The implementation of a multifunctional and sustainable model of development of rural areas means a process of social change. The subject of that change are the residents of rural areas. The network of co-operation, the will to co-operate and the level of trust that characterise them and that constitute the components of social capital determine the chances for the introduction of assumptions of the paradigm of renewal. Local action groups formed, for instance, within the framework of the LEADER+ programme and their potential may become a factor stimulating or - in the areas that are socially more active, supporting the co-operation of the rural population. The problem discussed in the article relates, therefore, to the potential of the social capital of Local Action Groups from the Lódzkie voivodeship. The purpose of the article is the presentation of results of empirical studies covering the components of that capital: trust, values and networks.