Safety is the first and most important component of a healthy and thriving group. It’s established when people feel acceptance for who they are and where they are at in life. If safety is not present within a group, the other components will not have a foundation to thrive.
A word that is interchangeable with the word safety is grace. There are two distinctions of the word grace. First, grace is the saving work of Jesus which is carried out in the lives of believers the moment they put their faith in Him. This starts the redeeming process of regeneration, sanctification, and ultimately, glorification when we get to heaven.
The second distinction of grace is the love and acceptance one believer shows to another. Just as Christ accepted us for who we were at the time we were saved, we need to mimic this kind of love and acceptance to those within our small group. Extending grace and support to those in our small group will foster a safe environment where truth, vulnerability, and other components can flourish.