part 4: a discipleship toolbox
With all this talk about multiplying your life through discipleship, it might be good to pause and ask why you should consider leading a group before moving on to the how of leading.
Why lead a discipleship group? The purpose is twofold:
It is helpful to know some basic techniques for leading and facilitating. The most important thing you can be doing even before you start leading a group is to be praying for your group.
Discipleship Group Done Wrong & Right
- You help them to build confidence in knowing God and speaking about Him.
- You provide an environment for self discovery! Self discovery sticks; you remember what you share.
- processing the question, or
- processing what God is teaching them and how to articulate that.
- stop the internal processing and what God is teaching them,
- limit others’ sharing,
- cause them to feel like if you give “the answer,” why should they share? They might feel like their answer isn’t as good as yours.
- Sometimes, it is helpful to jump in and share your experience. It is okay to share once or twice in your group meetings.
- If the questions seems hard to answer, before sharing your answer try rewording the question to spur thoughts and invite sharing.
- Awkward silence is likely only awkward for you.
- Make eye contact. Do not looking around at other people walking by, or, worse yet, keep your phone on the table and look at it when it buzzes.
- Nod or give non-verbal responses.
- Respond after someone shares. For example, say “Thank you, Jake,” or, “That is a helpful reminder that God’s love is unconditional. Thanks for sharing that!”
- Use the person’s name.
- Celebrate their responses. Be sincerely enthusiastic.
- Is it something that would benefit the whole group?
- Does time allow for it, or would it distract from the bigger picture?
- Is it central to understanding the Gospel? If yes, correct it.
- Identify a “go-to person.” Ask if they agree, or ask, “John, how would you answer that?”
- “That’s an interesting question, Matt. In light of time, let’s see if we have time to come back to that, or let’s talk about that more afterward.”
- Don’t feel pressure to give the right answer or make one up because you are the group leader.
- Be willing to admit you don’t know the answer.
- Share the responsibility to find an answer by saying, “That’s a great question. I don’t know the answe. You and I can both look into it. Let’s talk more at another time.”
- In the case of self harm, abuse and when you feel you are in over your head, talk with a mentor or local pastor. If a local pastor or spiritual mentor is not available, feel free to contact the AIA Coaching Center for help.
- What are one or two highlights from the videos?
- Which of the 10 “tools” in the Filling your Toolbox section stood out the most, and why?
Up Next | Part 5 Now that you understand why discipleship is important, you’ve prayed for folks to invite, you have some tools in your discipleship toolbox and know when you might host such a group, all that remains is to invite some folks to join your group.
Discipleship is the fifth journey of Equipped Disciple. Learn about the whole five collection series, and how the parts fit together.