Five Principles for Leading Church Groups

This edition of Mentor Online is borrowed from material by Richard J. Hull II, printed in the July 1996 issue of Net Results.

1. Participation is as important as information

  • Use ice breakers to get people talking
  • Ask sample opening questions that give everyone a chance to answer
  • If one person dominates ask a one-word-answer question and go around the group for response
  • “What do others think?” is a good question to bring out quiet participants

2. Facilitators should facilitate

  • Clarify expectations
  • Keep time
  • Summarize discussions
  • Advance discussions

3. Accomplishment happens through relationships

  • Interpersonal — relationships with others
  • Intrapersonal — relationship with self
  • Transpersonal — relationship with God

4. Church groups should be church groups

  • Respect differences
  • Expect emotion
  • Encourage God-talk
  • Pray

5. Evaluation improves satisfaction and results

  • Ask the group, “How is it going?”
  • Ask yourself, “What is being accomplished?”

Published by

Retired Lutheran (ELCA) clergyperson. Founder & owner of Brookover Leadership Development & Consulting, Inc. (1967)

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