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Growing Closer to Each Other; Growing More Like Christ

Picture Source: I Love Charts

How close a person stands to you should be somewhat dependent on how well that person knows you.

You wouldn't expect a complete stranger to be standing nose-to-nose with you (unless you are at Disney World on a crowded monorail). Conversely, you might wonder if something is amiss if your spouse is never willing to stand within ten feet of you.

We can learn alot of relationships by simply observing the average amount of space between two people (assuming personal hygiene isn't an issue).

Similar principles apply in small groups. Not every small group activity is appropriate for every small group. It may not be a good idea to ask people to confess their deepest sin in a group that has been together for three weeks (confession is one of those activities that requires a GREAT amount of trust). At the same time, you might wonder about a group that has been together for four years but is still unwilling to share prayer requests with each other.

As the relationships within a group deepen, the degree of intimacy in the group's activity should increase. Conversations should move from being peripheral to being personal. Bible study should move from friendly banter to engaged and passionate discussion. Prayer time should shift from a list of "unspoken" requests to sharing the burdens of the soul.

As a leader, be careful not to push intimacy too quickly or to expect deep relationships instantly. This kind of group ethos can't be manufactured.  However, don't be content to keep your group at arm's length either. A group that stagnates relationally will also stagnate spiritually.

As Jesus said in John 13, our love for one another is an indicator of our love for Him. Groups that are growing in love will also be growing in grace.


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Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
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20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.

21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…