12 Simple Small Group Guidelines You Should Be Using

Click here to go to free download of these guidelines!


12 Simple Small Group Guidelines You Should Be Using

It is vitally important to the health a small group that the small group leader lays a foundation by setting some guidelines for group time. Having some guidelines set up will give the people in the group some boundaries to operate within. It also helps in creating an environment that is safe for transparency, vulnerability, sharing and growing closer in relationship with each other and with God. Setting some basic small group guidelines for how you will honor one another in our group discussions is important.

Small Group Guidelines…

  • …give boundaries for people to operate within.
  • …help with the flow and pace of the discussions.
  • …help us value one another.
  • …help people to be more comfortable sharing deep and meaningful things.


The following list of small group guidelines is what Real Life Ministries puts in place in their home groups.



We will strive to create an environment where everyone can be real, open, and honest with their struggles and victories.



What is said in the group stays in the group.



Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond, or what you are going to say next.



Allow a pause in conversation after someone shares. Give the person sharing the chance to finish and the group the opportunity to consider what was just shared before responding.



It is important to allow silence in the group as it provides an opportunity for someone to share and for members in the group to process the topic or question being considered.



Be considerate of others as they are sharing. No side conversations.



We are not here to fix each other. Jesus does that part. Give encouragement; speak truth, and point to Jesus. Don’t try to solve or fix each other.



When people are sharing something deeply personal, there can be a tendency to try to make them feel better about themselves or the situation by providing immediate condolences. This will often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the temptation to rescue people.



Be sensitive about the amount of time you share.



Be self-aware of how you are personally effecting the environment through your words, actions and non-verbal communication.



It’s easy to talk about the issues of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “them”, “the church”, “us”, “we”, etc.



We will commit to resolve conflict biblically. When conflict or sin issues between group members arise, we want to make sure that we are honoring God and each other in the way we deal with these issues.

The following are just a few key Scriptures in this regard (there are many others).

  • If someone sins against you (Matthew 18:15-20)
  • Restoring someone in sin (Galatians 6:1-5)
  • Forgive a sinner (Colossians 3:12-13)
  • Reconciling differences (Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 7:1-5)


Click here to go to free download of these guidelines!