Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The "Don'ts" of Small Groups

Been a little bit since I posted as I've been pretty busy the last few weeks.  I wanted to get on and at least post a little something.

I'm taking a Discipleship in Community class and we're talking a lot about small groups.  One of our assignments for this week involved reading a book by Cloud and Townsend on small groups.  For those of you unfamiliar with Cloud and Townsend, they are the authors of the book "Boundaries."

In the midst of reading this book as well as another book, we have had to answer a number of questions on a worksheet.  Among the questions was this, "You are the writers for David Letterman. Come up with your top 10 ways to kill group discussion."

I read my Top 10 list to my wife and she thought that I should post it here.  Feel free to comment if you have others to add to this, it certainly isn't exhaustive, but I did my best to be true and funny.

10. Insult people and tell them that their answers are stupid.
9. Let people think that you, the leader,  have it all together.
8. Use examples of hurts that people might have and say, "But I'm sure none of you guys are that screwed up!"
7. Let every response to a question that you are asked end with the word, "Duh!"
6. Continually compare your small group members in an unfavorable way to people that you "used to know."
5. Every time someone begins to get into deep sharing, cut them off and tell them, "Sorry, we're running out of time."
4. Create an environment of judging by encouraging members to scold and rebuke each other.
3. Put people on the spot by asking them personal and embarrassing questions that no one would want to answer in public.
2. Break the confidence of the people within your group...over and over again.
1. Make every discussion all about you, after all, you are the leader.
Let me know what you think!


  1. "Scold and Rebuke" - I would say that this isn't necessarily a good way to put it. Rebuking is good; it is a biblical trait. I would just say scold. Rebuke, when done it a biblical way will encourage others to see their sin, regardless of their selfish tendencies to bask in selfish pride, and individualism.

  2. What if the victim of #5 is also the perpetrator of #1?

  3. @Debb - then there are some additional issues to be addressed.