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Small Groups

Small Group Goals

    1. Help each other to grow and deepen his/her faith, being able to see God at work in the world around us.
    2. Fellowship and build a community of relationships with one another
    3. Take care of one another in good times and difficult times
    4. Serve together

Small Group Guidelines

Frequency: weekly or twice per month – group’s choice

Logistics (incl. #, where, how to put groups together) –

  • If you’re eating together, you’re probably going to need 2 hours, maybe 1.5 if it’s weekly.
  • In homes — initially, finding a single host home is probably easier, though rotation over time is a possibility; it can be really helpful to have separate hosts and leaders
  • Aim for groups of 12, 6 – 8 people will be there each time
  • Open invitation, inviting people not affiliated with the church.  It helps for the group to decide whether it is an “open” or “closed” group, meaning whether members can invite new people at any time mid-season.
  • Eat, potluck or take turns providing the meal, dessert & coffee is an option too
  • Childcare – encourage family models and creativity in managing kids

Leadership (Clearly define who does what)

  • Communicator
  • Discussion Facilitator
  • Location hosts

Communication

Determine a communication strategy — e-mail or text messages are probably the best options, but group buy-in is the most important part.

Commitment

Suggested commitment: 75% commitment for weekly meetings (6 out of 8 weeks for example) over 8 weeks or 4 months. If a group meets twice per month, it helps to have a 3rd group activity and require attendance at 2 out of 3 functions.

Content

One strategy: Read together the sermon text from Sunday, include time for prayer and a “soul-check” question (e.g. how is your faith life these days?).

Prepared thoughts are much more helpful than just “what did you think about the sermon?” The group leader should spend a little time before meeting prepare direct questions.  Taking notes during the sermon and bringing the “Listen, Think, Respond” from the bulletin make this pretty easy to do.

Another popular option is to take the time for each person to share their faith journeys with the group.  This can take several weeks for a group of any size, as you’ll probably only get to do 2-3/night.

Groups that want to do a more structured study, Rev. Janet Baucom can help resource (lots of options).

Support & Accountability

Small group leaders should plan on checking in with Janet once/month, just to keep her in the loop and for her to provide any support and equipping needed. Ideally, new small group leaders/facilitators will have participated in a small group before having to take the lead.

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