Bible study groups are composed of all types of people. Some are extroverts. Some are introverts. Some are long-time Christians. Some are new disciples. Some may be seekers. Some rarely talk in the group. And then there are those who like to talk — a lot.
While there are advantages of having someone other than the leader who is willing to speak, an “over-talker” can sometimes drive people away or hinder the leader from arriving at the desired outcome.
Here are a few hints on how to deal with the over-talker:
1. Ask some group members prior to the session to be prepared to answer certain questions or address certain issues. Specifically ask those people to respond.
2. Have a conversation with the over-talker, explaining that your goal is for every person to participate. Enlist their help in accomplishing the goal. Let the over-talker actually call on specific people to respond.
3. If necessary, have a straight-forward conversation with the over-talker, explaining their excessive talking is detrimental to the group. Ask them to respond when specifically asked.
Bruce Raley is director of Church Partnerships with Lifeway Christian Resources. A native of Arkansas, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and traveling with Donna.