You probably love your small group, but maybe sometimes you feel like it’s hard to connect with everyone? Maybe you feel like people aren’t as engaged. Or maybe it seems like people get distracted too easily. That’s a common thing that happens in the life of a small group. Here are some tips and ways to help your small group feel more connected.
1) Turn off Your Phone
This is probably the biggest distraction in a small group. Even a quick downward glance can create distance within your group. Groups members may feel like you aren’t listening or valuing what they say. Most of us are considerate enough to silence our phones, but Facebook notifications distract us. The best thing is to just turn your phone off during small group. You won’t be tempted and you can check your Instagram feed later tonight. By doing so, you are fully present with your group.
2) Share your Weaknesses
The best way to create connections is by sharing your hurts, habits and hang ups. When you share your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, others relate and feel close to you. It also makes them want to share their own struggles. But someone needs to start so that others feel comfortable to do so. The leader usually should model this but it isn’t always their responsibility every time. Prepare to open up about an issue that you may be going through. Sharing a weakness helps you heal and bond with your group.
3) Affirm each other
Our society is filled with negativity. Small group should be a place and time for people to feel encouraged and uplifted. Do people leave your group affirmed? Take some time to build that habit. You can have one person be on the “hot seat” where they receive the affirmation from everyone. You can do that at the start of a group and then do another person the next week. This sets a positive tone for the small group to build on.
4) Look into Eyes
The eyes are the windows of the soul. Looking into someone’s eyes communicates that they are the most important person at that moment. By locking eyes, you give them your full attention and share how valuable they are. When people are sharing or talking, look at their eyes. You are loving them and helping them feel like what they say matters. You are giving life and receiving their life when you look into their eyes.
5) Write a note to each other
Maybe it’s hard to verbally affirm someone, so try writing affirmations to someone. You can spend one small group writing affirmations to each other and then reading it together. You could also write thank you cards to other people in your community or members in your church. You can be creative and use this time to bless each other and the community.
6) Do a group hug
God created us to be people of touch. Hugs are the one of the best ways to show your love and connect with others. Take another step and do a group hug with your small group. This may be a good way to end your small group. It’s also a beautiful representation that you are one group and one body together.
7) Pray and lay hands on each other
Friends that pray together, stay together. You probably pray for each other in your group. What if you added the element of laying hands on each other while you prayed for one another. It’s a great way to do for someone’s birthday. You can also pray and lay hands for someone struggling or going through an issue. You add a human touch to your prayers to that they literally feel the prayer.
8) Ask questions to go deeper
Asking questions communicates interest and that you want to know more about the person. It communicates that you genuinely care and want to understand them. Encourage your group to ask open ended questions. You can ask questions like, “How does that make you feel,” “What are you struggling with,” or “Can you share more about that?” Your group will feel heard and known.
What is one thing that you can try in your group this week?0