Creative-Theology Discussion [see]

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8/27/2012 10:21 am  #1

Facilitating a study or activity small group

Small groups (up to about 12 people at the most) allow people to talk.  However, for all to benefit from this (some are very assertive, some very passive) expert Facilitation is needed.  Whether or not you are named or recognized as such, you as the leader of the group can MAKE A SPACE for people to talk uninterrupted.  A simple question: "Suzy, we've not heard from you yet.  Any thoughts on this subject?" can bring out the passive people's good ideas, allowing them to actively participate.  A simple Process: "Ok, let's go around the circle/table, person-by-person, and listen to each other's good ideas in turn."  Good Ground Rules can forbid interruptions.  You as the leader keep people from going on too long.  You can open up at points for "Ok, anyone have any good ideas?" for more spontaneous input.  And if people know you'll recognize their Hands in order, then people don't feel the need to push themselves into the flow to get themselves heard.

Since people want to be recognized and appreciated, polite facilitation can do wonders at opening up people's creativity via the small group environment, even in top-down, lecture style, authoritative churches.



5/03/2013 3:22 pm  #2

Re: Facilitating a study or activity small group

Small groups, of course, are very valuable---but not for all situations.  Where a quick answer to a simple situation is required, an "executive decision" is often best verious some complex, long debate.  But where "buy-in" is needed (where people agree to invest themselves into the solution), helping people arrive at a group decision can be much more useful in the long run than just a quick resolution.

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