"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

What Went Wrong?

For the younger people here, Johnny Carson was Jay Leno’s predecessor on the Tonight Show. Johnny owned the stage and one of the reasons was that he never lost his composure, even when he told a really bad joke. When a sketch wasn’t going well, he would make a funny face, make fun of himself and often get bigger laughs than the original joke would have had it gone well.

Sometimes, our group discussions don’t go well. We’re not all Johnny Carson’s, but we can learn from him. First, don’t lose your composure. Second, acknowledge it and then, ask questions to learn what went wrong and why. Here are some things to examine when you are evaluating why a study isn’t going well.

1.       Does what we’re studying apply to the people in my group? We wouldn’t consider teaching ‘Raising Godly Children’ to a singles group, but do we dive so deep into verses that we lose our audience?

2.       Do we discuss how the lesson applies to real life? Sometimes the application is obvious and sometimes it isn’t. Don’t assume that because you see it, that everyone else will. Keep in mind the individuals in your group and how they will relate to the content. It also helps to use analogies from the lives of people in the group (so long as the person we’re talking about will be comfortable with that J ). We don’t all think the same, so be prepared to connect the dots for people!

3.       Do our discussion questions relate to the people in our group? I remember speaking in front of a group in Texas some years ago. I used a tennis analogy as I was describing risk management. After several references, a gentleman stood up and said, “Son, this is Texas and we don’t play tennis here”. It never occurred to change the analogy for the audience – a lesson I have since learned J .

4.       Am I prepared? Did I take the time to research and pray about the lesson?  I found a great quiz on that helped me see ways I can improve in my preparation. Maybe it will help you too.


June 3, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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