Church Small Group Workshop

 

****INCOMPLETE HANDOUT SAMPLE****

Genesis 6:5 

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Truth and Love

Ephesians four is about unity in the body.

Ephesians 4:14

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Truth

How are you at speaking the Truth in your small groups? How are you one on one? Being truthful at all times is a skill and doing it in love is an art form. It takes practice and it take intentionality.  If you struggle one on one to be honest with people when you need to, then in groups you probably find it 10 times as hard. For some people they have a family motto of peace at any price. Their idea of unity is to never disagree. The thing with speaking the truth is it will often involve conflict. How are you with that word? Most people have a weld with that idea: a toxic mis-assosiation.

Have each member of your group answer this question:

What is the first thing you think or feel when you hear the work ‘conflict’?

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Have each member of your group answer these questions:

What situation in a small group might require conflict?

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 When might a leader need to assert or be in conflict?

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Blind Spots

How many people are in your small group? Every other person in that group knows something about you that you don’t know. Something about your strengths, your gifting, your calling, your passions. Something about your weaknesses, your emotional bruises, the way you come across. These are your blind spots and you will never know them if nobody tells you. Your fellow small group members will never know their blind spots if you never tell them. We grow when we learn to speak the truth in love. Do you speak the truth in love in your small groups?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window

This site contains information on how to apply this model and an insightful group exercise that can go alongside it. I have a couple of variations listed on my website also.

(http://newinsight.co.nz/upskill-me/47-small-groups/62-church-small-groups-ideas.html)

Love - Keeps conflict safe, proactive and useful

Different from One on One

Communication in groups is different from communicating one on one. Have you ever thought about that? Many people treat small groups the same way that they would treat a one on one discussion. It is different. Different things need to be considered.

Have each member of your group answer this question:

What is different about communicating in a group in contrast to one on one?

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Some things need to be done differently to make small groups safe, productive, intimate, and successful.

We or Me?

When you say ‘we’ in a group you are speaking on behalf of the group. When you say ‘you know how Christians…” you are speaking about all Christians, though you may have been only referring to some people in your church. When you say ‘you know when you…’ you are speaking about the others in the group, when you are probably meaning to be speaking about yourself. Are you meaning to speak on behalf of the whole group? Are you meaning to generalise about all Christians, including those with you? Are you meaning to share a personal experience, or tell the group how they experience the world? Because, if you are not using I statements, then that is what you are doing.

One on one, these things don’t really matter too much. One on one you can clarify and check assumptions and dialogue. In a group, for it to be successful, you need to be smarter in the way you communicate. You need to say what you mean to say, and not use the default NZ’er language.

‘I statements’ are the best way to do this. When you mean ‘I’, say ‘I’. If you want to generalize about people, make it your opinion and talk about it as such. This may seem pedantic to some however, if you do not do this there will be consequences.

Examples – as a group

What is wrong with this statement? How would you personalise these statements.

Often these statements sound normal until we write them down and see how misleading they really are. Or they seem normal on the surface, but they don’ really represent what a person is trying to express.

“We should finish early next week.” When they mean that they need to finsih early to pick their kids up from babysitting. What might the consequence be?

“We are terrible at thinking of ways to help the community.”

“Christians are too soft on people.”

“Sometimes ya  just need to get out more.”

“Sometimes you just need a hug.”

“People should be more encouraging” vs “I’m feeling discourgaed”

“You know how when you’re swimming and you freak out because of the seaweed…”

“You feel so stupid when you forget when you’re saying mid sentence.”

 

Have each member of your group answer this question:

 If you say ‘we’ when you mean ‘me’ what will the consequences be?

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Leaders of groups. To keep your groups safe and help them grow together you must ask them this question. “Can you personalise that statement?”, or “Do you mean ‘me’, or ‘we’?”

It is about respecting boundaries. It is not your place to tell somebody how they think, how the feel, or how they act. You are welcome to share your experience of others but not state them as fact. If you don’t know, then you have no place saying you do. You don’t know how other people feel when they go through things. Some get afraid by seaweed. Some get excited. It is the law of emotional attribution: we attribute different emotions to different situations from different people. Get curious about how others experience stuff. You may get excited when around seaweed because it reminds you of spear fishing. You might be terrified because you almost died once by getting tangled. Either way a story, a new depth of relationship is found behind curiosity instead of assumption. Be careful not to assume you know what others feel, and don’t speak on their behalf. Don’t say ‘we’ when you mean ‘me’.

“We all do it.” Ha!

When we speak the truth in love, we grow.

(C) Joel Young 2009

Joel Young

Joel 04 Joel is passionate about equipping people to meet their potential by identifying blocks in their lives and minds.

Qualifications & Skills:

Bachelor in Counselling

Managing Director of New Insight - Counselling & Training.

2000+hrs of counselling & coaching.
1000+hrs of training/speaking/facilitation
10+ Years of Presenting Living Wisdom Life & Counselling Skills Schools

Authored hundreds of short workshops across a variety of applications. Experienced in strategic direction, finance, analysis, marketing and team management.

Today I'm aware of my need for...

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