3 Keys to Forming Strong Relationships in Your Group with Bill Search

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The goal of every small group is to develop strong relationships with others and with God as you bond in community, right? Watch this funny video about a small group whose goal is to remain in shallow relationships.



What a brilliant example of what NOT to do! As Bill Search, Senior Pastor at Rolling Hills Christian Church in El Dorado Hills, California, takes us through several essential steps to forming meaningful relationships with others in our group, notice how many mistakes the shallow small group leader made…now that’s talent.

Most people join small groups for two reasons: to grow closer to God by learning more and to build relationships with other believers. One key ingredient for healthy relationships is meaningful discussions. In this first clip, Bill talks about four ways to make sure your discussion time is productive.



There’s nothing like an engaging discussion to get people connected with one another and motivated to change. Bill mentioned 4 keys to leading great discussions:

  • Know the main point of the discussion.
  • Start with an icebreaker.
  • Insist that people share what they really believe.
  • Stay on course, but be flexible.

Have you made a point to encourage people to be authentic and not worry about giving the correct “church” answer? As you look over that list above, which areas are easier for you? Which one struck you as a good one to remember in your next discussion?
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Part of facilitating great discussions is asking good questions. In this teaching video, Bill shares five tips that will help you lead discussions that engage your group.



Bill’s five tips are:

  • Get familiar with the discussion guide and edit the questions if necessary.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Don’t ask too many observation questions.
  • Don’t fish for just the right answer.
  • Don’t answer your own questions.

Are there any other tips would you add for asking great questions? Which of those five tips can you implement in your next small group?
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Great discussions take more than planning and asking great questions. You also have to be a great listener. In this next clip, Bill gives us 4 ways on how to actively listen to others.



Active listening involves at least these four things:
  1. Making eye contact with the person who is talking.
  2. Not interrupting.
  3. Seeking to understand, not to judge.
  4. Asking follow up questions.
That is great advice for any relationship!

Let’s be honest. Being a good listener is more difficult than being a good talker. How might you improve your listening during your next group time?
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Bill started this session by saying that the first pattern of a healthy group is connecting relationally. If you don’t connect with people in your group, then you won’t get people to grow in their faith or come back. That’s why leading great discussions is so important. Take some time to review what you’ve learned in this session, and may God bless your small group discussion time.


For more RightNow Media training posts and teaching videos with Bill Search, click here