A Couple Major Reasons Small Group Leaders Can Be Ineffective

Summary:  Good facilitators (leaders) love and respect people as they are.  They don’t treat them like things to be fixed.  Because of this, you won’t catch them constantly talking and giving advice.  You’ll catch them asking questions and listening most of the time.

In the last post, we learned that in order to help a church start and grow, a church facilitator (leader) needs to be more than gifted.  They need to be “fully developed.”  This doesn’t happen in their 20s.  Almost never in their 30s.  The church may start considering them in their 40s.

Giving too much advice

Too Much AdviceEven if they are fully developed, have you ever noticed how people don’t generally change or grow unless they’re internally motivated to do so?  Sitting and hearing preaching week after week really isn’t all that effective is it?  That’s because people aren’t typically looking for advice or instructions.  They’re looking to be accepted, loved and respected.

That’s not to say people don’t need instruction.  We all do, at the right times and in the right manner.  But for the most part, when people are ready to change or grow, they’ll go looking for answers for what they need to do.

You ever see people whose idea of leading is going around and giving advice to people?  That’s not say their opinion can’t be given when asked.  But these people tend to think their gifting and role is to make sure everyone knows the answers to everything.  They have a hard time accepting people the way they are.  They see people’s problems as things to be fixed, not things to be accepted, loved and respected.

Listening contains power

Another sign is that they talk better than they listen.  Listening contains a power to it that talking doesn’t.  Done right, it’s much better at opening people up and exposing things when done with skill.  Here’s some thoughts from the book The Art of Facilitation about listening…

Listening can be a powerful energy, which draws from the authenticity of the other person.  As your listening develops, you will be amazed at how magnificent every person is and how love is present in your conversations.

And when you do speak…

Facilitation involves the use of questions and suggestions (interventions) that encourage the other person to clarify and explore their own thoughts and feelings, and move themselves forward in line with the insights and connections they make.

Remember, facilitation (and leadership in general) is about guiding, helping, and serving.  It’s not about fixing, controlling and being served.

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