Small 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
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.