How to Maximize Group Discussion

for Youth, Teens, and Adults


One of the best ways to learn about scripture is to study it and discuss it with other people. Getting together as a group helps to apply the wisdom of scripture to our lives and to support each other. Hand out these tips and review them together periodically to maximize discussion in your group.


  • starting and ending on time (take advantage of opportunities to share and learn)
  • a welcoming, caring, and friendly environment
  • biblical and Christ-centered conversation
  • commitment to learning about God, who he is, and applying his Word to our lives
  • using the bible as the sole reference source (to learn how God speaks to you)
  • the opportunity for everyone to participate
  • listening carefully to others without interruption
  • confidential sharing and wholesome boundaries
  • respect for differing opinions and willingness to openly share
  • finishing written answers if questions assigned (jot a few thoughts or verses down if constrained for time)
  • attendance even if assigned questions not finished (you can listen and learn)
  • authenticity and transparency about our lives and experiences
  • recognition that no one is perfect, but learning and changing
  • freedom to express doubts and admit need of God’s grace without condemnation
  • demonstrating forgiveness as Christ forgives
  • praying for each other
  • the expectation that God’s Word will transform lives
  • the expectation that God will answer prayer


  • critical comments about other’s answers or differing viewpoints
  • critical comments about other people, church, or church leaders
  • discussing politics, current or cultural issues, or topics of sensitivity and controversy
  • worrying about being “correct” or holding back (as others may learn from you)
  • waiting for the outspoken or seemingly mature participant(s) to answer
  • stopping discussion to solve or fix each other’s problems
  • discussing when not prepared or answering a study question if left blank and without thought