Leading a conversation with a small group of teenage guys isn’t always easy.

Sometimes they talk too much—way too much. Sometimes they don’t talk enough. And sometimes you’re pretty sure your volunteer training didn’t quite prepare you for the sort of things they’d like to talk about. Actually, if you’ve been a small group leader for at least five minutes, you probably already know what it’s like for a small group conversation to totally bomb.

So if you’ve ever looked at your small group and wished you knew what to say, what not to say, when to speak, when to listen, how to make them talk, how to make them stop talking, then The Art of Group Talk is for you. Because, as a small group leader, you lead a conversation with teenagers every single week. Conversations about their lives, their dreams, their friends, their imaginary friends, and their definitely-not friends. And sometimes you even manage to lead conversations about faith. These books can remind you that your small group conversations—even the ones that don’t go exactly as planned—really matter. But there are a few ways to make your conversations matter even more.

The Art of Group Talk is part of a series of books for leaders of kids, teenage girls, and teenage guys.

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Lauren Terrell


Jeremy Zach spent nine years as a paid, professional youth pastor in the local church. Now Jeremy is an XP3 Orange Specialist and gets to spend most of his days connecting and resourcing student pastors all around the country. Jeremy has been married to Mikaela for eight years and he has two daughters and two calico cats. A few things that he enjoys are hot, hot sauce, YouTube cat videos, and loud EDM music.

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Lauren Terrell


Tom Shefchunas, or Shef as most people call him, has worked with students for over 20 years. He has been a teacher, a coach, a high school principal, and, until recently, the multi-campus director of middle school for North Point Ministries and the executive director of student strategy at Orange. Shef is currently the executive director of Youth Specialties. He and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three kids.

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Brett Talley served full-time in student ministry for 11 years before joining the Student Strategy team at Orange. He and his wife have three kids. He loves baseball, golf, and making amazing turkey-melt sandwiches (if he has the time and ingredients; otherwise, they're just average).

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