“Your group won’t remember everything from the discussion each week. If they only remember one thing, what should it be?”
They won’t remember
Try all you like, but your group won’t remember everything you discuss together each week. But that’s not something to lose sleep over – instead, leverage it for a positive outcome.
Determine the landing
Imagine you are the pilot of a plane taking the passengers to a specific destination each week. What is that destination? Where do you plan to “land the plane”? Although you may cover plenty of distance with your group during a particular discussion, it is important to ultimately focus in on one central theme, point of interest, or action item.
- What exactly do you want your group to go home with?
- Is there a specific concept you want them to have grasped?
- Is there a specific action you want them to take?
Those questions help you determine where you should land the plane.
A landing place doesn’t mean that the other parts of the discussion are unimportant or a waste of time. It’s an important part of the journey. All of God’s Word is highly valuable1. If you are intentional, all of that discussion can lead the group to the landing place. (Click here for examples.)
But if there is not a clear landing place – point of action – point of understanding, your Small Group discussion can easily end up going everywhere, but nowhere in particular. People are more likely to remember and act on one substantial item each week.
Keep the end in mind
Work through your preparation with the landing in mind. Develop your lesson plan and discussion questions to reach that specific concept or action.
Note: Even if you are using preprinted lesson plans or a published Bible study, you will likely need to apply this same thought process. If you do not clearly know the main point, then you won’t be focused on making sure your group gets there.
Beware of Hijackers
Within the group, there are probably several people who could hijack the plane and keep everyone from arriving at the landing place. Some do it intentionally; but most don’t even know they are leading you off course. Learn how to maintain control of the plane while still inviting plenty of discussion. (Click Here for “How to Navigate Discussion (with All the Different Personalities in Your Small Group.”)
Again, your group won’t remember everything from the discussion. If they only remember one thing each week, what should it be? That’s your landing place. Plan to get your passengers to that specific destination.
-By Eddie Zdanio
12 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.