Pete Wilson kicked off our newest semester of groups yesterday at Cross Point with a message about the healing that comes from true confession and community. In it, he said something that has stuck with me:

“Authenticity” is a cultural buzz word right now. But it seems that while authenticity is the cry of all, it is the game of few.  

We have created a culture in our churches and groups where being real is trumped by being liked. We are afraid that if we open up and show people our real stuff, they will reject us for who we are.  The problem is, if we continue this pattern – the sin, the habits, the character defects – will just continue to gain hold over our lives.

We have to allow true repentance and confession to exist within the safety of community. Here are a few things that we can do in groups to foster a healthy environment for authenticity:

  • Start groups with a convenant.

  • Create opportunities within the group for people to tell their story.

  • If you have a couples group, take time in your meeting time to split into men and women.

  • Encourage group members to spend time one-on-one outside of group with someone that they can trust as a mentor.

  • Make sure that the group leader has someone that is caring for them.

  • Promote grace and discourage judgement at all times.

  • Be ok with veering off of the study occasionally for a group member that is hurting.

  • Be the one to go first.


About Chris Surratt

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over twenty-three years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also the Discipleship and Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. Chris's first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson.

Posted on January 28, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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