Making Your Small Group Work Tip 13

Tip 13: Confessing Your Faults

Everyone sins or does things wrong. The group should be a safe place to talk about areas that need improvement. Talking about sin brings it out of the dark and into the light, the only place it can be healed.

Biblical references:
• James 5:16—“. . . confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed”
• Psalm 32:3—“When I kept silent about my sin, my bones wasted away”

Points to remember:
• You may need to share differently depending on the gender mix of the group
• When to do it:
– During personal sharing and prayer time
– During a specific, structured time reserved for confession
– During the process of interacting with material—“Wow, I really struggle with that.”
– As a part of prayer requests
• Express how you’re feeling before you share the confession (scared, embarrassed, stupid)
• Normalize the process of confessing in the course of the discussion; when you hear someone owning a fault or weakness:
– Don’t overreact, but don’t ignore it
– Use your active listening skills (communicating to someone you hear what they are saying so they feel heard and understood; see Tip One)
– Avoid giving advice!
– Identify with them

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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