9 Statements That Will Destroy Your Small Group

You don’t want your small group to fail. That’s not why you got into this. You want your group to succeed. You want people to grow and thrive in your group.

You want your group to be the one that people can’t wait to show up to. The one they talk to their friends about. The one that, in 10 years, they look back on and say, “That group changed my life.”

You don’t want people to dread your small group every week. To feel like they just have to come. To view it as a waste of time. To be the group of which they say, “Don’t join a small group. Mine is terrible.”

There’s a certain amount of your group’s success that you can’t control. God’s going to choose to bless or not. He’s going to sovereignly inspire group members to engage … or not. His hand of favor will be there … or not.

But there are statements you can make, personally, that will inevitably tank your group; that will guarantee you’ll get nothing out of it, and that you’ll create a terrible experience for the rest of your group. Statements that will destroy community rather than foster it.

Nine statements that will destroy your group:

1. They need community more than I do. I’m just doing this for them.

You need healthy, authentic community as much as anyone does. You’re never above it, because God’s created you to live dependently on others.

2. They need to hear this.

Be careful, as you’re preparing for your small group, that you don’t work your way through the material making notes about who in your group needs to hear a given truth … and not including your own name.

Pride comes before the fall, my friend. (Proverbs 16:18)

3. I don’t have anything to give.

There may be weeks, occasionally, that you are empty and dry. But God’s given you gifts that are perfectly suited to lead your group. Don’t spit on God’s grace in your life by feigning a false, self-deprecating humility.

4. I don’t have time for this.

You are busy. So am I. You and I don’t have time to avoid community. The busier we are, the more we need others speaking truth and hope into our lives.

When you say this, you place yourself over and above your group members, pridefully believing your life is more important than theirs.

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Ben Reed
Ben Reed is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN, area. He holds an Mdiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben is also an avid coffee drinker and CrossFitter, but not at the same time. Catch up with Ben at BenReed.net. In his book, "Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint," he helps leaders through the process of putting a small group ministry together and creating a place where people belong so they can become.