Will you seriously listen to advice from a person you do not trust? I won't, and I don't think you will either. In my insurance practice, I learned early on that people buy from those they like and respect. There's more to the sale than the "features and benefits."
This leads us to an important discipling principle:
When the goal is helping people become like Jesus two ingredients are vital: trust and truth.
Notice that this trust in relationships always precedes truth. The general discipling process is: close relationships + truth = transformation. Without this process truth rarely takes root in a human heart. And without truth there's little life transformation.
Trust in Relationships is the Foundation
The Bible teaches that one of Jesus' priorities was to ask his disciples to be with him (Mark 3:14). This pattern helps us recognize that forming close relationships is the foundation for receiving truth. Why? Because the person giving the advice must be someone we know and respect.
It is quite common for the members of a small group to meet for several years, discuss Biblical principles and yet remain pretty much the same. How do we explain this? Because often the sharing within the group is still at a surface level.
Think about your group. Form groups of two or three (gender specific) and ask each mini-group to meet once per week for a month. Explain that the purpose is to build close relationships - to build trust in relationships. Ask each mini-group to share with each other how things are really going at work, at home and with the Lord. Trust will not just happen. There must be godly values that provide a catalyst. Here are some guidelines for your group.
People Will Trust You When. . .
You avoid talking about others. Otherwise people will assume that someday you'll be talking about them.
The first priority is to be real. The only chance we have at developing close relationships is being open and honest with one another. Here are some questions that could help you get the discussion going:
How would you describe your relationship with God today?
Do you ever talk about spiritual things with your spouse or children? What? When?