7 Ways to Suffocate Your Small HBS Group

7 Ways to Suffocate Your Small HBS Group
Derek Olson

Are you a new small group leader or host? Has your new group already launched and started rolling? Hopefully by now your group has gathered a few times, experienced genuine community and everyone is excited for the future! However, when it comes to leading a small group, there is something important you must know: Many start fast, few finish strong. In the end, your small group’s success will rise or fall on your leadership! It does not necessarily matter how big your group starts or how great your curriculum may be, what matters most is that you are breathing life into your small group and not suffocating the life out of it by doing the following…

1. Don’t Pray
Since praying for your small group family is one of the most important and powerful things you can do as the leader, make sure that you don’t pray! Instead, just hope that all of the issues and challenges your friends & church family are facing will fix themselves. It’s easier to just say “I’m praying for you,” and not actually take the time to do so.

2. Communicate Poorly
Effective small group leaders communicate in advance with their group members through email, phone and social media to answer the following questions: Where are we meeting? What time are we meeting? Is childcare available? What do we bring for food? Therefore, communicate poorly by not giving any clear direction or information. Just assume that everyone will figure it out.

3. Create a Cold Atmosphere
Because vibrant small groups grow in clean, warm and inviting atmospheres, make sure that yours is the opposite! For example, do not vacuum, clean or de-clutter your house! Don’t dim the lights or have worship music playing in the background to set the mood! And to make things really uninviting, allow for distractions like the TV blaring, the phones ringing and the animals running!

4. Hide the Food
Being that food is a staple of successful small groups going all the way back to the early church in Acts chapter two, as well as the Gospels where Jesus was breaking bread with his small group of twelve disciples, make sure you hide the food! Do not ask members to bring food, don’t set out any food and certainly do not give anyone refrigerator rights to eat your food!!!

5. Come Without a Plan
Since time is limited, wise small group leaders come with a plan to answer the following questions: When do we eat? When do we start the Bible study? What is the Bible study? What specific questions will generate discussion? What is our prayer focus? When do we end? Therefore, don’t have a plan! Instead, let the clock tick away and let everyone feel the awkwardness of wondering what’s going to happen next!

6. Lead Without Passion
Because passion is contagious, because attitude is everything and because your faith and expectation as the leader will set the bar for everyone else, don’t show any passion whatsoever! Instead, do your best to become distracted, act bored, speak in a monotone voice and treat the gathering like it’s just one more thing that you have to do!

7. Dominate the Discussion
Since great small group leaders know how to facilitate discussion and create an interactive environment where everyone has a chance to share, make sure this does not happen! Instead, try to talk the entire time and don’t let anyone get a word in edgewise! If someone should dare try to say something, talk right over them!

So, if instead of suffocating your small group, you desire to breathe life into it and see it grow spiritually and numerically, please do the opposite of each point above!

7 Ways to Suffocate Your Small Group

Derek Olson is the Small Groups Pastor at Fairbanks First Assembly & a blogger at SmallGroupSense.com.

The above article, “7 Ways To Suffocate Your Small Group” was written by Derek Olson. The article was excerpted from www. smallgroupchurches.com web site.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”