- The insensitive person. This individual gives advice, makes fun of answers and people, cuts people off, or does a variety of other things to offend members within the group. This person is dangerous to the health of your group! They can keep it from being a safe group more quickly than anything else. So remind everyone of the group guidelines again, and definitely have the one-on-one conversation outside of group to let the person know how important a safe group is, and what they can do to help make that happen.
Remember—the end goal of a group discussion is life change, not perfect discussions or getting through all the material. So stay open to the Holy Spirit during each group meeting and follow where he leads. Some of the most memorable group meetings occur when the leader is willing to scrap the plan for the night and address a specific need, or do something fun and spontaneous.
It's also important to spend some time in prayer before each group meeting. Ask that God would lead the discussion where he wants it to go. And get an apprentice who can help you facilitate, so that you don't have to go it alone.
Remember that God is the one who does the work in people's hearts—we are not responsible for it! We are simply creating an environment for community and life change to happen.
Carter Moss is the Adult Ministry Catalyst for Community Christian Church and NewThing.