Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quotable: Don Miller on Small Groups

I am on the leadership team for a new college-aged ministry at my church. We're a small group, but growing, changing, adjusting, course-correcting, trying to find the best way to reach the most people at this age group with the truth of the Gospel - which gives us everything we need for life and godliness. So far, we've been using a small-group format (because we're a small group), with videos for structure and focus. However, most of us decided we didn't think the videos quite fit our purpose, and so, starting this next week, we'll be starting a new collaborative series on The Heart. I'm really excited about where this is going. I think it's got a lot of potential to be influential and formative for our group.

Anyway, a couple days ago, I read something from Donald Miller's blog (who I mentioned in a post earlier this week). I thought was really important for our group. We've got a number of passionate, intelligent leaders with teaching hearts, who really want to see our group transformed by the gospel. However, sometimes, I think we talk too much (this is especially directed at me). Here's what Don said this week on that subject: 

My Favorite Kind of Small Group 
Have you ever been in a small group in which a couple people dominated the conversation? Those are tough. And pretty much everybody in the room just gets quiet and waits for the talking part to end so they can single out for a more meaningful conversation. 
My favorite small group meeting happened out on the Oregon coast. A group of friends and I rented a beach house and spent a weekend playing and resting. One night, one of the guys had an idea: we'd tell each other our life stories. 
How we did it was like this: we each drew a line down a long piece of paper and wrote down the high and low events of our lives over and under the line down the middle. What was revealed was beautiful and surprising. We could each look at each other's lives visually. There were people in that cabin I'd known for years, and yet I felt I was meeting them for the first time. 

Sometimes, as leaders, what we need most to do is to stop trying to teach *gasp*, and just build relationships. And that doesn't mean just playing Ultimate Frisbee or watching a movie or playing Xbox... it means just getting to know people, by sharing our lives, taking an interest in theirs, sharing our stories and those things we know to be true.

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