How To Create Healthier Small Groups Discussions

I used to obsess about small group curriculum.  I was on the search for the content that would change lives and grow the church.  The problem is that I was only looking for a piece of the solution.  When it comes to small groups it’s not just what you teach, it’s also how you teach it.

If you want your small group leaders to be successful you need to look at them as leaders who build relationships.  When you turn the focus from content to relationships you:

  • Build trust between teens and students.
  • Create vulnerability to open up to hard Truth.
  • Show a love that accepts them for where they are in life.
  • Enable opportunities for teens to be challenged.

Relationships in small groups are key and to help your leaders facilitate and grow them you need to:


Leading a small group is a journey.  Even if the commitment is just for one year they’ll need the vision to endure it.  The vision reminds them that they are planting seeds.  The vision reminds them that the hard work is worth it.


Starting a conversation from nothing isn’t always easy.  You need to make sure your leaders know how to use the content, facilitate a conversation and keeping people on point.  When you have those tools you give them confidence to lead.


When you are asking people to open up and go deeper you are allowing for some difficult conversations to emerge (i.e. Hurting teens).  This can be jarring for a leader but they need to be ready.

Prepare them by acknowledging that life happens.  Reassure them that it’s good if a teen opens up.  And then make sure they receive training to tackle these difficult situations.


Jumping into small group leading on your own is a challenge.  Partner up your leaders with men and women who are experienced or naturally talented.  This will bring accountability and a model to follow.


Small group leading can be challenging.  When a leaders challenged it can be easy for them to go into isolation.  Find time as a leader to check-in, share life and get to know them.  You’ll be able to identify those times they struggle and help them navigate through it.

The better your leaders are at building relationships the more impact you’ll have on a teen’s life.  It takes time, but the more you pour into them, the more they pour into the next generation.

Question:  How are you equipping the small group leaders in your church?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.