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What Not to do When Starting a Group

Believe it or not, there are a few things you can do right away with your new group that will completely mess it up. These are not as obvious as you might think. I’m confident all leaders mean well, but let me give you some advice on what NOT to do in the first few weeks with your new group.  

  • Don’t invite them to join your multi-tiered, network-marketing, what-would-you-do-with-$5000-extra-a-month, personal business. In fact, if you are a group leader, avoid inviting anyone in your group into any of your business adventures.
  • Don’t demand they open up and share their true feelings in the first several weeks. It’s great if you get there, but it’s freaky if you lead off with this. If you have any manly men in the group they will look for the closest door and run for it.
  • Don’t cry. You might be the kind of person who cries at Hallmark commercials. That’s great. Nothing wrong with that. Just save that for after a few meetings. Let the group get to know you first.
  • Don’t confess sins and demand others do the same. Hopefully, this will come, but you have to really know a person before you share your deepest challenges.
  • Don’t talk about politics. It is not a safe assumption that everyone in your group shares your political persuasions. You can quickly alienate people who don’t agree with you. Remember, you are a group leader, not a political action committee.
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Bill Search describes himself as a “thirty-something minister whose job it is to make a big church feel small.” Bill writes a popular small group blog and authored a book entitled Simple Small Groups: A User-Friendly Guide for Small Group Leaders.