Opening up your group to new people can feel scary, but it takes a lot of courage to join a new group. The new person is probably more nervous than you are! Here are a few tips for a smooth transition:
- Respond to Inquiry: If a new person emails you, make sure to get back to them as soon as possible and tell them you’d love to have them visit.
- Give Introductions: Make sure you introduce everyone in the group to them, including yourself! It’s most helpful if you do this multiple times. Learning everyone’s name can be daunting!
- Interest, Not Pressure: Display interest in their life, but also allow them to enjoy the group time without feeling interrogated or pressured that they have to return and make this “their group.” There may be a number of reasons why that commitment might not work for them. Don’t worry about the results, just focus on loving them.
- Make It Feel Safe…Especially if They are Different: If you have a group of mostly married couples, take extra effort to make sure a single person feels at home and valued. Be sensitive and accommodating to those who might be outside the majority dynamic (age, ethnicity, income, or personality). Use this new relationship as an opportunity to learn.
- Get Spiritual: New folks don’t have to volunteer sensitive personal issues right away, but make sure that you display to them that Small Group is a place where vulnerability, prayer, and care are the norm.