This will be an excerpt from a post I found on The Resurgence Blog. I hope you enjoy and this helps you out in leading people in Gospel centered conversations- whether in your local small group or with unbelievers.
Have you ever sat in a group discussion and found it incredibly difficult to get a good conversation going? I’ve found it can be very challenging to move conversations along, especially when you’re trying to go deep and get to the gospel. Here are a few principles that might help.
If you love, you will listen
In order to promote good gospel conversations in small group gatherings, it is important that everyone listens to one another’s story well. Don’t check out, criticize, or think about your own story. Listen to their story. In order to do this, everyone must ask questions of one another. If we love one another, we will learn to listen to one another’s stories over and over again.
Ask good questions
Our lives are continually changed through conflict, challenges, joys, relationships, and new experiences. Without asking good questions of one another, we can’t really share in deep community. Good questions help uncover the truth about how people are really doing and create the opportunity to share life and truth together. Ask questions and genuinely listen to one another’s stories.
Most people don’t naturally know how to ask good questions. Just after college, I decided to start asking people specific questions because I wanted to be others-focused, not self-focused.
“Learning to ask good questions may start as a discipline, but it can flower into a beautiful expression of love.”
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask in a group or community discussion:
- When do you feel like that?
- Can you elaborate on that?
- How did that happen?
- How does that make you feel?
- Did you feel alone or supported?
- Were you afraid or confident?
- How did you respond?
- How are you feeling now?
- What concerns you the most about this?
Listening is just one part of leading gospel conversations. The next post will explain more.
The basic three part structure of this series is adapted from David Powlison’s counseling mantra:
1) Listen to Their Story
2) Empathize with Their Story
3) Redemptively Retell Their Story.
by Johnathan Dodson