Whether you have a solid group dynamic or are still working on developing the right spirit, adding another people will change the atmosphere in ways you might not expect. Here are five things you should ask before a new person joins your small group.
1. Is our group too large, too small, or just right?
Group dynamics change with size. There are benefits and drawbacks to every size small group, many of which depend on the personalities of your members and your goals. If your group is already getting large and does not wish to split, adding another person is not a great idea. If your group is the perfect size for its purpose, one more member may change things. Even if your group is small and looking to grow, not every person is a good fit.
2. Is the new member ready to contribute?
A new member in need of discipleship can gain a lot from a small group. However, you should consider whether they also can contribute. You can determine this by having a discussion with them about their current walk with Christ and their goals for joining your small group. Make sure they know that your small group expects a commitment to attendance and participation.
3. Will a new member affect closeness?
People often share very personal information during a bible study group. This is a natural part of discipleship. If you add a new person that other members of the group do not know well, they may be reticent to share as much personal information. If this type of talk is a central part of your small group, it’s important to consider each new member carefully.
4. Is there a better small group for this person?
Most churches have several small groups. Yours may not be the right fit for this new member. If a prospective new member seems like a poor fit for your own group, do not simply reject them. This is no way to treat a brother or sister in Christ. Ask around in your faith community and find a small group that will be right for them, so they can enjoy discipleship and growth somewhere else.
5. Is this person meant to be part of our small group?
This question is the most important and can only be answered with prayer. Ask the group to prayerfully consider whether the prospective new member is the right choice. Sometimes God sends people who may seem like a poor fit who end up to be just what the small group needed to be complete. Pray about new members and discuss with the entire group. If there is not time during your meeting, you can start a discussion on an online platform such as StudyChurch.
Adding a new person is an opportunity for expanded growth and discipleship. However, it is a decision that will change your group and should be taken seriously.