Thursday, April 20

Small Group Covenants

I've been looking at some small group covenants today. My guess is that most small groups today do not covenant together ( even though the covenant is a very scriptural idea ). Covenenting is like setting the ground rules. It tells people up front that you are taking this group seriously and that the only way you will achieve biblical community is if everyone 'agrees' to adhere to the covenant. In a group without a covenant there is less accountability and less buy in/commitment to the other members of the group.

Google 'small group covenants' and you will get a smattering of resources that you could adapt to your situation. Usually a covenant will cover the logistics ( when, where, how often ), the disciplines ( attendance, safety, accountability, confidentiality, responsibility, etc ), and the purpose of the group. People sign the covenant and turn it in to the group leader. I think it would also be a good idea for each group member to receive a copy of the covenant they have signed.

What do you think about covenants? Do you use them? Should you?


Anonymous said...

I leave the idea of a covenant up to the leader. I find that a covenant is helpful but you have to have a leader that knows how to apply it without using it as a weapon with people.

Rob McDowell

David Drury said...

Thanks for bringing up this issue. I think covenants for small groups can be a good thing. I feel out the "expectations level" of the group leader to see if a covenant would be a good tool for them. As a rule of thumb, if the leader has a high expectation for orderliness and faithfulness of group attendees, then I ask them to use a covenant/committment that the group all agrees to. If the leader has low expectations that I'm still comfortable with, then I don't push a covenant form on them because I don't believe the HAVE to be present for biblical community to develop.


Barbara G said...

Maybe adding to what Rob said about applying it, maybe he or someone else reading this thread will make some suggestions along that line to help if someone were considering a covenant. And as David mentions, it certainly needs to be something the group all agree to at the beginning.