Six expectations that will drive clarity and healthier group experiences for your men’s group.

After two decades of small group leadership, I can say without a doubt that a single meeting early on with your men on the topics of group expectations creates clarity and healthier group experiences. And while a moment like this will feel a little authoritative for about 10-minutes, this could be the most valuable 10-minutes for your group in the coming months.

TIP: 10-minutes will save you tons of headaches.

The following six expectations have been a list I have built over many years of watching groups function. Of course, you could build your own, or copy mine, but many of these I learned through the fire of common group issues I faced. Today they are a list that I read to all the men early on in a small group meeting. I do this long before I have an issue this way no man is singled out during or after some disruptive event.

TIP: Develop rules before the issues!

I have found that reading this helping the men police themselves and it welcomes them to contribute toward building a healthy group culture.

Discussion Rule: MANAGE YOUR CONVERSATION

  • Everyone participates, no individual should dominate the conversation.
  • When you are silent you are agreeing, so speak up if you have something to add.
  • Listen completely to understand the lesson and others’ perspectives.
  • Don’t interrupt other men, but rather let them complete their thoughts.
  • When you disagree, do so respectfully, and consider using statements like, “I respectfully disagree.”
  • Speak to the topic at hand, by guiding your mind and words.

Personal Rule: MANAGE YOURSELF

  • Expect challenge and tension, and it’s okay if someone disagrees with you.
  • Show up and be present by monitoring how you use electronic devices.
  • Communicate to the group when you are unable to attend.
  • Be willing to be held accountable and admit when you are wrong.
  • Grow in transparency and authenticity.

Confidentiality Rule: MANAGE CONFIDENTIALITY

  • What is shared in the group stays in the group, but feel free to share your positive feelings about the group outside of the group.
  • Your wife needs to know about you, not other members, so share your faults not others, but never a confidential statement with another man.

Focus Rule: MANAGE TIMELINESS

  • Respect the agenda by staying on topic and not digressing.
  • Stay engaged by writing down stray thoughts or questions that could take the group down a different direction than the focus for the time.
  • Be present and ready to start and end on time.

Spirituality Rule: MANAGE YOUR DISCIPLINE

  • Read your Bible regularly.
  • Pray daily.
  • Take responsibility for your spiritual health and growth.

Action Rule: APPLY WHAT YOU LEARN

  • Establish an action item for yourself each week.
  • Take notes your way, and practice this as a pattern.
  • Participate in the discussion.

If you are looking for material for your men’s group or are looking for help with your small group leadership, reach out to us a www.beresolute.org or send us an email at info@beresolute.org.

Vince Miller is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to speak to men’s audiences and has a deep passion for mentorship and God’s Word. He has authored ten books and small group content for men. He is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Reach out to him today if you need a men’s speaker or content for your men’s small groups.

EMAIL VINCE MILLER