1] In my opinion, small groups are like family; they’re not about enforcing rules, and everybody being disciplined; they’re about letting God’s love flow through you into other people. You may not believe this, but I’m convinced that almost every single person is acutely aware of their short-comings, and what they really need, on a regular basis, is encouragement and moral support. (I find a lot of support for this attitude throughout the Bible; call it grace and mercy) Small groups are, and should be, about sharing and expressing the fruits of the Spirit; and while self-control is one of the fruits and is therefore important to God and should be important to us; it is the very last thing on the list. Wonder why that is? (I don’t even know if there IS a hierarchy of the fruits, but I hear a lot more about love in the Bible than I do about self-control.)
2] One of the central, indispensible ingredients of a small group is trust. In every direction: up and down, and side to side. The more trust there is, in God and in others, the more opportunities there are for the Spirit to move; for us to grow and develop together in Jesus; and for us to truly grow into being One with God. Y’all, I don’t know about you, but to me being a full-fledged member of a small group in Jesus is often better and more important to your spiritual growth than church.
3] Most times small groups start and grow among people who are already friends and want to become closer. Often the only missing ingredient is for somebody to suggest to even one friend that they start meeting for one hour a week to tell stories about what God is doing. God can definitely take care of it from there. Try it. See what happens.