In your group, sometimes you will need to take the initiative to meet with someone individually to help them keep moving forward. For example, there may a truth they need to be introduced to. There may be a habit they need to break or a discipline they need to form. Or they may be facing a crisis. Whether you do it by phone or over coffee, your goal in that conversation is to bring God’s truth into their life, related to that specific need.
Pray for God’s guidance
As you consider whether a follow-up conversation is needed, be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. It starts with prayer. Seek God’s direction on when to take the initiative toward that person, when to wait, how to help, what to share, and what to say. Talk and pray about it with your co-leaders as well.
Use the tools at pursueGOD.org
A great way to have a follow-up conversation is to send the person a link to a topic from the pursueGOD.org library. Choose a topic that is relevant to their issue. Have them watch the video on their own. Then when you meet you can talk through the discussion guide together.
Observe good boundaries
When you meet with that person, make sure you observe two important boundaries. First, never meet alone with a member of the opposite gender. Second, keep everything confidential. The only exceptions to confidentiality are when a person gives you permission to talk to someone else, when a person threatens to harm himself or others, or when someone reports knowledge of a crime.
What happens next
Sometimes a follow-up conversation may lead to a fruitful mentoring relationship. Sometimes the best move is to hand that relationship off to someone else on your team or in your group. At times, one conversation is all that is needed, and the person will continue to be a regular part of your group. And there will be times when you will need to seek additional help from a pastor or a professional counselor.
Wherever they lead, follow-up conversations are a great opportunity to help people pursue God – in ways that might not happen in a small group meeting.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- What are some situations that might require an extra conversation with someone outside of the regular small group meeting?
- How do you know when it’s time to have that conversation?
- Explain how to find a relevant topic for a follow-up conversation at pursueGOD.org, using the Topics page and/or the search bar.
- Why is it important in a follow-up appointment to observe gender boundaries?
- Why is it important to observe confidentiality?
- What are some options for the relationship after the initial follow-up conversation? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.