So far in this book we have talked a lot about growth as revealing wounded parts so we can regain the wholeness God intends for us. Members may feel encouraged to focus also on the positive results of recognizing hidden talents.
Open them up to gifts as part of group growth. Help them see that group is not only about learning, struggle, and process, but also about discovering and developing gifts. Say something like, “As we get to know each other, we will notice not only one another’s struggles, but also each other’s talents. When you see one, mention it to the group, as someone may not even be aware she has that strength.”
Offer examples. Using the list above, identify some of the strengths people will manifest in group, so they can have a framework for noting gifts in themselves and other members.
Model awareness of gifts. Let members learn how to do this as they observe you. You might say, “Cheryl, you showed a lot of empathy for Jason when he talked about his parents’ divorce. That gift is a good thing, and I am glad you are bringing this part of yourself to the group.”
Help them encourage one another. Make it a norm that members show each other how they are helped by their gifts. For example, “Margaret, when you noticed that Lynn gets anxious when we talk about conflict, that was really helpful to her and the group. How has anyone else benefited from Margaret’s gift of insight?”
Make sure all members seek to know their own and other’s special contributions as they grow together.
Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2010). Making small groups work: what every small group leader needs to know. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.