empty chairThere are going to be those weeks when only a few small group members show up for the small group meeting. Maybe the H1N1 hits a household, a child’s ballgame happens to be rescheduled forcing group members to miss the meeting, a business traveler is out of town, or maybe some fanatical football fan calls in sick, the Bengals just might beat the Steelers. Group members start calling you an hour or so before the meeting. You anticipated 10 of your closest friends hanging out in your living room, but only four or so show up.

You may not realize it, but how a small group leader handles this situation can greatly enhance or detract from the leader’s level of influence. A few do’s and don’ts…

  • Don’t cancel the meeting.
  • Don’t apologize for the number of people who are in attendance.
  • Don’t speak negatively of those who aren’t there.
  • Don’t make statements that negatively impact the conversation like, “I sure wish John was here. He would really have some important input right now.” or “If Sue was here she could speak to this issue.” Etc…
  • Don’t allow the enemy to lead you to believe group members didn’t show up due to your leadership or because they don’t appreciate the group.
  • Don’t feel a obligation to fill the entire meeting time. If you finish early due to the fact that fewer people are involved in the conversation, that’s okay. Spend the rest of the time just enjoying one another’s company. This will pay off in the long run.
  • Do start on time (don’t wait to see if more people are going to show up).
  • Do go ahead with every aspect of the small group meeting.
  • Do give your whole heart to those who are in attendance. In fact, realize that the smaller number of attendees gives you the opportunity to connect with these group members at a much more intimate level.
  • Do pray for the needs of those who aren’t at the meeting. Be careful that you don’t pray that they’ll show up next week.

Consider a smaller than normal group meeting an opportunity to build deeper relationships and prove every individual is important to you.