Floyd Godfrey, PhD


Group Cohesion Dynamics – Powerful Small Groups in Teen Ministry

By Floyd Godfrey

*To watch my presentation on this topic: YouTube.


Group cohesion is the lifeblood of effective small groups in Christian teen ministries. It fosters a sense of belonging, encourages mutual support, and facilitates spiritual growth. The biblical foundation for this concept is vividly illustrated in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, which highlights the benefits of companionship and the strength found in unity. This passage serves as a cornerstone for our discussion on building strong bonds within small groups.

The Importance of Respect in Fostering Cohesion

Respect is the foundation upon which group cohesion is built. It involves recognizing and valuing each member's inherent worth as a creation of God. In the context of a Christian community, respect translates into actions that affirm one another's value, encourage accountability, and promote a culture of mutual support. Sharing stories of respect and accountability within the group can serve as powerful examples to inspire and reinforce these values.

Strategies for Enhancing Group Cohesion

  1. Building Accountability Partnerships: Encourage students to form accountability partnerships within the group. These partnerships provide a platform for mutual check-ins, prayer, and support throughout the week, reinforcing the bonds formed during group meetings.
  2. Utilizing Icebreakers and Team-Building Activities: Icebreakers and team-building exercises are essential tools for breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of unity. They can help members get to know each other on a deeper level, build trust, and create a more cohesive group environment.
  3. Regular Check-Ins: Make it a practice to check in with group members regularly. This can be done during meetings or through other communication channels. The goal is to express genuine interest and concern for each member's well-being, both spiritually and emotionally.
  4. Encouraging Mutual Support: Motivate students to check in with each other outside of the group setting. This practice reinforces the idea that group cohesion extends beyond the confines of scheduled meetings, permeating into daily life.
  5. Balancing Structure and Flexibility: While having a structured approach to group meetings is important, it's equally crucial to remain flexible. Be open to adjusting the format or content of meetings based on the needs and feedback of group members.
  6. Seeking Continuous Improvement: Actively seek feedback from group members on how to improve the group experience. This demonstrates a commitment to their growth and satisfaction, fostering a stronger sense of belonging and cohesion.


Creating a cohesive small group environment is crucial for the spiritual and emotional growth of Christian teens. By implementing these strategies, pastors and volunteers can cultivate a community that embodies the principles of mutual respect, support, and accountability. Let us remember that "a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and strive to weave these threads of cohesion into the fabric of our small groups. Together, we can create a nurturing environment that enables our teens to grow in their faith and relationships.

Floyd Godfrey has led various teen groups within different churches and denominations over the past 30 years. He worked as a licensed counselor for 23 years and provided supervision and training for other counselors as they learned to develop adolescent intervention and programming. You can read more about Floyd Godfrey at www.FloydGodfrey.com.

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