I have been noticing that some of our aging men are coming for our large group teaching but leaving before the follow up small group discussion begins. I have wondered why, because these same men seem to do fine if they are sitting across from each other with a cup of coffee just one to one.
Here are some possibilities of why small groups do not work anymore for these guys:
It is easier to hear if you are face to face with minimal background noise.
It is easier to follow a conversation if there is time to process the comment. When one comment follows another in rapid fire progression the original topic gets lost.
Early onset dementia can be hidden if the person can keep control of the discussion. This may mean making sure that you ask the questions rather than be expected to answer.
A group can feel overwhelming and lonely. One person attending to you can feel like connection and community.
Do we need to think more creatively when we ask aging men to join a small group?
Maybe like one man said of a wife, “One is enough for me.”