by Boža Galović
I am married and have two children. I drive a taxi for a living, and for over 20 years, I have volunteered as a church leader, elder and preacher in Novi Sad, Serbia. Part of my ministry is leading small groups. For years, I would prepare a teaching and share it with my group. All leaders did the same. That was the way we learned. Only occasionally we would have some sort of discussion. Last year, we hosted a parenting course in our church led by Entrust staff. At the very beginning it was obvious this small group would be different from what we were used to. There were a lot of questions and discussion. We loved it. All of us were actively involved and we learned from each other. We noticed that the personal experiences we shared meant a lot to everyone else. We were actually teaching each other and by doing that, we were learning much better and deeper than from just listening to a lesson. Then I attended a small group leader training led by Jim and Lynn Blase. The subject was questions. I learned the important art of asking questions. Good open questions help people think and come up with an answer or a conclusion that stays with them because they own it.
These courses changed my perspective about how to lead small groups. I know there is more for me to learn, but this is a good beginning.
We offered the small group leader training mentioned here at the invitation of a campus ministry. Most of the attendees were campus small group leaders. Although he’s not in campus ministry and was the oldest person there, Boža jumped in enthusiastically. Afterwards, he came up and told us, “I’ve been doing it all wrong.” We asked him what he meant. He said he’d realized through the training that he’s spent far too much time lecturing and too little time asking questions and listening. We asked him to write about his experience, which he was eager to do.
Jim and Lynn Blase, Entrust, Serbia