By Trevor Lee
There are many ingredients that come together to create a deep and meaningful small-group experience. Without a doubt, two of these ingredients are trust and authenticity. When these are present, group members can open up about their struggles and victories in a way that allows others to walk with them toward spiritual growth. They can also ask difficult questions and share serious doubts without fear of judgment.
Conversely, when trust and authenticity are lacking, a small group is doomed to biblical small talk and pseudo-growth. While there are a number of factors that contribute to a group’s ability to be open and honest with each other, one of the most important is the modeling of the leader. Small-group leaders have an amazing amount of influence on the culture of the group. If the leader models trust and authenticity, group members are likely to follow suit.