Nobody likes an awkward silence, least of all the person responsible for keeping the conversation going. Mike and I love leading small groups, but inevitably there is a moment (or sometimes several moments) in which nobody has anything to say. No honest answer to a question, no insight on the verse you’re studying, no past experience that might augment the conversation. At that point, nothing is more tempting than to throw in the golden morsel of Scriptural wisdom you’ve been keeping in your back pocket for such a time as this. Or maybe your default is to ask the really holy person in the group if he has any further thoughts on the subject.

Next time, keep your mouth shut.

Keep your mouth shut several seconds longer than seems comfortable. It might mean people shift awkwardly in their seats for a moment or two, and it might mean people look at you expectantly, hoping you’ll say anything that would end this eternity of silence. Or, it might give the shy girl in your group a chance to say something that has been on her mind for weeks, but she hasn’t had a chance to get a word in edgewise because of all the talking that everyone else is doing.

Advertisements