7 Character Traits of a Spiritually Formative Small Group

What makes a group discussion a spiritually-formative discussion?

I don't have a definitive list, but here are a couple thoughts I had that might be a starting point:

  • dedication to finding the best possible representation of God's truth
  • communal sensitivity to the moving of the Spirit
  • humility to avoid authoritative posturing and proclamations
  • acceptance of Scriptural authority...being mindful of appropriate interpretation
  • openness to new ideas and new paradigms
  • desire to be corrected and re-formed
  • ability to live with tension (mentally, socially, spiritually, etc.)

I think most small group leaders want their groups to be spiritually-formative. However, sometimes that is difficult to achieve because formation means CHANGE and change is DIFFICULT. However, if the culture of the group is designed for change, it can perhaps be easier. I think the above thoughts are an indicator that groups need to be really open to change in many ways if they are going to be formative.

A group culture that stifles personal change, will ultimately become a group that is little more than a social club. Of course there is nothing wrong with a social club, but don't deceive yourself that your social club is somehow the church gathered and is somehow contributing to your spiritual growth.