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BASIC TRAINING FOR SMALL GROUPS 

 

Ground Rules for Bible Study:

 

1)  Personal things said in this room stay in this room.  Confidentiality is vital to a

healthy discussion.  The only time it should be broken is when a group

member reveals plans to harm himself or another person.

 

2)  No put-downs.  Sarcasm and unkind remarks have no place in a discussion.  If

someone disagrees with another’s comment, they should raise their hand and

express their opinion of the comment, but not of the person who made it.  It is

permissible to attack ideas, but not each other.

 

3)  There is no such thing as a dumb question.  Asking questions is the best way to

learn.

 

4)  No one is forced to talk.  Anyone can remain silent about any question.

 

Create a Great Discussion with Open-Ended Questions

 

There are really only two kinds of discussion questions, good discussion questions and bad discussion questions.  Good discussion questions invite people to talk, motivate them to contribute, encourage participation, stimulate new questions, and affirm the significance of each person’s opinion.  Bad discussion questions discourage participation, affirm that only the leader’s opinion matters, threaten timid contributors, and motivate the group to keep quiet.

 

Good questions focus on a person’s opinion (what would you tell a friend who asked you if she should get an abortion?) or his experience (has anyone ever known someone who tried to commit suicide?) or a person’s faith (when you are depressed, does your faith in God make any difference?).  Bad questions assume there is one right answer or don’t require any answers at all.

 

The following are examples of bad questions, questions that stifle discussions:

 

* LOADED QUESTIONS

 

Who should our example be, the Apostle Paul or Charles Manson?

 

Some people who call themselves Christians say they believe that abortion is okay, but what does the Bible say?

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