1. Don't Plan. Wing it! Go with the flow! Ask the group what topic they're in the mood to discuss, and discuss it!
2. Don't Pray. Plan the meeting so well that nothing can go wrong. Rely on your superior Bible knowledge and training.
3. Don't Covenant. Assume that everyone comes to the group with the same expectations. Don't bother talking about hopes and commitments. Don't write them down.
4. Don't Recovenant. Assume that everyone has the same expectations and commitment level as last year … or before you took a summer break … or before several couples had children … or since new members joined the group.
5. Don't Reproduce. Enjoy leading so much that no one else gets the opportunity to facilitate discussions, pray for concerns, or prepare creative learning experiences. Cancel the group's meeting when you can't make it.
6. Don't Allow Ministry Outlets. View your group's meetings as ends in themselves. Emphasize the accumulation of Bible knowledge, prayer for group members only, and seeing how closely knit your group can become. Applaud the youth group when they do mission projects.
7. Don't Spend Relational Time with Group Members. Use your group meetings to catch up with members. Assume that members are sharing everything during prayer time. Forget birthdays and anniversaries.
8. Don't Get Ongoing Training. Rely on your initial training. Refuse to see other small group leaders and your pastor as resources. Don't ever read any articles on small group ministry.
9. Don't Place Yourself Under Authority. Feel like you are in this all alone … or that you must correct your pastor's theology … or that a favorite radio Bible preacher knows more about doctrine than your denomination … or that leadership ...