Keys to a Good Small Group Environment

Keys to Creating a Good Environment

With a little planning you can provide the right sort of atmosphere.


Meet in an informal and accessible location. Often a great place to meet is in the room of a group member as long as it’s OK with their roommates. Places such as a church may intimidate new group members. Likewise, classrooms may be familiar and accessible, but they hinder communication and warmth.


Set your meeting time so that all members are able to attend. Choose a time when everyone will be sharp and awake. Make sure no one has an ongoing schedule conflict. Friday afternoons and late nights are better for blowing off steam or sleeping rather than for a small group meeting.


Arrange the seating so everyone can easily see one another. Sitting in a circle at the same level will help. Also be aware of the distance separating each member. Try to sit close enough so each person has eye contact and can hear one another easily, but not so close people feel uncomfortable or their personal space is being invaded.


Meet in a location where you can control distractions and interruptions as much as possible. Make a habit of people not taking phone calls during the study. Put a sign on the door to prevent people from knocking.


Provide refreshments (especially in the first few weeks) to help warm up the group and give people something to do at the beginning of the meeting. People often interact better when there is food. You’ll discover it is worth the investment. With time, different groups members will probably help with this.


Make sure you have good lighting to create a warm feeling. No one should have to look into the sun or toward a bright window. Likewise, avoid dark, catacomb type rooms. You are developing fellowship, not watching a film.


Bibles can be downloaded to phones and tablets. You will do your friends a service helping them with this. Because there might be multiple versions of the Bible available you might want to direct them to the version that most people in the study will use.