This post will make the most sense if you understand that it is part of The Leader 101 Course: Cultivating Habits of Highly Effective Spiritual Leaders
*Watch the video and then continue with the assignments below the video (click on the picture to watch this video).
This is the third in a series of articles on facilitating a group.
To facilitate means to enable or empower. Specifically, a facilitator empowers the group by discipling/training them to become a healthy, mature, high joy community.
Three steps in facilitating a group.
- Evaluate the group. Facilitators, like wise parents, think developmentally. What is the developmental level of this group? What is their current developmental task(s)? The motto of the wise facilitator is “Never do anything for the group that they are capable of doing for themselves.” Evaluation helps us decide what they are capable of doing and what they need help with.
- See the group. Facilitators learn to see both the individuals in the group and the group as a whole. It helps to think of the group as a living organism or an organic system. What do you see/notice/observe about your group? Seeing and evaluating are closely linked together.
- Give work to the group. This is what we will focus on in this article and the next.
Two kinds of work that every healthy group is skilled in: Celebrating and solving
Healthy groups are skilled at celebrating.
- Key verse: Romans 12:10. “Out do one another in showing honor.” To honor means to identify and celebrate value in another. Note that this command was given to the church as a group. This is a group function. So, really healthy groups cultivate a “culture of honor”. How strong is the culture of honor in your group? Ask your group how strong they think it is. Perhaps you could use a scale of 1 to 10.
- Celebrating or honoring requires seeing. The members of the group must grow in their ability to see and name the grace of God in others. (Eph. 4:7) This is a skill that can be developed. (Example: “I love your gift of hospitality. God uses that so powerfully in our group. It really made me feel welcome today.”
- Comment: Many people grew up in families that were more skilled as seeing what was wrong in people. Instead of celebrating, they were good at criticizing. It takes time to learn a new way of seeing.
- Celebrating grows joy in the group. Definition of joy = what my brain experiences when I am with someone who is glad to be with me. How would you assess the joy level in your group? How would your group assess the joy level in your group? Ask them.
- The facilitator first models celebrating and honoring.
- Then, the facilitator begins to give this work of celebrating to the group.
- One way this is done is in the Closing Round at the end of every meeting. “What did you see in an individual in our group today that you especially appreciate? What did you see about how the group as a whole functioned today that you especially appreciate?
- Another way the facilitator can disciple the group is to stop and invite the group to notice how God is working in the moment through an individual in the group or through the group as a whole. “Group, did you see what Paul just did there? Did you see how powerfully he encouraged Bob? What do you think about that? Etc.
- A quote from C. S. Lewis helps us understand this. “God is easy to please but hard to satisfy. Much like a parent watching his/her child learning to walk. The child takes one small step and then falls down. The parent claps with great excitement. But, at the same time, the parent won’t be satisfied until the child learns to walk.” In the same way, a healthy group is delighted (celebrates! honors!) every step that it’s members take. But, also won’t be satisfied until each one has grown up into the image of Christ.
- Assignment: Practice helping your group to see and celebrate (honor) the people in your group. Notice what results from this.
2. Healthy groups are skilled at solving (the issues and problems that arise in the group)
- We will discuss “solving” more in the next article.
- Assignment. Email me with some of the issues or problems that your group needs to solve. John@www.lk10.dev
- Examples of issues or problems
- Some people in the group (introverts?) don’t say anything in the meeting
- Some people (extroverts?) dominate the group conversation
- Some individual is overtalking. (They regularly start talking and go on and on.)
- Some individual is constantly negative and critical.
- You notice that the group isn’t studying the Word. Or, isn’t worshipping. Or, isn’t engaged in mission. Or, isn’t (fill in the blank).
- What else?