Many new believers and new attenders don’t sign up for a small group because they are afraid they will end up with people they consider strange. Deep down, hesitant members are asking themselves, If these people are all weirdoes, what will I do? How will I get out?! In the name of political correctness, we wish we could dismiss this fear completely, but all church leaders know that it’s a reality. Sometimes individuals sign up who make the group uncomfortable for everyone. With 7 or fewer members, there is a much greater risk that the group will be negatively affected by someone who makes things awkward. Similarly, new and prospective group members are also afraid that if the group is really small, they may not click with anyone at all.
You can eliminate such fears by allowing more people to sign up, where chances are better that everyone will be able to relate to and connect with at least a few people. And even if there is a “weirdo” in the group, his or her impact will be greatly lessened. The sheer number of other people will help buffer the distraction. Also, a larger group allows hesitant members to stay a little anonymous at first until they find their place and identify the people who they feel most comfortable connecting with. By taking the pressure off, you open the door for more people to be eager to get involved.
Searcy, N., & Thomas, K. (2010). Activate: an entirely new approach to small groups. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
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