Rock ‘n Roll Advice to Get Your Small Group Back Where You Belong

Maybe you’ve never considered this, but Rock n’ Roll has provided small group leaders with quite a bit of wisdom. Over the last week, I’ve been posting #rocknrollwisdom as my Small Group Leadership TIPS of the week on Twitter, my Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and LinkedIn. The genesis of all real wisdom comes from the Creator, who uses all kinds of means to get our attention.

How many R&R titles can you find?

Many groups have forgotten The Heart of the Matter. They Come Together for fellowship and to Read the Book, and that’s Fine as Fine Can Be, yet God is simply a Spirit in the Sky, and Jesus is Just Alright. They may say I’m a Believer, but the Lost? Dream On! Love your neighbor? “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” they ask. When a visitor happens to show up, their attitudes are, “Hey You, Don’t Stand So Close to Me!” Ain’t It a Shame? Yes, It’s a Plain Shame!

God Only Knows what he can do in and through your group, so Don’t Stop Believin’ in him. Say a Little Prayer and tell God, “I’ll lead this group Anyway You Want It.” In fact, instead of leading under your own Authority and Power, lead as if you’re Livin’ on a Prayer.

Small Group Leaders, it’s time to Shake It Up! Yes, continue to Faithfully Shower the People You Love with Love. But Let Your Love Flow to people outside your little group as well. Invite new people to your group. Tell them, “You can Come as You Are, yes Just the Way You Are,” and then Let ‘Em In and welcome them with Open Arms.

Now here’s a little Caution when you tell your group there’s Gonna Be Some Changes Made … Changes in Latitudes (because you’ll need to Get Off your comfy couches to actually do what the Bible says) and mostly Changes in Attitudes. Be the Leader of the Band, the Leader of the Pack, and tell your group members to Walk This Way. It may not be Easy, but Keep on Rollin’ with the Changes and Don’t Look Back. It may Feel Like the First Time you’ve actually lived as a group on God’s mission!

Make Christ’s mission to Go Now and reach lost and Lonely People Urgent for your group. It’s really A Matter of Trust for the people in your group, so Don’t Fear the Reaper. Remind your group that with God, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. No Way. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now! So until you’re climbing that Stairway to Heaven and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Keep the Fire. Yes. Keep the Fire Burnin’ over the Long Run!

As Always, Always and Forever, Love is the Answer. When Times Gettin’ Tougher than Tough, remember, you gotta have Faith. It may be true that You Can’t Always Get What You Want, but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need.

Keep on Rockin’!

I’m sure I’ve missed a few pieces of #RocknRollWisdom. Add yours in the comments!

More Posts on Getting on God’s Mission as a Group

The Funniest Thing that Ever Happened in My Small Group

Laughter is great medicine for the health of a group; the groups I’ve been involved in have laughed together a lot, most of the time at something I did or said. But I do remember one group meeting, more than 20 years ago. The group was a mix of mature (or at least long-time) followers of Jesus and several very new Christians.

I had asked the group a provocative question: “Since becoming a Christian, have you ever regretted your decision?”

One of the new Christians in the group passionately blurted out, “Hell no!”

A few jaws of the older Christ followers dropped, and then we all started laughing. It took several minutes before we could get back to the study.

How about you? What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened in your small group?

Click “comments,” below, to share yours!

Jim Lehrer on How to Lead a Small Group Discussion

One day as I was listening to The Dennis Miller Radio Show, the aforementioned Mr. Miller was interviewing Jim Lehrer about what it takes to moderate a political debate. Here are two simple techniques that we as small group leaders can learn from Lehrer.

  1. The focus is on the participants, not the moderator. Some moderators are better than others at this. It’s a learned skill, Lehrer said, not an innate ability. Small group leaders must learn to keep the focus on the participants, not themselves. The leader’s job is not to teach a lesson, where everyone’s attention is on him or her, but to facilitate (or moderate) a discussion in which participants hear from God as they share with one another. How does a good leader facilitate this? Lehrer’s second comment is helpful.
  2. A moderator must prepare in such a way that he is relaxed enough to listen. Anyone can write and ask great questions, Lehrer said, but you prepare so that you can be relaxed enough to really listen. Lehrer shared a story from the 1960s about interviewing a Senator. The interview went like this:

Lehrer: “Should we sell more grain to Cuba?”

Senator: “Yes, Jim, I think we should sell more grain to Cuba. But first, we should bomb Havana.”

Lehrer: “What kind of grain, Senator?”

This happens in small groups as well. I’ve watched leaders ask a question from their study guide, followed by a great discussion by the group. Meanwhile, the leader is looking down at his book. As the discussion slows down, the leader looks up and asks the next question, which was already answered during the previous discussion. The leader wasn’t listening. He was thinking about his next question.

Listening is one of the most important skills a small group leader must learn. As a shepherd-leader, focus on the people in the group and prepare in such a way that you can relax enough to listen and join in the discussion.

QUESTION: What have you learned from non-small-group sources about how to facilitate great discussions?