Why Giving Advice Is Hurting Your Group

Have you ever had a group member open up and share a struggle or challenge they are facing, only to receive immediate advice from another group member?

Have you ever heard another group member respond with bad advice? 

Community Groups can be a great environment for people to experience care and connection, but they can also turn into a toxic environment that repels people away from instead of toward Christ.

One of the most common ways to create an unwelcoming environment is by giving advice in group. 

3 Reason's Why Giving Advice In Group Is A Bad Idea

  • Recipients feel judged instead of cared for.

  • Not all group members share good advice that is in line with the Bible.

  • It takes time away from other's having a chance to share.

Giving advice can be harmful, but at times may be necessary.

5 Times Giving Advice Is Appropriate

  • After listening.

Do you know the person's whole story? Might your input change if you knew more of their situation? 

"To answer before listening - that is folly and shame." - Proverbs 18:13

  • When people ask for it.

Unsolicited advice rarely convinces and often repels. 

Even when people ask for advice, they are often really asking to be heard. When people ask for advice, ask more questions and give less answers. You'll be in good company alongside of Jesus.

  • Outside of group.

If you have concerns you can't ignore, one-on-one, face-to-face conversations are far more effective than offering your input in front of others.

  • Through relationship.

Do you have the relational capital for your group member to trust you and be receptive toward your advice?

We are far more open to advice from people who don't just know us, but we know are FOR US.

If you find yourself more focused on correction of them instead of of love for them, you may need to work on this a bit longer.

  • When bad or unbiblical advice are shared.

There are times when you can't let a comment, idea, or behavior from a group member go without addressing it in front of the group. But this should be the exception not the rule. 

Ask yourself the question, "Will correcting in the moment be more helpful to the whole than harmful to the one?

If you have to decide between sharing now or sharing later, default to addressing the issue later and ask advice from your Group Coach on how to best handle your concern.

Remind Your Group When It's Appropriate To Give Advice 

There is a time and a place for giving advice. Make sure to remind your group members that if they have advice to share with someone, to wait until group is over and share it on-on-one. 

You'll be more likely to create a welcoming environment where everyone in your group has a chance to share, experience care, and be prayed for.

Additional Resources

How To Get The Most Out Of Prayer Time In Groups

Have you been frustrated with prayer time in your community group? It can be hard as leaders to reign people in and foster God-honoring, sin-stomping, soul-working, growth-producing prayer time. How do we get there? Here is 1 idea.

Why Confronting Is Showing Love And How To Do It Well

How do you know when you should confront a group member? When you determine you should confront, how do you confront them? This short article answers those 2 questions and gives you 10 ways to confront.

How To Have "The Talk:" Overcoming The Dread And Delay Of Crucial Conversations

This breakout shares tools and approaches that prepare for emotionally charged conversations. It introduces strategies to transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, making it safe to talk about almost anything. We share ways to be persuasive without being abrasive.

How To Address Unhealthy Dating Relationships

What do you do when someone in your group makes a bad relationship decision? Whether it is dating an unbeliever, living with their boyfriend, sleeping with their girlfriend, or dating while in the process of getting a divorce. This breakout will give you a Biblical framework for how to think about these issues and practical steps on how to carefully address them with the members of your group.


Contact your Group Coach or search this website to find answers to your questions.


Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life is better connected!