I could make the answer to this question very short:  Because 80% of the issues our Coaches and Small Group Leaders deal with are referenced in the Covenant. Discussing this covenant or list of agreements early in the life of the group can make a huge difference in your future.

Here is our sample covenant:

We agree to…
•    Make our meetings a priority•    Have Bible study at least 2 times per month •    Pray for the lost •    Worship personally in quiet time and corporately •    Develop future leaders •    Allow everyone to participate in discussion •    Challenge each other on our path to growing to be like Christ

•    Host monthly socials and quarterly outreach events •    Allow group members to hold us accountable to the commitments we make •    Share the work load of small group •    Call on each other at any time •    Respect each other’s opinions •    Keep discussions confidential unless permission is granted

•    Encourage members to serve each other as needed •    Serve God through on-campus opportunities of  our church •    Serve the world by praying for, encouraging people to go, and/or support participants of mission
experiences, •    Serve the community by identifying a project, whether monthly or annually or on-going, that our group will adopt.

Remember, once the issue arises, it is much more difficult to enact a covenant.  Read through this sample and adapt your own to fit your ministry.