Will Your New Small Group Survive Past Valentine's Day?

How did Jesus put together His curious collection of disciples? Did chemistry play a role in choosing Matthew and not some other tax collector? Was it important to have a Thomas as a part of the 12 to balance out Peter? Unfortunately, none of the Gospels capture Jesus speaking on chemistry.

Yet the more I work with small groups, the more I’ve come to believe this: chemistry matters. It especially matters at the beginning of groups. Even if a group has a stellar leader or two but the rest of the group doesn’t know each other and doesn’t naturally click with one another, the group will likely struggle.


How did Jesus put together His curious collection of disciples? Did chemistry play a role in choosing Matthew and not some other tax collector? Was it important to have a Thomas as a part of the 12 to balance out Peter? Unfortunately, none of the Gospels capture Jesus speaking on chemistry.

Yet the more I work with small groups, the more I’ve come to believe this: chemistry matters. It especially matters at the beginning of groups. Even if a group has a stellar leader or two but the rest of the group doesn’t know each other and doesn’t naturally click with one another, the group will likely struggle.

Chemistry is certainly not everything, but to honor its powers we do two things at Warehouse 242. One, we encourage our new small groups leaders to bring around them four to six people they connect with—people who share a common vision for community, spiritual growth and service, and … with whom they want to know more. They get together and pray and dream and discuss what they desire out of a group before the group officially launches. This is in no way to create a clique but it serves to create a sense of cohesion that new people can be welcomed into. The hope is that the chemistry of the group becomes contagious, making the group more hospitable.

Another way we honor the reality of chemistry is to acknowledge its effect aloud … especially to people looking for groups. Every group has its own ethos and vibe, so we welcome people to visit a couple of groups before they decide on the one to join. We let them know that they may visit a great group of people, but feel like they simply don’t fit and that’s alright. However, once a person decides on a group we ask them to strongly engage and consistently attend.

Do you think chemistry matters? Why or why not?

How do you describe chemistry?

How are you promoting positive chemistry in your new groups?

I’d love to hear. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Oh, and for the topic of chemistry in the dating world … I’ve got nothing … except the realization that chemistry is not destiny.

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