November 30, 2010
Learn what they experience and what they need.
We are continuing in our ongoing series on the connection between learning styles and small groups. Today, we'll discuss the different experiences and needs that Auditory Learners commonly find in a small-group setting. (Here is our recent post on what it means to be an Auditory Learner in general, in case you missed it.)
Like Pigs in Slop
To put it simply, the vast majority of Auditory Learners love the format of traditional small groups. They thrive in it. They are excited by it. That's because traditional small groups are based around one dominant activity: talking.
And while that is a detriment to the Visual and Kinesthetic learners in your group, it makes people with an Auditory bent very, very happy. Consequently, don't be surprised if a large percentage of your group members are Auditory Learners.
That being the case, here are some activities to keep in mind for Auditory Learners:
- Discuss, discuss, discuss. Most small groups are based on discussion, which is a big reason why small groups continue to grow in popularity. Continue giving your people chances to both talk and listen.
- Read Scripture out loud. For some people, reading a Bible verse out loud is a terrifying experience. If that is true for you, it is usually not the case for auditory learners. So when your group is exploring a specific passage of Scripture, ask for volunteers to read the text out loud at least one time during the group meeting.
- Pray out loud. The same idea applies here. Encourage group members to pray out loud if they would like to do so.
- Sing and make music. Don't be afraid to give your group members a chance to verbally express their devotion to God through songs, responsive readings, and spontaneous prayer.
Here's one final note about auditory learners: don't be too quick about labeling someone in your group as a person who "talks too much." While this certainly can become a real problem, oftentimes these "overtalkers" are just Auditory Learners who enjoy processing what they have heard in the discussion by speaking and reiterating.
So be sure to take a step back and ask yourself: "Does this person really have a problem, or is he/she just acting differently than I would?"
November 29, 2010
All purchases today will be 50 percent off.
I just wanted to let everyone know that SmallGroups.com is having a Cyber Monday Sale where everything in our online store is 50 percent off. Yeah man, half price!
The sale is good for today only, November 29. To receive the discount, just enter coupon code CYBMON when you check out.
(Make sure you hit "apply" after you type in the coupon code, otherwise the discount won't show up.)
November 18, 2010
Bad poll results means everyone gets a free download.
Back in September this blog featured a poll on the topic of Evaluation. We asked, "Have you ever been evaluated in your role as a small-group leader?"
Here's what the results look like after a couple months:
- No (66 percent)
- Yes, by my church (23 percent)
- Yes, I have taken a personal evaluation (8 percent)
- Other (3 percent)
To me, those are pretty scary numbers. Less than a quarter of the group leaders taking the poll have been evaluated by their churches? Two-thirds of group leaders haven't been evaluated at all?
That means one of three things: 1) Churches aren't thinking about evaluation in general, 2) Churches aren't placing a lot of emphasis on evaluating lay leaders, or 3) Churches want to evaluate lay leaders but don't have the time/staff/tools.
I hope it's the latter, because that can be corrected. In fact, we can help.
SmallGroups.com has a resource called Evaluations for Small-Group Leaders. I am making this free to readers of this blog until the end of the year. Just use the coupon code SGEVALUATION when you go through the checkout process.
November 16, 2010
A brief overview of the second VARK learning style.
Next up in our continuing series on the connection between learning styles and small groups: Auditory Learners. I'll give a brief overview of Auditory Learners in this post, and then we'll discuss how they fit into a small group later in the week.
(Also, remember that you can go to www.vark-learn.com to take a quick questionnaire and determine your dominant and secondary learning styles.)
Gimme an A!
People with an auditory learning style prefer to perceive information through their ears, and they often use their mouths to process that information. They like to have concepts and ideas explained to them, and they like to explain concepts and ideas to others. That's why they are big fans of lectures (both giving and receiving). They may also be gifted at public speaking.
Auditory learners thrive in discussion-based environments. They benefit from talking through what they have learned and what they are feeling, and they are generally good at listening to others. They also enjoy participating in and listening to debates.
Many auditory learners demonstrate a strong connection to music and sounds. They often have a good sense of rhythm and enjoy singing and playing an instrument.
A Few More Clues
Here are some other cues and clues that might help you identify an Auditory Learner:
- If you ask an auditory learner for directions, she will explain in detail which roads you should take and which landmarks to watch for.
- When an auditory learner orders food at a restaurant, he listens carefully when the server talks about the specials. He may also ask questions about different items on the menu.
- Auditory learners often prefer to listen to music while reading.
- Auditory learners often use these words and phrases: "I hear you," "that sounds right," "listen to me," "let me explain," and so on.
Again, stay tuned later in the week as we'll discuss how Auditory Learners typically feel in a small-group setting and what they need from you as a leader.
November 9, 2010
Another funny promo video to get you thinking
I have never seen an episode of "24." Does that make me lame? (Or, I should probably say, 'Is that one of the things that makes me lame?")
In any case, I thought this was a pretty creative promo video for small groups. And again, it looks like something that you should be able to pull of in your stomping grounds.
November 8, 2010
My apologies for being so forgetful with something important.
As most of you know, we have been discussion learning styles and their impact on small groups. (Click here if you missed the Overview.)
Before moving into Auditory Learners, I just realized that I made a huge omission in the earlier posts—the Learning Styles Questionaire. I have had several people ask me things like: "I like to do such and such, so does that make me a visual learner?" But you don't have to evaluate learning styles based solely on observation. There is a simple and easy online questionnaire that will identify both your dominant and secondary learning styles.
Use that link to identify your learning styles, and then we will get back into the discussion about small groups in a day or two.
In the meantime, please accept this video as my apology for the big omission. D'oh!