How to Ask Big Questions in Your Small Group

small group convoSmall groups are some of the best places to dig into life’s deepest questions. In a good small group with close friends and fellow believers, you can share what you really think without being attacked or belittled for your opinions. It’s one of the safest settings to honestly discuss theology.

But how and when do you start these conversations?

If your small group has any dominant personalities, then having a theological discussion in person makes it hard for everyone to speak their mind.

Group messages can get messy, and even annoying. It’s too hard to track who is responding to what. A really active group message traps everyone in the conversation.

Email conversations can be a nightmare, flooding your inbox with one conversation. When each response creates a separate chain for the conversation, it’s too easy to get lost, or accidentally ignore someone’s thoughtful response.

So what do you do?

If your small group has a Faithlife Group, these deep conversations are easy.

The “discussions” tab is your small group’s own personal forum. As with everything in your Faithlife Group, you determine who can see your discussions (in this case, you probably want “members only”).

In “discussions,” you can create a new thread on any topic you want, and your group can see the most active topics at a glance.

Your conversations stay organized within the thread, and the threads are neatly tucked in the discussions tab—so the conversation can continue on the side without taking over your small group.

Say you want to have a conversation about Christian dating.

These conversations can be great in person, but creating a discussion in your Faithlife Group lets everyone take as much time as they need to thoughtfully respond.

After people answer, you can skim over the responses to quickly get a sense of everyone’s thoughts.

If your small group wants to discuss a topic together, a Faithlife Group is a great way to test the waters and see where everyone is at, before diving in together at your next meeting. It’s also a good way to make sure you don’t open a can of worms in the middle of Bible study.

Share directly from books you’re reading together

In Faithlife Groups, you can quote directly from resources you own in Logos Bible Software, or your Faithlife Study Bible.

Right now, one of my good friends is exploring Catholicism. He gave me Rome Sweet Home as part of a wedding present.

Having a conversation about the book using a Faithlife Group means that when he quotes Scott Hahn‘s argument about 2 Thessalonians 2:15, I can use Logos to pull up everything in my library on that verse and take the time to produce a thoughtful, educated response, rather than drawing from my immediate reaction.

Use discretion, know your small group

Even within the comfort of your small group, people’s convictions can create barriers to discussion. Knowing the people in your small group helps you decide if it’s a good idea to bring up a particular topic.

Use your discussions to build each other up (Proverbs 27:17), not to tear each other down (2 Timothy 2:23).

What are you discussing with your small group right now? Tell us in the comments!

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If your small group isn’t using a Faithlife Group yet, you’re missing out on prayer lists, shared reading plans, Community Notes, and more. Faithlife Groups are the ultimate church communication tool. The best part is, they’re absolutely free.

Comments

  1. says

    I am new at using Faith Group, however, it is mainly because I am use to studying alone. I do wish to present a question which I have pondered for a great deal of time. I checked it out with Logo's but was informed that I was not license for it. To this end I was offered a few books to buy. If you wish to answer my question with the knowledge you have received I will welcome it, if not, then I will continue on my own. Here is the question: Rev. 13:(16)-18; "… the number of the beast…six hundred threescore and six." My studies have led me to believe that the Antichrist is the name I am looking for and the number is would be found in the Greek name antichristo. There being 24 letters in the Greek alphabet and each letter has a number, therefore, am I wrong in thinking that "antichristo" will mount up to the number "666." Forgive me if I have not followed protocol, as I said before, I am new at this. Thank you taking time to read my inquiry.

  2. says

    I don't know what level Logos you're using, but perhaps you'll have this helpful resource: logosres:fsb;art=sidebar.gematriainthebookofrevelation;off=0;ctx=~Gematria_in_the_Book_of_Revelation$0AGemat

    • says

      Thank you for sending an answering to my question. To begin with, I am using Logos5, and I wish to Know if the Antichrist, and the name and number of the beast in Rev.13:16-18 are one and the same?

  3. says

    Hi Earle,

    Dale's suggestions are a great place to start. Could you please clarify your question for me? Are you asking if “666” is the number of the beast?

    There is no “protocol” to asking us questions—you can ask us however you’d like :) But if you’re wanting to ask your Christian community in general, Faithlife has a couple great options:

    1. If you have a small group or Bible study, creating a Faithlife Group through Faithlife.com is a great way to facilitate these discussions, as mentioned in the post above.

    2. If you want to ask the Christian community as a whole, ChristianDiscourse.com is a great place to ask these kinds of questions to a broader audience.

    I hope this helps, Earle. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need help, or if you have more questions. Have a great day!

  4. David Ollikkala says

    Responding to the "666" issue. There are different ways to interpret this issue. The word says "This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666". The Greek language assigns a separate numerical value for each member of it's alphabet. If we think we know the identity of the beast then we can take his name and calculate it to the Greek numerical value that his name adds up to…or…
    Another interpretation is that the word that we think is the Greek Numerical value of 666 is actually a mis-interpreted Aramaic word "Bismalla" with crossed swords inserted into the Greed texts. Bismalla means "In the Name of Allah. Now you don't have to play with numbers.

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