Hinged@Home Small Group
There will several opportunities to lead small group discussions during Hinged@Home. Remember you have freedom and flexibility with Hinged@Home to design gatherings that will achieve your purposes.
You could spend time fellowshipping over truths:
- After each Keynote session by using the discussion guide
- After each conversation starter by using the discussion guide
- Encourage women to set up a follow up date to connect with a woman they met through Hinged@Home. You can use the Coffee Questions as a guide to begin building a gospel friendship.
Hinged Hints to Leading a Small Group Discussion
We encourage you to involve as many women as you can to facilitate discussions to build community. Perhaps consider asking a different woman to lead each discussion. This approach will build community and keep the burden from falling just on one woman.
Leading a small group is a precious privilege of having a front-row seat to see the content of the gospel be fleshed out in the context of the community. We encourage you to work with a co-leader because two are better than one. This might also be a great opportunity for you to ask a woman who is younger chronologically to partner with you. Groups like this are fertile ground for spiritual mothering and leadership development. Remember the purpose of this group. It is not merely about knowledge acquired but rather knowledge applied. And It can also be a place where community and compassion are cultivated.
Small Group Scenarios
We understand that Hinged@Home will likely have groups that will meet socially distanced in person and virtually. These hints will work in either scenario but we have included a few extra helps for virtual groups.
HINGE before you begin!
- Before you begin any group: Take the time to introduce yourselves to one another. You may want to use some of the Hinged Openers to break the ice.
What if people are quiet?
- Just let them be quiet. Some people are just naturally quiet. (The Bible calls that wisdom!) It is important that they feel safe in the group and not be pressured to talk.
- Some are quiet because they do not want to be embarrassed by giving the wrong answer. They may be used to school experiences when questions were often deliberately difficult. You can encourage your group by saying things like, “I’m not hunting for a deep answer here. Just tell me what comes to your mind.”
- Encourage them to open up with subtle invitations: “Okay, let’s hear from some others now.”
What if the question falls flat?
- Give a hint.
- Make the question easier by narrowing down where to look for an answer.
- Rephrase the question.
What if one or two people answer all the questions?
“Okay, let’s hear from some others now. We haven’t heard from some of you.”
- Ask part of the group to answer your question:
“I haven’t heard much from this side of the circle. What do you folks think about this question?”
“Let’s hear from some people whom we’ve not heard from for this next question.” (Be prepared to wait.)
“Sue, you really do a nice job answering questions, but I’m concerned that Nancy and Kate haven’t gotten much of a chance to say things. Do you mind waiting on some of your answers to give them a chance?”
Virtual Hinged@Home Hints
Determine what platform you will use to gather and then make sure every group member has the necessary information to connect well in advance of your gathering.
Zoom.us: a conferencing app; be sure it is password protected!
A How to Video for Zoom
Google Hangouts: https://hangouts.google.com/
Coaching & Celebrating: Some of your group members may not be experienced with virtual meetings. Make sure you get familiar with them yourself, and then let them know they can reach out to get some coaching from you. You could even have a practice run with them before the meeting. And then celebrate with a big virtual hug as everyone successfully connects!
Friendly Reminder: Send out an upbeat email or text reminder with the link within 24 hours of the meeting, along with a word of encouragement.
Hospitality: As the leader of the group, sign on to your preferred platform five minutes before the designated time. This allows you to welcome people as they arrive and act as a host. Smile and look them in the eye (the camera lens). This is gospel hospitality and it makes a big difference!
Begin and end with prayer: This is a great way to center the group and transition from waiting for people to join to actually starting the meeting.
End on time: Respect people’s time. Make sure you end the gathering on time so those who need to sign off can do so. Others who are able to can choose to stay and hang out afterward (you may even want to encourage it).
Group Dynamics: Before you meet, communicate to the group a few expectations that will build community if everyone agrees to meaningfully participate.
- Video: Everyone will use their camera during the meeting.
- Mute: Everyone will mute their microphones when they are not talking.
- Confidentiality: What is shared in the group stays in the group.
- Be Present: Seek to meaningfully engage with the group. Resist the urge to multitask and place phones and other devices that have notifications to the side.
- Contribute: Make space for everyone to meaningfully contribute.
- Grace Zone: Virtual groups need to reside in the grace zone. Connecting online can sometimes be awkward or unnatural. Sometimes people can talk over someone else or forget to unmute themselves. It helps to acknowledge that it may take some getting used to and that you’re all in this and learning together!
Keep the conversations going!
Before the gathering ends, make a date with one other woman to reconnect in the near future to continue to discuss how you can stay vitally connected to Christ and His Church. You may want to use these coffee questions to get you started.
Some Extra Small Group Questions
Click here for a PDF of the questions
These are just extra questions to help you facilitate women synthesizing their thoughts and next steps.
- What is the one thing you learned that could fuel your passion to be like Him?
- What are one or two practical steps you can take this week to apply these truths?
- Was there anything in today’s lesson that revealed a part of your heart that is not totally surrendered to Christ?
A place where you are failing to believe He is enough?
A place where bitterness and unforgiveness are festering?
A place where you are prizing something or someone as more valuable than Christ?
A place where the fear of man (your reputation) is trumped by how God views you?
A place where you are in bondage rather than free?
- How can you steward this lesson to encourage someone in your life this week?
- How have you seen God working in your life this week?
- What are fears that are hindering you from trusting and, therefore, enjoying Christ?
- How has God been transforming you through this study?
- How does this lesson intersect your life?
- What helped you to enjoy God more today?
- How did you experience God this week as you spent time with Him?
- What difference did this lesson make in your week?
- What is God calling you to change in response to this lesson?
- What questions did this lesson raise in your heart?
- Where are you failing to live out what you say you believe?