SMALL GROUPS & What To Say to Someone Turned-off by Small Groups

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/9/15.

Have you met someone that was turned-off to the idea of small groups in a church?  I certainly have.  A student once shared about his failed attempt to talk to someone about small groups, saying:

“I talked with someone a couple days ago. Mentioned small groups. She got fairly worked up. She was not interested in all that ‘social engineering.’ She felt that all that the small group could accomplish could be accomplished quite well in church and amongst her chosen relationships. My attempts at defending the concept did not accomplish much (as far as I could tell). This person, whether she NEEDS a small group or not, will not be found in a small group. Your brother, _____.”

Here is my reply.

Hello ____student_name____;

Thanks for sharing. This is an all too common reaction that we often get when we unknowingly use loaded language. Loaded language means that this lady probably already has a negative view of small groups (she probably saw some sort of program called “small groups” and did not realize that there are many types of small groups and many types of small group ministries).

Thus, in hindsight you probably would want to talk with her about her friendships and how small gatherings of her friends have helped her.

Then if you ascertain she has a small group outside of the church, tell her that is great 🙂  We want everyone to have a small group of friends. But we also hope that this group can lead them closer to Christ.  If she has that, encourage that.  But, if she doesn’t have such a group, then graciously and tactfully guide her toward finding that type of environment.

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