Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more

It can be intimidating to attend a small group for the first time. Will your group make guests feel welcome or weird?

Key Points:

  • Remove distractions. Think in advance of things that will make your guests feel awkward.
  • Offer some refreshments. Food helps people relax.
  • Be friendly. Acknowledge a guest right away with a greeting. Make eye contact. Smile. Ask a few simple, non-threatening questions to break the ice.
  • Give them some space. In a new setting, people need time to check things out and get comfortable. Don’t be pushy.
  • Explain what’s going on. Every group has its normal ways of doing things. These seem obvious to the members, but don’t assume that a newcomer will know what comes next.
  • Don’t be weird. Some things that groups do make guests feel awkward. 
  • Think about how you would feel. Think about the kind of help you wish you had, as well as the things people did that were not helpful.
  • Invite people back. At the end of the meeting, make sure your guests know that you were glad to have them and that you would love to have them come back.

Quote This:

1 Peter 4:9 (ESV) Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

See Also: Discipleship Culture

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Talk about a time you went to a setting you hadn’t been to before (doctor’s visit, attorney, etc.) Were you anxious, and why?
  3. What have people done to make you feel welcome in a new situation?
  4. What have people done to make you feel unwelcome in a new situation?
  5. Why is it important to make a newcomer in your group feel welcome?
  6. If a guest doesn’t feel welcome, is that your responsibility or theirs? Explain.
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.