Let me paint a picture for you. Your group is ready to add a new person or couple. You’re excited for some new faces, some new stories, some new perspectives.
But one question hangs over your next move. How do you know who will fit into your small group? Will they push your group to the next level? Or will the new folks unravel everything that you’ve worked hard to build?
It’s an exciting and stressful thing. There are a number of questions to approach the decision-making process of welcoming new participants. Here are a few that come to mind:
Should your decision be based on:
● Similar hobbies?
● Favorite sports team?
● Parenting styles?
● Theological views?
● Worship-style preference?
● Preferred Bible translation?
● Ability to grill a mean burger?
● All of the above?
There really isn’t just one right way. All may be important if the items listed above have a place in the DNA of your small group. Only a few may truly matter. But the ones that do—they’re too large to overlook.
So talk about it. Ask your group members what aspects of your covenant are non-negotiable? What element(s) of group life are the most life-giving? Your answers to those questions should determine the likelihood of a potential fit, or a potential struggle, for your new members.
New members don’t have to look like you, think like you, or vote like you—but they should hold the same values and priorities that your group does.