Small groups, or as I refer to them “Candle Groups,” are places where the trust level goes up, the dividing walls come down. You can almost feel the warmth of the campfire as people freely share their stories and thoughts. This is the atmosphere you are creating.
The task of the facilitator is not about reading questions from a list off a page. The roll of a facilitator is that of being a skilled and keen listener, a mirror that reflects and encourages deeper responses. Peer Ministry Leadership teaches four listening mirrors, which are some of the same tools needed when leading a group.
1. Reflect a word, or phrase.
- Questions about a word or phrase
“Having a boyfriend makes everything else I want to do seem complicated.” response: What do you mean by, “complicated?”
- We were sitting at the table doing our usual thing, when Dad got angry.
response: What is “doing the usual thing?”
2. Reflect a Feeling
- You sound sad.
- You seem defeated.
- I can tell you feel proud.
- You felt honored.
- You look puzzled.
3. Reflect a Theme or Concern
- I’ve heard you refer to your parents divorce several times.
- You sound as if you think your teacher doesn’t like you.
- You find this job rewarding because of the challenge.
- You’re concerned that people don’t like you because you are shy.
4. Reflect from a different angle or perspective
- You say she isn’t important to you, but you keep talking about her, which makes me think she is important.
- Perhaps he doesn’t hate you. Maybe he just cares enough to tell you what he thinks.
- You disagree with his opinions so you think you can’t learn from him. It may be that you are learning even more because of your differences.
- I wonder if the contest is as stupid as you say, or if you are scared of the work it would take to compete in it.