Small Group Facilitator

 

Dear Small Group Facilitator

A few weeks ago, I sent a letter to our Small Group Facilitators. Right now we have 12 active groups with roughly 120 people involved in regularly scheduled gatherings. This number does not include many other interest and service groups that also meet during the month. Fellowship and friendship is growing and deepening within our congregation. If you are not connected to a small group, or want more information, just ask and I can fill you in and help plug you in if you’d like.

Small group is where church becomes home. For over 2,000 years, the Christian church has recognized the benefit of gathering together in public, and also more intimately in homes.

Acts 5:42 states,  “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”
 

I passed on some tips, as reminders, that might help to strengthen our groups. Then I thought, maybe everyone should be reminded of these tips as we try to encourage and support one another. They might seem common sense, but sometimes we forget the most obvious.

Whether you are a facilitator or not, knowing these tips can help all of us be on the same page. God Bless!

  1. Pray – Establish a habit to pray daily for the members of your group – and the day of your meeting- intentionally turn it all over to God.
  2. Send an email reminder – an email a day before can be key to everyone attending.
  3. Lights on, background music, seats in a circle, and snacks can create a warm, inviting setting.
  4. For the first meeting, or at some meeting, spend time sharing one another’s story as a way to get to know each other.
  5. Establish some ground rules regarding confidentiality, trust, listening, supporting each other, no one to dominate the conversation, involve everyone.
  6. Discuss development of leadership, inviting new people into your group and growing new groups. Our goal is that everyone would be invited to join a small group.
  7. Don’t make anyone talk or pray, but over time, as trust develops, encourage people to share their thoughts
  8. Affirm every person who speaks in the group.
  9. Don’t try to have all the answers or dominate the conversation. We grow through discussion.
  10. Be yourself, be casual, humor is always a good thing
  11. Use active listening skills. Ask open ended questions.
  12. When asking a question, expect silence. Wait patiently. People need time to think.
  13. Start on time. End on time. Respect people’s commitment – and will help people who run late.
  14. Don’t be afraid to try different types of group studies – video or book based, book of the Bible.
  15. Look for someone who can help facilitate the group, be a leader when you are gone.
  16. Plan on other fellowship activities – outside or during regular schedules meeting times.
  17. Plan a service activity that moves the group outside the walls of the house and into mission in the community. Time spent serving others bonds a group together like no other.

May God continue to bless you and deepen you in faith.

May He continue to strengthen our small group ministry.

Enjoy the summer sunshine and take advantage of restful moments.

Pastor Mark

 

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