Stuff that Happens

There are common issues that happen in nearly every group, but there are ways to avoid them.

If there is one thing that is true about small groups, it is that there are some common issues that happen in almost every group. These can be relatively small in scope, or they can become group destroyers. However, all of them can be avoided with just a bit of planning.

  1. I usually ask new leaders what they fear the most about starting a small group. Invariably, they tell me that they fear hosting a group that experiences poor attendance. In other words, what happens if people do not show up? Even worse, what happens if they come the first time and then do not come back? Usually this fear is not justified. Many new leaders simply lack the confidence that God will use them in a great way! However, there are also a few things a leader can do to build consistent attendance for group life.

    • First, always meet in the same place and at the same time. This is vital for the first three months of group life. The reason is simple: group members need to get in the habit of meeting. Putting best intentions aside, people are very busy and many lead overloaded lives. Having a consistent time and place will help them incorporate small group into their routine. I give the illustration of a couple coming home from work. They rush to get the kids started on homework, and dinner is not ready. Then, they remember that group is meeting. The problem is that they have forgotten where the meeting is, or they have lost the map. At that moment, it is far too easy to simply say, "Let's blow it off tonight." You limit excuses with meeting consistently at the same time and place.

    • Secondly, leaders should communicate between the meetings to encourage community development and foster growth towards strong relationships. It has been said that more happens between group meetings than at the meeting itself. The more you communicate, either by voice or electronically, the stronger your group commitment will be. Also, encourage members to get together socially beyond the meeting date. This usually takes time to develop, but you must champion the idea if you ever want it to become normal in your group.

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