Making Your Small Group Work Tip 3

Tip 3: Telling Your Story (Without Going On and On)

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Definition:
Telling your “story” means telling people about those significant events and relationships that have shaped you in the past and continue to shape you today. It includes feelings or reactions to past or present experiences.

A healthy group gives adequate time for everyone to share his or her story, but it doesn’t mean everyone is going to share equally every week.

Biblical references:
• Philippians 3:1–14—Paul’s story of coming to faith and his spiritual growth
• 2 Corinthians 6:11—Paul’s challenge to the Corinthians to open up

Why it’s important:
• We need to share so we’ll continue to grow

• If we don’t share:
– People won’t get to know one another
– They will remain cautious
– They’ll lose interest in the group
– The ability to grow in relationship skills will be lost

• Share your story early in the life of the group

• Real transformation happens when our story intersects with God’s story, and our story becomes like his

The two elements of sharing:
• Balance of sharing: how much each person shares
– This must be monitored: “Traffic cop” method; Structured method—assign times; Feedback method—everyone needs to be attentive

• Quality of sharing: going deeper with each other
– What you share—share about significant things
– How you share—get into the vulnerability of experience

Share Your Thoughts

Has your group struggled in this area? Share your stories and tips with fellow small group leaders in the comments section below.

Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, and co-host, with Dr. John Townsend, of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and cofounder of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His bestselling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries books and Making Small Groups Work. Dr. Cloud and his wife and two daughters live in Southern California.

Follow Dr. Henry Cloud on:   Facebook   Twitter  Website

John Townsend

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, and cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and a cofounder of Cloud-Townsend clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He is coauthor of the bestselling Boundaries and author of Boundaries with Teens and Hiding from Love.

Follow John Townsend on:   Facebook   Twitter  Website

Bill Donahue

Dr. Bill Donahue is the author of the bestselling Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, Building a Life-Changing Small Groups Ministy (with Russ Robinson), Coaching Life-Changing Leaders (with Greg Bowman), and the Equipping Life-Changing Small Groups DVD.

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