Leading Small Groups

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Working with a small group of teens isn’t always easy.  Here are some general tips to helping students grow as disciples in small groups…

1.  Let teaching be teaching and small groups be discussion and NOT a continuation of the teaching.
2.  80/20 – Teens should talk 80% of the time, and the leader 20%
3.  Ask questions that are open ended, that strike up conversation, and provoke thinking/sharing.
4.  Don’t be afraid of silence as teens are often thinking during moments of silence.  Give time for teens to develop an answer then rephrase if needed.
5.  Don’t give all the answers – Often the struggle to find the answer is more fruitful than just providing it.
6.  Know the questions before asking them.  Sticking to the script may keep the kids in “Class” mode instead of discussion mode.
7.  Focus on RELATIONSHIPS – if they’re having a hard time going deep, work on relationships and after more time getting comfortable, the depth will come.
8.  Don’t be afraid to go deep – but keep it within healthy boundaries of discussion topics.
9.  Go with the flow – if teens move in a new direction, move with them but keep it centered on the faith and relationships. Every moment or topic could be used to teach.  Don’t get caught up in the questions on the paper.
10.  Be spiritually prepared.  You can’t give what you don’t have – so pray for your kids and ask for divine inspiration.


Author: Mark Knox

Mark has served as the Director of Youth Evangelization for the Diocese of Tyler since February of 2015. 903-266-2143 mknox@dioceseoftyler.org

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