How to Deal with Difficult People in Your Small Group
All of us who have led small groups have had people in our group who are a little bit difficult to manage. Sometimes they require a little bit of extra grace or they’re that person who just is a little irritating or gets on people’s nerves. As a group leader, you have to be discerning to know how to deal with that.
The critical issue is to first recognize when their behavior moves beyond just a little irritation and actually becomes detrimental and unhealthy to the group. When you have a person who, week after week, continues to dominate, one of the best things you can do is to confront the person. This is not an easy thing to do, but it requires you both sitting down in private together and in a personal, gentle way, have the difficult conversation.
Many Christians suffer from “terminal niceness” and we’re afraid of difficult conversations. But confrontation can be one of the best ways for a leader to grow in maturity. It can also help the person that you’re dealing with as well as your whole group. Just remember, you can confront in a grace-filled and loving way while still being honest about the way that their dominance is affecting the entire group.
If you have someone in your group that you need to confront, first pray about it. If you do talk to them, love them in the process and follow up with them afterward. Assure them that you love them, you want them in the group, but in order for the group to be healthy this issue must be addressed.
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