The Greening Of A Discussion Leader

Good discussions don't just happen. Here's how one leader started out and failed--but through trial and error discovered what makes discussion work.

I was one of the few Christians in my fraternity at the University of Michigan. I hit on the idea of leading a Bible study as a way of sharing my faith with the guys in the house. As president of the local Inter-Varsity chapter, I felt an additional pressure to have a successful discussion, for not only did I care about the guys, I also wanted the Bible study to be a model of effective evangelism.

Seven fellows joined me the first night, coming for a variety of reasons. One was a philosophy major interested in batting around ideas; another was my best friend who felt obligated to come. There was the loner who admitted he was curious about what the Bible had to say, while two were openly scornful of anything smacking of religion and came out of curiosity. The final two were Christians who had prayed with me ahead of time for the venture.

I announced this would be a free and open discussion concerning God and life, kicked off each week by a passage from the Bible. Privately, I was committed ...

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