different end goals. Debaters are looking to prove something. Discussers are trying to discover something.

5. Be vulnerable-safe: Odds are you will only tell so many people your deepest concerns or issues. Hopefully, your small group will become a place where people feel safe to be vulnerable. You as the leader can help set the tone in this area by being open.  As the leader, you also need to help remind people that "what's said in the group, stays in the group."

Ideally, you're not married to a discussion guide feeling the need to cross off every section. Hopefully your group discussion time is a natural outflow of your discussion together and your willingness to all be more like Christ.