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

Setting a healthy relationship environment is essential to get a small group off the ground. Here are some tips on how to start well.

Key Points:

  • Set the tone by welcoming. Be friendly. Share food. Before the group even starts, be prepared to ask questions individually that draw people out: where are you from, what do you like to do, etc.
  • Expect some awkwardness at first. People are naturally a bit cautious when a group is getting started. Give people permission to feel that way, knowing it will get better.
  • Don’t be weird. Don’t do things that will make people feel awkward, like asking people to share private things, or to touch each other, or to do some strange group exercise.
  • Establish group ground rules in the first few weeks. A few ground rules help people understand how group members should treat each other, including things like confidentiality, listening to each other, and accepting each other non-judgmentally.

Quote This:

The relationship tone is so important to establish from the start.

See Also: Series for Small Groups

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Brainstorm some questions you could ask to help a person feel welcome when they walk in the door the first time.
  3. Why do people feel awkward when first attending a new group? What can you do to alleviate that feeling?
  4. What are some things that might seem normal to an old-timer but weird to a newcomer?
  5. How do group ground rules help establish the right kind of relationship environment?
  6. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.