In order for a small group to be authentic, it helps to remain aware of these 7 perspectives:

The Mysteries of God Found in the Bible
Even God has secrets (Deuteronomy 29:29). As we’ve grown up surrounded by empiricism, vast amounts of information, and the cognitive focus of the modern age, we have been led down a theological path that requires us to come to final conclusions about everything … assuming we’re smart enough. There is a place for proposition. There is also a place for awe and wonder. Allow the mysteries of life and faith to captivate.

That Life Is Messy
Life is a series of surprises—some good, some bad, and some downright debilitating. Ecclesiastes 3:4 just blows out of the water any proposition that summarizes life as formulaic and mundane. Small groups should acknowledge this without giving into it.

Personal Imperfections
Yes, you have imperfections. If you don’t think you do just ask your spouse. (I prefer to own up to it without asking my spouse.)

That God Is Always Present Even When He Feels Distant
God doesn’t always seem close to us. There are times His silence during our struggles is intended to help us face our deep desire for connection and intimacy with Him or to persevere with hope through those dry times so that He can bring unexpected joys to us and others through them. God’s presence can be manifested in authentic community.

Honor Others as Individuals Without Having to Agree with All They Do and Say
God created us as individuals, and no two of us are exactly alike physically, philosophically, or spiritually.

Confessing our Failures at the Right Time with the Right People
Fear of exposure makes the mere thought of confession seem intimidating. Many people are afraid to become vulnerable. In a small group, the confession of sin will be most possible if members naturally, by their own accord, confess to those specific people in the group they have come to trust.

Satan Is at Work in Our World

To most people, Satan is a fictional character instead of “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31) until Jesus returns to establish His eternal kingdom. Satan is an enemy who is on the attack, “looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He destroys friendships, family members, and belief systems. He kills hearts.