Expect to get back what you put into your group. This is true for just about everything in life and it's true of your time in a small group. Make the most of your time together by sharing in a transparent way. Come to meetings prepared, having read the study passage, and you'll have more to offer to the discussion. You'll probably take away more as well. If you attend regularly, you'll develop deeper trust and relationships. Scripture talks about getting back what you put in when it says, "What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvest a crop of real life, eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8, MSG).
Your small group should be fun and help you move forward in spiritual growth. If your first experience with a small group isn't a good one, don't give up. God created us to live together in life-giving community. But living together in community takes work. Biblical community doesn't just happen when a small group is formed. It takes transparency, commitment, and openness to God's leading for a group to really come together. Come expecting to grow, to learn, and to invest in others in your group.
—Mark Ingmire is the Small Groups and Adult Education Pastor at Savannah Christian Church in Savannah, Georgia; copyright 2013 by Christianity Today.