HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP
CLEAR COMMUNICATION OF YOUR SMALL GROUP’S BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT TO THE HEALTH OF THE GROUP.
Most people feel more comfortable when they understand the basic ground rules and expectations for the group. Discussing them when you start a new group and periodically revisiting them will help your group maintain a safe, healthy relational culture.
- Communicate Start and Stop Times and stick to them.
- Ensure people understand confidentiality (Proverbs 11:12-13).
- The collective group is not to be a counseling session. People want to be heard and not fixed. If people ask for suggestions, keep the responses Biblical.
- It’s OK to pass during a discussion question. Knowing how people process information and communicate is important. Remember some of us are extroverted while others are more introverted.
- Time out called by the leader when things get out of hand (rabbit trails, high emotions, disrespect). Leader has the authority to end the discussion. Communicate this in a light hearted way like... ‘We can all get distracted or too passionate about a given topic; if this happens I may signal for a time-out to refocus our discussion. It’s not a big deal, but I want us to get back on track’.
- The group will not debate or argue non-salvation issues that lead to division. Let’s remember that we unify in essential beliefs, we have diversity in non-essential beliefs and we show charity in all of our beliefs.
These boundaries are essential for a balanced, thoughtful group. As a leader, sharing these in a non-legalistic, light-hearted way will help your people respect and appreciate the need for them as we give grace and love one another.