How to Get Someone in A Small Group to Stop Talking

Roy Mansfield here – Pastor of Spiritual Development at Northstar Church in Panama City, Florida, Coaching Alum and regular guest contributor to Nelson’s blog…

The only thing worse than failing to get “undertalkers” in your small group to start talking is failing to get “overtalkers” to stop talking.

Here’s a few tips on how Jesus might have helped someone in His small group (probably Peter) to give some space for other people in the group to share:

If someone is monopolizing your group by talking too much, wait for them to inhale (although it may not seem like it, this will eventually happen) and say, “Thanks for sharing that Miss-excessive-talker-lady <insert actual name here>. I’d be interested to hear what some of the other group members think as well.”

Say this gently, and without the hint of sarcasm that was in the back of your mind when you read that last statement and pictured someone from your last small group.

To make the transition you may need to repeat the original question and then call on someone by name that you know wouldn’t feel uncomfortable being asked to share.

If Miss-excessive-talker-lady does this regularly, you probably want to talk with her privately and encourage her to serve the other group members by listening more and giving others a greater chance to speak.

This will not be an easy conversation but it will benefit your group.

And this group member will be helped by learning to:

“…be quick to listen and slow to speak…” – James 1:19

– Roy Mansfield

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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