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‘Developing A Good Pause Tolerance’ a.k.a. Leading Quiet Bible Study Groups (via Richard Sweatman at GoThereFor)

Dealing with Bible studies or Growth Group studies where people are reticent about sharing their answers can seem awkward.
This article on GoThereFor provides some encouragement and practical strategies to encourage the sort of participation through which the group will help each other learn from God’s word.
This paragraph is about ‘developing a good pause tolerance’.

As you get into more questions, work hard at developing a good pause tolerance. By this I mean the ability to withstand silence. Ask your question clearly and with confidence and then pause. Count to fifteen slowly in your head and commit to not speaking. Look calm, smile, and make eye contact briefly with people around the room. If it helps, visualize the petals of a flower slowly unfolding, as an illustration of peoples’ thought processes at work. If someone speaks, respond with as much positive affirmation as you can. If your silence count reaches fifteen (or longer), invite one of your more confident members to share what they think. Encourage them that whatever they say will likely be helpful. Your coleader might break the silence once or twice during the study, but doing so more often will signal to group members that if they wait long enough the coleader will provide the correct answer. Both of you need to learn to wait—it will make a huge difference in leading a quiet group.

Read the rest of Richard Sweatman’s article at GoThereFor

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Plain Talk About Church Scheduling (via Rory Shiner at Go There For)

In the time of hiatus (in Australia, at any case) which is December-January Rory Shiner outlines a process of questioning and refining the scheduling of church activities.
At the post at Go There For Shiner provides background and expands on the rationales for each question.
I need to spend time thinking about the smorgasbord versus targeted idea of activities.
The questions:

Why are we doing what we are doing?
Are we working with the natural rhythms of life where possible?

Are you offering a smorgasbord of programs, and trusting people to choose what they need?
Or, instead of a smorgasbord, have you articulated a limited suite of commitments that you expect everyone to be involved in? If so, is that suite reasonable and life-giving?

Do the challenges that come in the preaching fit with the implied message of the scheduling?
Does the value of the event reflect the earnestness of your requests that people be there?

Are the rhythms right?
Are weekday evenings the best time for discipleship?
Does a regular thing need to be a weekly thing?

Read the rest of the post here.