Building Trust Have you ever heard the phrase, “People will never care how much you know until they know how much you care”? This statement is so true. In the small group setting, facilitators must show people that they care by going out of their way to make each group member feel welcome and wanted. This will set the foundation for building trust.

During the initial phase, the group facilitator’s task is to develop an atmosphere of acceptance and love. In all of the ice-breaker exercises, the facilitator should share first so that the group members can feel more at ease. Group members should be encouraged to share within their own comfort level. Participants will need help in seeing each group session as a part of the whole group life. They should be encouraged to be patient in their expectations. Although the entire group life involves trust building, the first three to four sessions will focus on trust.

Building trust can prepare the soil for sharing and healing. Group participants will be building trust in the group and in the leaders. Since group members may not know what to expect, they will be checking the integrity of the group experience. They will usually initially discuss surface issues versus real needs. It is the facilitator’s responsibility to make sure that the group remains a safe place for everyone. We recommend that groups are closed after the third session. New people introduced after the third session will extend the amount of time that it will take to build trust.

Confidiential Another issue to consider is confidentiality because most of the group members will have concerns regarding this. Nothing will harden that ground quicker than breaking confidentiality. That is why there must be clarity in setting the ground rules of group sessions. Every group member must know that what is shared in the group stays in the group. Once group members begin to see that information shared in the group will not be broadcasted to others, they will begin to take risks in sharing.

If confidentiality is broken, then it is the facilitator’s job to confront the individual and dismiss them from the group if necessary. There have been many facilitators who have asked the entire group to make the decision of whether to let the person who broke the trust stay in the group or not.

Build trust and watch the Word of God and the Spirit of God bring health, wholeness and freedom in Christ.

Next time, we will look at the next stage of the small group life. Mutuality will continue the process of building trust in the small group.

Excerpts from Understanding the Times and Knowing What To Do. Understanding the Times and Knowing What To Do

Today's Living Free News

  • Living Free Outcomes Results

    Please click below for Living Free Outcomes Research:

    The data confirms the effectiveness of Living Free because of what God is doing through His Word, His Spirit and His people. The data reflects that no matter the location or facilitator, lives are being transformed and families restored by God through many local Living Free and Living Free Community ministries. We give God all the glory!


    For the newest results, 2016, click here

    Click here to see the 2013 results

    For the 2012 results, click here

    For the 2011 results, click here

  • Lead Pastor of Megachurch Endorses Living Free

    Click here to listen in on Lead Pastor John Lindell of James River Assembly in Ozark, Missouri sharing the reason why the Living Free discipleship program works.

    To hear the full message, go to and click on the "Messages and Resources" menu and find the message titled "Faith and Freedom."

  • Testimony from Rwanda

    God does heal the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Read the following testimony we received today regarding today's Living Free Every Day devotion provided by Living Free ministries.

    "Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Thank you so much for the message of forgiveness. Jesus Christ recommend us to forgive if we want to be forgiven. For us Rwandans, we are experiencing forgiveness and now we are free from the bondage of unforgiveness. When you forgive, even physically, you are released. I am telling you this because I have forgiven those who killed my parents and relatives. But, ask to be led by the Holy Spirit who will enable you to forgive those who sin against you."


    Jean de Dieu

    Rwanda- Central Africa

    Click here if you would like to subscribe to the Living Free Every Day devotions and start receiving them every weekday in your email inbox.

  • May 2013 Message from Living Free President

    Please read an important message from Dan Strickland, President of Living Free by clicking here.  
  • Upcoming Training Opportunities

    Interested in learning more about Living Free Ministries and how God can use you to impact your community? Check out upcoming training opportunities by clicking here.