How To Guide A Life Group Discussion


To guide a discussion in life group, remember the acronym ACTS.

A – Acknowledge everyone’s contribution

C – Clarify what is being said and felt

T – Take it back to the group

S – Summarize periodically

A – Acknowledge everyone’s contribution

If someone contributes to the discussion, acknowledge it. Maybe verbally, “Great point, Tom!” Or if it’s not a great point, “Thanks, Tom!” Or maybe nonverbally with a head nod and a little grunt. They showed up. They contributed. As the leader, it’s your job to validate that. You are the like on their Facebook status, the heart on their Twitter feed. Acknowledge.

C – Clarify what is being said and felt

Whenever someone gives a long, rambly answer, it is your job as a leader to dispel the fog. “I think what you’re saying is that we’re justified by grace but that works really matter. Is that right?” If so, build on it. If not, try again. And not just with the thoughts. Help to clarify the feelings as well. “Wow, Serena. You’re passionate about this. It sounds like maybe there’s a story behind this. Is it something you’re willing to share with us?”

T – Take it back to the group

Remember – you are not giving a mini-sermon. You are leading a discussion. Take it back to the group. “Interesting point, Neville. What do you think, Daniel?” or “Huh. It looks like maybe we don’t all agree. What’s the consensus of the group. Weigh in.”

S – Summarize periodically

After a cycle of discussion, summarize where the group is at. “So it sounds like we’re saying healing is connected to both the faith of the person praying and to the faith of the person receiving prayer. If that’s true, then what about…” Summarize and launch a new round of discussion.

If you’re ever stuck in life group, ask yourself do I need to acknowledge a contribution, do I need to clarify what is being said and felt, do I need to take it back to the group, or do I need to summarize and move on to the next level of the conversation? Following this cycle will help your life group discussions be engaging week after week.