Problem: What can I do to recover (or keep) the interest of my small group?
Solution: There are a number of reasons your group may be lacking interest. Here's a few, with some suggestions.
The leader's lack of preparation. The foremost reason people quit coming, I believe, is due to our own lack of preparation. Our members can't help but compare the small group leader's presentation with the excellent presentations they see at work, at school, even on TV. Such comparisons make us look bad. Lack of preparation on our part says, "You don't deserve my best, just whatever I can scrape together."
Whether you are unable or unwilling to prepare, may I encourage you to make group presentation a higher priority. Perhaps you suffer from a lack of planning or discipline in time management. Many tools (books, training tapes, seminars) can help raise up a leader who will rouse up the interest of most any small group. Remember, whatever we are called to do, we do as unto the Lord.
Leader's lack of presentation skills. You may understand how to prepare, but group interest suffers from your lack of skills to present a lesson or to lead the agenda in a way that holds their attention. It might be helpful to have someone who has those skills to observe you lead a group meeting. Ask for constructive criticism and encouragement afterward. You may also want to speak with your pastor about a skill-training session for small group leaders on these related issues of preparation and presentation.
Poor choice of curriculum. Is it meeting the felt needs of your group? I ask the question this way, because we often need to meet the felt needs of people (as they perceive them) before we have the right to help them with their real need (which may not be apparent ...