Training Group Members

I saw this video recently on Alan Danielson’s YouTube page and it got me thinking about training small group participants how to be productive members of a healthy, growing group. (By the way, if you’ve never read it, check out Alan’s Triple-Threat Leadership blog here.)

How would you help your group members live in authentic community? One thing I occasionally do is bring a list of some of the New Testament one another commands to the group and have them evaluate the group on a 1-5 scale on each one. Get a pdf copy of the evaluation here.

At Northeast, we give each new group member a copy of Randall Neighbour’s little handbook, Community Life 101. Randall wrote it to help members, as the subtitle says, get the most out of their small group experience. The fact is, people enter a group with all kinds of expectations, which may or may not have anything to do with the biblical values that make groups thrive (and many of which are totally self-centered). Community Life 101 helps our group members catch the biblical values that make groups great.

When group members live out the biblical values for community, groups grow and naturally multiply.

So what values, principles, and topics would you “teach” to your small group members? Share them by leaving a comment below.

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Michael C. Mack founded in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.