Group leaders have great opportunities to love and encourage their women.
There is one thing all group leaders can learn to do that will make the greatest difference in their group members’ experience.
Group leaders need to learn to be quiet.
Or as we say in the South, they need to “hush”. *wink
Even if their role is one of teacher, and not only shepherd, they need to learn “silence is their friend”.
Silence is your friend because:
- It gives women time to respond.
- It gives women time to process.
- It gives women time to remember why they wrote what they wrote (on their homework pages).
- It allows the Holy Spirit to work – often softening hearts.
- It allows women to examine what God is saying to them.
- It prevents the group leader from hijacking the lesson or the question.
- It takes time for most people to work up the confidence to share something personal.
Your pause is not near as long as you think it is. I promise.
Your group will benefit (and will not suffer) if you wait for an answer.
Almost 95% of the time someone will eventually speak up. If not, you let them know you’ll move on and almost every time someone will jump in before you do.
And if they don’t? It’s okay for a question to go unanswered.
How to keep quiet:
- Some people count slowly to 10.
- I’ll admit, I say inside my head “Silence is my friend. Silence is my friend. Silence is my friend.” until someone answers or it’s apparent that we need to move on.
- Keep your eyes on your lesson or your Bible – not on the clock or on a group member. Act as comfortable as you can.
Silence gives group members opportunity to sharpen one another by sharing what God revealed to them during the week’s lesson. (See Proverbs 27:17)
You do not want your group members to arrive eager to share what God has been doing and then have them leave frustrated or hurt that they did not have the opportunity to share.
Give silence a try and let us know how it goes!