Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Groups

1. Maintaining a “meeting” mentality about your small group

makes it membership in an organization, not a life-giving part of an organism. While gathering together regularly to worship, apply the Word and pray together is vital, small group is about people who have sacrificially chosen to be with one another and do life together. Don’t save prayer requests, urgent or even small needs, or praise reports until your group meeting. Be a real friend and call someone for help, to share a praise or just relate to them.

2. The leader of your small group is Christ.

Communing with the Christ within other believers and focusing on Christ’s agenda whenever you are with them is powerful and very transformational. To really enter into a Christ-centered small group experience, you have to prepare your heart to receive what Christ wants to give you through others, and then be willing to give away what Christ wants to give others through you. Arrive at your meetings hoping Christ’s presence will be felt so strongly that everyone in the room will be permanently changed by the time you spent with him.

3. Your children desperately need to encounter adults sharing deeply and receiving ministry in a Christ-centered small group.

And they need to participate in these practices at an early age. If they don’t catch this lifestyle during their formidable years, they will grow up thinking adults don’t sin, don’t have issues they desperately need to share, and the list goes on and on. To completely raise your children in a manner according to the Lord, they need to be active participants in a biblical community … not just go to children’s church on Sunday morning and have a brief devotional time with you after dinner a couple of times a week.

4. Thinking, “This is a great group of Christians. I hope we keep this group this way for a long long time” is not healthy.

You may be enamored with your first genuine experience of a biblical community, but it won’t remain a healthy environment unless the members have a personal desire to grow up spiritually (i.e., gain life-changing breakthroughs with personal struggles; dig into the Word regularly and apply it; reach friends for Christ; disciple them; and move out of the original group to begin a group of your own).

5. You are not really a small group member. You are a minister with a ministry and a mission.

Your ministry is to allow Christ to work powerfully through you in the lives of the other members. Your mission is to co-labor with other group members to effectively extend Christ’s love to people who have yet to experience it in a transformational way. When you do both of these things, you’ll see you are a maturing Christian who views leadership of a new group and far more as the next big thing you are anxious to do, partnering with God Almighty.   

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Randall Neighbour
Randall Neighbour is the President of TOUCH Outreach Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Houston, Texas. His threefold ministry focus is to consult, train, and resource churches as they fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission through a highly relational holistic small group-based model for church life. Randall is the author of six additional resources for small group members, leaders, coaches, and groups, including the book, The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry.