4 Ways to Connect More Deeply with Your Small Group
It’s the first meeting of the year with your small group, and attendance is at its highest. A mix of new members and current members trickle into the room. Just like you, they’re excited to be part of your small group. Yet, as the year progresses and more meetings pass by, there are fewer people attending and you’re left scratching your head and wondering: where did everyone go?
It’s easy to send out notifications about upcoming meetings and hope people will come participate. It’s a little more complicated to consistently maintain a relationship with each one of your members. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path:
1. Ice Breakers Aren’t Just For the First Meeting
Ice breakers are an amazing and effective way to introduce people to each other during the first meeting. They help everyone gain a little more understanding of the people around them, and allow members to feel more comfortable around one another. But sometimes, we forget that creating a group bond takes more than knowing what your friends prefer as a topping on their froyo.
Consider starting every meeting with an ice breaker session, and sprinkle in some deeper questions (we’ve listed a few below). It’ll help everyone start off the meeting in a good mood by sharing some laughs, and over time, rather than seeing fellow members as strangers, everyone will know a little bit more about each other.
- What’s one accomplishment that you’re extremely proud of?
- What’s your favorite way to wind down and relax after a long week?
- Who do you most look up to?
2. Small Group Meetings Don’t Have to Feel like Meetings
Look, we get it. There’s a lot of items on the list your groups needs to discuss, but it can get monotonous and not everyone likes for things to feel formal. Sometimes, you just need to mix it up a bit so your members can look forward to attending the next meeting.
According to a study done in the 1930s, people develop a special fondness for other people, objects, and statements if they were introduced while eating a meal. Every other week, plan a ‘BBQ Night’ or ‘Potluck & Board Game Event’ right after the meeting. Design these meetings to be productive, yet fun for your members.
3. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Feedback
When it comes to asking others for feedback, we tend to hold our breath and brace ourselves in case they say something negative. No one wants to hear from others that they’re doing a bad job. But without this feedback, we would never be able to learn and grow from our mistakes.
Always stay open minded about receiving thoughtful feedback from your small group members. In fact, encourage it as much as you can! Keep a suggestion box visible where they can put their comments, or open up the room for a discussion about what they’d like to see improve in the future. Let them know you want to hear their suggestions to improve the small group – because, at the end of the day, you’re all in this together.
4. Provide Tangible Memories to Look Back On
In a day and age where we’ve become increasingly reliant on our smart devices, it’s almost impossible not have the urge to take a picture of something because we want to member this moment months or years from now. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to capture every moment, because down the road, it’ll be wonderful to bond with others who share that memory.
Encourage your members to share these stories with one another and capture these events on camera. With Co.tribute, you can aggregate every single one of these memories into one platform where they can be easily accessible and organized for your members to see. To discover more about Co.tribute and get ideas for memorable small group events, download our free Church Playbook here.