It’s Sunday. The curriculum is prepped. The pencils are sharpened. The carpets are carefully placed, waiting for all the crazy that’s coming. What happens around those carpets has the potential to shape a child’s eternity. But then the kids actually arrive. And you try to steer the conversation to get to the “faith” stuff. But then, as quickly as it started, the hour is up (or maybe the hour felt like an eternity) and you’re left to wonder, Did I even cover what I was supposed to cover?
What if the silly stories and rabbit trails mean you didn’t get to half the lesson? What if half the discussion questions were left unasked? What if little Susie spent the entire group time talking about her new pet gerbil? Is that really how this is supposed to go?
About The Art of Group Talk
The Art of Group Talk is an easily digestible handbook specifically designed to help leaders have better conversations. Because let’s face it: leading a conversation with kids isn’t like conversation with adults. It isn’t necessarily easy or intuitive. And some leaders may have zero experience with kids. The Art of Group Talk is chock-full of helpful insights, relevant examples, and humor, to get to the heart of what it means to engage your kids through conversation on Sundays.
Within these pages, you’ll be challenged to …
PREPARE for the conversations. Do you read your email and the curriculum ahead of time?
CONNECT with “your few.” Have you helped them connect to you and each other?
KNOW your few. Do you recognize the different personalities that exist among the group?
ENGAGE them in conversation. Do you SPEAK less and LISTEN more?
MOVE them to out. How are you pushing kids toward a life of authentic faith outside of your circle?
At the end of each chapter, you’ll a find a quiz (don’t worry, it’s not for a grade) full of questions that will help you think about how these simple yet impactful principles can change the way you lead small group conversations. These questions will help you internalize the material and think specifically about how it applies to your few. And it will remind you that every conversation with your small group matters.
The Art of Group Talk will help make this week’s conversations matter even more.
About the Authors
Afton Phillips is the director of the lead small strategy at Orange—which basically means she has been thinking about small groups, small group leaders, and small group strategies every single day since 2012. Before that, she spent three years working in children’s ministry at Browns Bridge Church and graduated from Johnson University with a degree in Children’s Ministry. But most importantly, Afton leads a small group of second graders every Sunday. If you want to be Afton’s best friend, all you need to do is buy her a black coffee and let her wear a tiara all day. She strongly believes tulle skirts should be worn every single day and her favorite place is any giant used book store.
Adam Duckworth is the lead communicator at Downtown Harbor Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He transitioned to this role after spending nearly 15 years in family ministry. He is also one of the authors of Not Normal and Leading Not Normal Volunteers. Additionally, he is the owner of Travelmation, LLC, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, which exists to help families make magical memories. His favorite attraction is the Country Bear Jamboree.