by Bob Whitesel, 3/5/15
I’ve found that often times small groups lack an accountability function and instead mutate into venues in which people “don’t want to hurt any feelings” (and true accountability does happen). But, there are questions that can be asked, formats that you can embrace and things you can do to encourage a deeper level of communication in small groups.
John Wesley faced such problems. Attached is an article I thought you might enjoy about the relational nature of his small groups: http://www.disciplewalk.com/files/Joel_Comiskey_Methodist.pdf
Wesley required followers to attend “class meetings” usually of 6-15 people, but he also encouraged for accountability the participation in “bands” which were usually under six people. They were more intimate, and thus could offer more accountability.
Below are the frank questions that he encouraged be asked at every band meeting (taken from Joel Comiskey, “Wesley’s Small Group Organization,” http://www.disciplewalk.com/files/Joel_Comiskey_Methodist.pdf cited above and extracted with permission from Joel Comiskey, History of the Cell Movement: A Ph.D. Tutorial Presented to Dr. Paul Pierson; the entire tutorial (including bibliographical resources for notes) is available at: http://www.joelcomiskeygroup.com/articles/tutorials/cellHistory-1.html
- What known sins have you committed since the last meeting?
- What temptations have you met with? How were you delivered?
- What have you thought, said, or done which may or may not be sin?