Teach or Facilitate: Which Is More Effective for Small Group Bible Study?

Do you create detailed lessons to teach your small group members or do you create several thought-provoking questions to facilitate discussion between them?

I believe there is a preferred method. I look forward to you sharing your opinion after you read this post.

There are many different definitions for mentoring and coaching. Some contradict others. The following are my simple descriptions about the primary methods used by a mentor and a coach:

A mentor tells what to do and why.”

A coach draws out what to do and why through questions.”

The mentor teaches. The coach facilitates.

When the purpose is to ultimately create life change, facilitating is my method of choice.

Why Is Facilitating More Effective?

Questions are powerful!

Michael Hyatt, in his blog post The Power of Asking the Right Question, says this about using great constructive questions:

They empower and create new possibilities. They lead to action. And they will produce results.”

Research has shown that adult learning gained through a person’s initiative and insight is stronger and longer-lasting than when being taught. Also, the act to change will more likely occur because the motivation will be fueled by intrinsic desires.

Christians have the power of Holy Spirit within themselves. Members can tap that power and the perspectives of other members to gain wisdom regarding the questions during and after the small group gathering.

Do you now understand the importance of using facilitation for small group Bible study?

Benefits of Facilitating

Better, long-lasting learning and a stronger motivation to change are important reasons to facilitate the small group discussion.

There are additional benefits to leading a small group Bible study through facilitation. Here are just a few:

  • Listening more and talking less makes the small group leader appear more likeable and helps build trust with the group members
  • Group leaders can feel more comfortable leading the discussion in this way (especially those who have less experience with leading groups)
  • It encourages personal Bible study outside of the small group gatherings
  • The additional discussions about personal experiences, challenges and beliefs will help group members bond and support each other on a deeper level
  • It has the potential to grow more leaders in the small group

Question: Would your small group benefit from changing to a facilitated Bible study discussion? What additional benefits would be important to the group? You can leave a comment by clicking here.