As a small group stays together for months or years, the tendency for most groups is to grow comfortable with one another. The same is true of any relationship. Familiarity breeds complacency. As the newness and curiosity fades, group members are prone to sit back and be less engaged. But we want more. We don’t want to settle for shallow relationships a mile wide and inch deep, we want to experience deep, life-giving relationships. As a leader, it’s up to you to set the tone for your small group and create an environment where your group members go deeper with one another and the Lord.
GO DEEPER IN ACCOUNTABILITY
- Model transparency with your own temptation and sin.
- Be real and don’t let anyone hide behind vague answers.
- Don’t settle for superficial sharing about work or family.
- Thank people for taking risks and being vulnerable.
- Commit to practicing spiritual disciplines as a group.
- Talk about spiritual growth inside and outside of group.
- Commit a third of your time to prayer not just requests.
- Participate in communion and confess your sins.
- Practice the one-another’s of Scripture.
LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND
- Don’t make assumptions or think others are like you.
- Text questions to your group members prior to group.
- Be patient and allow members to process their thoughts.
- Ask clarifying questions and ask for specific examples.
- Don’t settle for easy answers, draw out the heart.
- Pray often and in the moment, and ask for godly wisdom.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS BEYOND GROUP
- Stay current on what’s happening in each other’s lives.
- Plan a social event every 6–8 weeks.
- Serve with your small group 2–3 times a year.
- Call or text to follow up with those who missed group.
- Attend worship services together.
- Show up at various events for each other.
- Meet with people one-on-one or as a couple.
- Go out for dinner or share meals together.
- Plan a weekend getaway or retreat together.
- Create fun and memorable experiences.
SHARE LIFE-GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
- Share Scripture with each other throughout the week.
- Change things up and don’t let your group get in a rut.
- Celebrate milestones, holidays and wins in your group.
- Celebrate small steps of obedience and answers to prayer.
- Share prayer requests and God@Work stories.
- Take time to share testimonies and pray over each other.
- Commit to following up with each other outside of group.
- Practice hospitality and rotate homes for group meetings.
- Text your group whenever you are praying for them.
- Give small gifts and share random acts of kindness.