Leading a Small Group

How to Build Community in Your Small Group

Rick Hove



Relationships are the glue that hold small groups together. Creating an environment where people can deepen their relationship with one another is a big part of leading a healthy small group.

You can download or view this free chapter from the book “The Ultimate Roadtrip” by Rick Hove, which explains how to create an environment that cultivates trust and friendship, develops relationships and takes a look at Jesus, Paul and their “small groups.”

Here are five great tips from the chapter on how to develop community in your group:

During your group’s discussion time, do the following:

  1. Ask for input.
    • What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Does anyone else have any input?
  2. Be real with your group.
    • Laugh, share the things you struggle with as well as your victories and share your life and love for the Lord. Let the people in your group be your friends. You don’t have to spill your deepest, darkest secrets, but let them know you’re a real person who is in the process of becoming like Christ.
  3. Maintain confidentiality.
    • If someone shares something confidentially, honor their request and don’t share it outside of the group. Ask the rest of the group to do the same.
  4. Work through conflict.
    • Tension in a group discussion is inevitable. Agree to work through any disagreements together. You may have to act as a mediator to make sure all points of view are heard.
  5. Regularly plan group time for members to tell each other about their lives.
    • In the initial stages of a group, an icebreaker is a good way to let people share experiences from their lives.

Develop Relationships Outside of Your Group

Here are some ideas for activities you can do together with group members:

  • Go to an athletic event. 

  • Go shopping. 

  • Go to a movie.

  • Attend church. 

  • Play sports together and/or challenge another small group to join. 

  • Go to a lake, the mountains or to an amusement park. 

  • Go to dinner. 

  • Do an outreach together. 

  • Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or Big Sisters/Big Brothers as a group. 

  • Go on a road trip. 

  • Visit a group member’s hometown. 

  • Go on a scavenger hunt

  • Celebrate major life events in group members’ lives.

If you have some ideas for building community with your small group, community group or Bible study, share them in the comments below.

Adapted from Rick Hove, “The Ultimate Roadtrip: A Guide to Leading Small Groups” (Orlando: CruPress, 2010). 

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