Top 10 Signs Your Small Group Needs Improvement

10. After the hosts enjoys the snacks and before the study begins, your host turns out the lights and goes to bed.

9. The guest missionary invited to your group for a five-minute update from the field says, “God has laid it on my heart to share a detailed exposition from 1 Chronicles, chapters 1-9.”

8. Two members are screaming at each other over who’s going to open the meeting in prayer.

7. Everyone is in the kitchen divided into two groups chanting angrily at each other: “Regular!” “Decaff!” “Regular!” “Decaff!”

6. Before offering any answers, members Google the leader’s questions on their iPhone.

5. Each time the leader asks for input, someone responds, “What was the question?”

4. As prayer requests are shared, someone starts singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree.”

3. Group members ignore the leader’s plea “How ’bout we get started?” and head outside for a game of flag football.

2. The leader closes the evening in prayer, then opens their eyes to find everyone in the kitchen eating…again.

And, the number one sign your small group needs improvement is……

1. When the evening ends a fist-fight breaks out over whether to watch Leno or Letterman.

Special thanks to Wayne Loden and Len Woods for providing the framework for my examples at

If your small group is struggling, see my Best Practices for Small Groups.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Signs Your Small Group Needs Improvement”

  1. Yes, Louis. It is too close to reality, at least based upon my experiences over the years. While the humorous examples are extreme and are meant to show the lack of focus small groups can have, for every small group I’ve been involved in that has been solidly focused, there are at least 10 that have been severely mis-focused. A great deal of these problems have to do with leadership. Still one of the best resources—and I would say required reading—is Em Griffin’s Getting Together. It is hugely informed on group dynamics and outlines various leadership styles yet favors a laissez-faire approach.

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