Leading a small group offers a number of challenges – after all, you need to keep people engaged and interested in attending week after week. How do you get people to attend? And what do you do when conflict arises in your small group? Luckily, we have a few tips to help you as a small group leader.
How do I get people to attend?
In order to have small group, you obviously have to get people to come to small group.
But how? Keep it manageable and make sure people know the expectation. For example, let them know that you are going to meet for seven weeks to cover the material. This gives people a timeline, so they don’t feel committed for eternity.
Secondly, ALWAYS have food. There’s something magic that happens when you sit down together to have a meal. The awkwardness can fall off even in a simple moment of passing the salt. Try it.
Do I really need an ice breaker?
Sorry, but yes, yes you do. Ice breakers takes people’s guard down and releases the pressure to have a super deep conversation right off the bat. Remember the small group is meant to build relationships – let’s not take ourselves too seriously!
We’ll get you started with a few ideas in this video… as you can see, sometimes the best way to get a laugh, find connections or get to know someone can be by their music taste. Ask the group to go around and share a song title from their latest playlist!
Do you have a Chatty Cathy?
What do you do when a small group member just won’t stop talking?
Every group has had one of these people. To prevent a conversation hog, be intentional to break up into smaller groups and have people ask each other questions. If that doesn’t help, you should have to have a conversation with that chatty someone. Tell them you value all they have to say, but it sometimes makes other people shy away from contributing to the conversation. If that doesn’t work? Well, it’s time to break out the classic talking stick. You’re never too old for the talking stick.
How do you resolve conflict?
This is actually something that should be brought up before it happens. Even the first time a small group gets together, they should make a covenant of how they’ll handle disagreement, offense, and uncomfortable tension. After all, conlifct happens. We’re not all the same people and we won’t agree on everything. Setting the expectation that there may be conflict will remove the shock when there is some. Find out more in this video.
What is the greatest piece of advice ever for a small group leader?
Last but certainly not least… Relax.
So often small group can have so many high expectations. We claim it’s going to be the best small group ever, with the best friends ever, who become family and are going to have the deepest discussions. Okay. Yeah, maybe that’ll happen. But, it certainly won’t if you put all the weight of the group on yourself. Check out this video for more!
Even if people feel a little more connected to their church or they learned ONE thing – that is a WIN! Relax and enjoy the immense value of small group!
Looking for more ways to create a small group environment where people can have authentic conversations around difficult topics? Learn more about our resource, Dialogues On!