11 things to help “problem proof” your small group


95% of the problems we see in small groups are because of failed expectations or different agendas among members of the group. Your group can prevent these issues with these eleven things. And they’re all in one simple document.

We call them the small group guidelines. It’s an agreement among everyone in your group that spells out what your group is about so everyone knows what to expect.

Here’s how you use it.

If your group isn’t already using this, download and make a copy for everyone and pass it out at your next meeting. Then explain that it’s important for everyone to agree in order for the group to work well and for there not to be any hurt feelings.

During your meeting, go through the Guidelines document and read each line with its explanation. Gently explain that the numbered “values” are really non-negotiable, they’re the expectations of every small group. Then finish with the fill-in items like refreshments, times, place, childcare and other blanks. If you don’t know the answer, start with something and agree that you’ll change it when it needs to.

Every time a new person joins your group, email your group guidelines to them before the first meeting. You'll find that your group has successfully headed off most problems before they could get started.