In his book No Perfect People Allowed, John Burke describes an atmosphere for small groups that resembles a healthy family dynamic. This dynamic is how Christ responded to people and is how we should respond to those in our care as well.
I hope this encourages small group leaders to make this dynamic true of your small group...
1. Giving Value-Students need to know they matter, that we love them, and we won't give up on them even when they fail.
2. Enjoying Life Together-Students need to spend time laughing together, playing together, taking trips together, and just being together.
3. Encouraging Development-Students need us to celebrating their gifts and encouraging them to develop those gifts for the glory of God.
4. Bearing Burdens-Students need to know that there are people who actually care about the junk in their lives. They need to know they are not alone on this journey of faith. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.-Galatians 6:2.
5. Sharing Joys and Sorrows-Students need us to mourn with them during the valleys as well as rejoice with them on the mountian tops.