Let’s move forward in leadership this summer. Here are two leadership exercises to stretch and strengthen leadership skills.
Small Group Bible discovery leaders listen to group members in order to discern how God is working among group members. Grow your listening skills with a simple yet challenging exercise. In everyday conversations, make a conscious effort this summer to listen carefully as others speak. Don’t interrupt. Listen all the way to the end of sentences. Allow for times of silence before asking additional questions or making comments. While listening, watch for emotions or body language. Here's a great tip from Betty Wieland."When what someone 'says' doesn't match what you 'see' in their body language or 'hear' in their emotions, believe their body language and emotions. They are a better barometer of what a person actually believes and is experiencing than what they actually say."
Record your experiences and reflections in a journal or on your phone. What did you learn about yourself as you listened? What new things did you learn about others? Name your personal barriers to listening. Reflect on this acronym: WAIT (Why Am I Talking?).
Then, meet with others leaders. Discuss what you have learned on your listening journey. Share ways you saw God at work. Imagine together how strong listening skills might impact the evangelistic focus of Coffee Break or impact small group conversations.
Coffee Break started almost 50 years ago with a purpose of creating a warm, relaxed space for all kinds of people to explore God’s word together. Some leaders say they find it more difficult in our current culture to invite non-Christian friends to this type of gathering. What’s going on? What has changed?
This summer, watch and observe where people gather. When you see a groups of people meeting together in a park, at the mall, over coffee or on an athletic field, take notice. Who are they? What are they doing? How might they have been invited? What compelled them to go?
Once again, record your observations. Set up a time to meet with other leaders and discuss your discoveries and questions. What did you learn about people in your community? How do the gatherings you observed compare to a Bible study gathering? How are they the same or different? How might what you learned impact or shape your small group gatherings?
What did you learn? Please share your observations with the larger community of Coffee Break and Bible study leaders. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. This could be an interesting learning adventure! You could also share what you are learning on the Coffee Break Groups Facebook page.