The Advice Giver
  • Start prayer time by reminding everyone that it’s prayer time, not advice or solution time.
  • If advice happens anyway, it’s okay for a bit but then interrupt by simply saying, ‘okay, we’ll definitely pray for that. NEXT!’ or ‘thanks for the ideas, let’s pray for God’s guidance for so-and-so about that.’
  • Be sensitive to the fact that maybe people are giving the advice because the prayer request has been mentioned so often the group is tired of it!
  • Have a solo conversation, that is, speak to the person privately

The Talkative Person
  • Sit beside them during the meeting (makes it harder for them to make eye contact with you and thus get the floor)
  • As you ask the next question say, ‘let’s have someone who hasn’t shared yet.’
  • Call on others by name.
  • Interrupt ‘Talkative’ and ask others for their thoughts about what has been said so far
  • Have that solo conversation

The Long Prayer Request
  • Allow it once or twice
  • Start with the person next to them and go in the opposite direction
  • Sum up last week’s request and ask if there’s any update
  • Telephone them beforehand for a ‘solo’ update which you can then give in summary to the group
  • Occasionally only have prayers of praise, thanks or confession
  • Have the solo conversation

Crickets (your discussion question is met with silence)
  • Is the answer too obvious? Avoid questions that are too easy (ex. ‘yes/no,’ or the ‘God/Jesus/the Bible’ kinds of questions)
  • The question is about an obscure fact (‘who was the 7th king of the Southern Kingdom?), ask such questions only rarely and IF the answer is very interesting
  • Perhaps you’re answering your own questions too often?
  • Let the silence linger longer
  • Rephrase the question if necessary
  • If the question requires being vulnerable, after trying the above tactics, perhaps answer yourself in order to lead by example

Sharing is Superficial
  • Give it time, it takes a while for a group to build trust
  • Lead the way by sharing how the study applies to you
  • Share personal prayer requests yourself
  • Enlist a group member to do the same
  • Have a study that discusses the importance of personal application
  • Pray for God’s work in them individually
  • Spend time with them individually

When Even I Don’t Want to Go to Life Group!
  • Remember everyone feels this way at times
  • Reflect on the good that is taking place in people’s lives
  • Be sure you’re delegating so you’re not overwhelmed
  • Ask why you’re feeling this way and respond accordingly
  • Talk to another leader/Doug
  • Remember no one leads a Life Group forever
  • Pray for perseverance/wisdom/discernment