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Members Talking to Members in the Cell Group

by Joel Comiskey

Winter, 2009

When you’re leading a cell group, do you try to look right at the person answering the question? Or do you look away at times so the person will talk to other members of the cell group? After all, a key purpose of the cell is for members to minister to one another. Is it counter-productive, therefore, if the members look directly at the leader while answering the questions? Does that convert the cell group into a classroom experience?

I’ve been thinking about this in the last couple weeks. One leader recently said to me, “After I ask a question, I look down at the ground, so the members will talk to each other, rather than looking directly at me.” Another leader present in my house that day echoed Bill’s remarks. I knew God was throwing me a curve ball because I confessed to the group, “This is a brand new concept. I know that Ralph Neighbour has taught that if members don’t answer the question right away, it’s best to look at your big toe or something like that. But when people are talking, I’ve always taught and practiced the importance of looking the person directly in the eyes while listening intently to his or her answer. But I can see the validity of what you’re saying. I’ll have to give this some thought.”

Recently in my LIFE group, I tested this concept. I tried shifting my eyes to another person while a member was answering the question. It worked. Rather than just answering my question, the member started talking to others in the group. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want the member to feel unloved or not listened to by my lack of eye contact. So this leads me to my question:

What has worked for you? Feel free to comment HERE.