4 Keys to Small Group Friendships

Be creative by asking more than one person to join you. Bring along someone that they already know and trust. This will give you an opportunity to prove yourself to them. Building trust one step at a time.

The people we spend time with daily have a “very large impact” on our well-being.

Gabrielle Pfund[3]

3. Leverage Events.

When there’s a public gathering, use that time to start building connections and relationships. Use the event as a connection point, reaching out to those on the fringes. Those who are standing alone around the edges

Avoid the temptation that you need to meet as many people as possible at the event. Trying to collect as many three-second fist bumps not only will waste your time, but it will construct your opportunities to meet new people. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Small Group leaders run around like it was some connection drive-by shooting. That there was some Recommended Daily Amount, RDA, for minimum-daily-requirement that they were trying to achieve.

“We need to be looking for connection over perfection.”

Will Guidara

4. Collect Casual Connections.

Look for ways to informally connect with people throughout the week. While blasting out a text to the group has its place, this is more about an individual than the group.

Don’t make a science project out of these casual connections during the week. They should be short and sweet. Remember, receiving a short text might be more important than you’ll ever know.

One casual connection isn’t going to change the world. But by reaching out to someone in the middle of the week sends a powerful message that they are remembered. That they are cared for. That they are loved.

“Even sending a brief message reaching out to check in on someone, just to say ‘Hi,’ that you are thinking of them, and to ask how they’re doing, can be appreciated more than people think”

Peggy Liu[4]

Small Groups are where friendships are germinated, leading to deeper connection and intimacy. It’s in the safe harbor of Small Groups that many come to Christ.

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

John 4:35 NIV

For me personally, God used a Small Group to draw me to Himself. I’ve never known anything else other than Small Groups all these many years with Jesus.

Has there ever been a more important time for Small Groups, and small group friendships?


This article on small group friendships originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

[1] The state of American friendship: Change, challenges, and loss

[2] Will Guidara is an American restaurateur based in New York City .His new book Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More than They Expect (Optimism Press, October 2022) shares the “unreasonable” strategies that led his restaurants to the top

[3] Gabrielle Pfund is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of medical social sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine

[4] Peggy Liu is the Ben L. Fryrear Chair in Marketing and an associate professor of business administration with the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.