There are lots of things that can be detrimental to the health and growth of your small group. To prevent the demise of your small group, as a small group leader you need to know the top five things that can “kill” your group as well as some suggestions to help you navigate and prevent some of these pitfalls.
The first thing is letting an emotionally needy person dominate and sidetrack the group. Every week these people talk the most and the group begins to feel more like a group therapy session than a small group study. The second thing is breaking confidentiality. Your small group has to be a safe place where people can show up with the real stuff in their lives. But when trust is breached, people will shut down and some of them will eventually abandon the group.
The third thing is what some would call the “master teacher syndrome.” One of the quickest ways to kill your group is for the leader to turn the group meeting into their own personal little classroom. Good small group leaders focus on helping people in their group grow by encouraging others to take their spiritual next steps rather than just dispensing all of their biblical knowledge.
The fourth thing that can kill your group is to have no interaction outside the group meeting. You can develop some community in your group meeting, but really, it’s outside the meeting where relationships are forged. This might mean having lunch together, getting families together, taking a meal to someone in the group who’s sick or doing a service project together. Whatever it is, doing something outside of your regular meeting time helps to deepen the bond between people in the group.
And then, finally, the fifth thing is not making the group a priority. This is one of the quickest ways to kill your group. To have a good small group, everyone has to show up and everyone has to be committed to each other. This means all of the group members make the group meeting a priority! That means taking part in the group and owning some of the responsibility. A small group is like a family, and in a family, everybody helps out.
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