Four Types of Post-Christian Era Small Group Members and the Needs of Each


In the book, A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, I point out that, in the post-Christian era, there are four types of group members. There’s the saved cynic, the secularized struggler, the not-yet-converted conversationalist, and the convinced biblically functioning follower of Christ.

Saved Cynics are Christians that are cynical about the faith due to some level of spiritual abuse from their past that plagues them in the present. These people distrust other believers, even their small group leader until time and the caring acts of the leader and the group allows them to gain respect for them.

Secularized Strugglers may or may not be Christ followers. They are group members who tilt more toward secular ideology than biblical theology. These folks allow secular perspectives to be their true north.

Not-Yet-Converted-Conversationalists are people who are exploring spirituality or Christianity. They’re not yet Christians but are willing to dialogue with believers.

Convinced Biblically Functioning Followers of Christ are Christ followers who believe the Word of God is God’s Word and strive to live its expectations.

It’s important that we realize the needs of each of these types when our group gathers. Below you’ll find a diagram that names each category of group member then below the title lists the needs of each.


Saved Cynic


Secularized Struggler


Not-Yet-Converted Conversationalist


Convinced Biblically Functioning Follower of Christ

Patience Equal Mindedness Time Reminded what the group is about
Listening ear Straightforward Conversation Questions Answered Reminded that they are partners with you
Wise Counsel (when requested and/or appropriate) Biblical Truth shared in a palatable fashion A Safe Place to ask questions Reminded to pray for those who have net yet become Christ followers

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