In our four part series on Effective Communication in the Small Group, we come to principle number four. This principle relates to the leader’s opinions of the person in the group and/or their situation. Stay clear of opinions and let the Word of God determine answers to questions.
Advice is cheap and sometimes disastrous. If a person specifically asks for advice, be general in your answers. Give them appropriate Scripture references. Each of the Living Free studies provides appropriate passages of Scripture that relate.
Encouragement should be one of the main ingredients of any small group. Most people know they have messed up to some degree so they are not looking for judgment. Yes, there is a time to confront, but only in love. This is when confronting becomes care-fronting. Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1b “If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.” MSG
When someone shares a difficult personal experience or an unpopular opinion the love of the group will stand a crucial test. The person should not be put down. The group should accept a person how they are and trust that the Word of God and the Spirit of God will begin to bring transformation.
There are other principles of communication for small groups in the Living Free Small Group Skills Guide. This guide would make a great resource for you and your ministry.
Excerpts from Small Group Skills Guide Living Free.