Hello awesome Small group leaders!
We are SO excited for you that you are leading a group! I know it's a BIG undertaking to do this. However, I've learned that gathering together with people isn't another thing. These gatherings aren't another thing on your already busy calendar. These gatherings breath life into everyone that comes. These gatherings encourage, challenge, correct, cheer on and love on people who need Jesus and need one another.
We know leading is a lot, so we want to give you as many tips as we can here on this page. We want to provide a page that is a helpful resource for you all. Let us know if there is every anything else we can do to support you and your group! You can email us ANYTIME at email@example.com. We try to reply within 24 hours, typically it's much faster.
P.S. Once you sign up your group, you will receive a confirmation email that your group is listed on the website. Also, you will get an invitation to the Private Facebook Group just for our small group leaders!
HOW TO START A GROUP:
Find a co-host. You don't have to do this, but I've found it's a billion times easier and more fun! Find someone whose gifts are complimentary to yours. If you like to lead discussion, find someone who is great at emails and hosting duties. It doesn't matter how you balance this, just make sure you and your leader are good to go tag teaming things.
Pick a place-- a home, church, restaurant, or a private Facebook group! Whatever sounds fun to you and works for your schedule, do that. Remember this should be a blessing, not a burden. We have several groups meeting in a Private Facebook Group-- the group can chat throughout the week in the group and then the leader is doing a Facebook Live once a week to discuss. Other groups are gathering in churches or homes. Make it your style.
Pick a day and time that works for you. Be sure to clear this with anyone living in your home. Double check your calendar to make sure you are free for all sessions.
Figure out how many weeks you will meet. I love to do a pre-start meeting. Our study kicks off Tues, Feb 28, so aim to gather once before then (we have prompts for you in the study to kick off that night).
Sign your group up, and we will list it on our small group page. This is a great way to reach out to others in your area.
How to launch a group:
There isn't a right or wrong way to do this. That's the most important thing to know. You make it your group, these are just ideas.
Reach out to friends and invite them over.
Reach out a little outside of your normal circle-- invite neighbors, co-workers, family, people at church you don't know well yet, etc. Many people, even those who don't go to church or consider themselves Christians, are more open to Bible studies during holidays like Christmas or Easter. It can't hurt to invite them.
Use PicMonkey.com or Word Swag to make a fun and free invite to share on social media. If you are like me you aren't gifted in images and all of that. I love these two apps because it makes it super easy!
Set up a private Facebook group for your small group. This will be a great place for you all to interact easily throughout the week.
Encourage your group to get their studies ASAP. Don't forget you can order a bundles for 10% OFF.
Prepping for the first meeting:
We give you a guide right in the study to help you with your night. There are many questions with each day of study, so you should have plenty of material to discuss. I like to go through the study and star one thing that really stood out to me on each day. If conversation lulls, it gives me a easy go-to topic that I am passionate about. Be open to having a natural flow within your group. Silence is OK. Be sensitive to the Spirit as He moves through your group.
Make it fun and festive. Have them sign up for snacks and drinks. If you don't love doing those things, find a co-host who can help with this stuff. There are many women who love hosting but would be terrified to lead a group. Team up and let them work their Pinterest magic.
Remind your group to have read through and filled out the intro section (everything before Week 1).
Discussion that first night: This is whatever you want it to be! I will be doing this general format:
7:00 - 7:30 | Desserts + Drinks + Mingling
7:30 - 7:35 | Gather in the Living Room
7:35 - 7:55 | Introductions: Name, Area of Town you live in, What you spend your days doing, strange quirk, and favorite easter basket candy
7:55 - 8:10 | Group Rules + Wishes. I love to do this any time I have a group in my home. I know it sounds weird to do this with grown ups. However, grown ups need rules too. :) Here are some suggested rules you can start with:
- People who tend to talk a lot: Be mindful to create space for others to share too. Silence doesn't always mean we should fill in the space with words.
- People who tend to listen a lot: Let us hear your thoughts! Your voice matters!
- Be committed. Make this as much a priority as you would any other commitment. Be on time and come if you are able to.
- Confidentiality: what is said in the group stays in the group.
- Be vulnerable: it's hard with women, but we will all get more out of it if we work hard to trust one another.
8:10 - 8:20 | Go through Intro + Start Here sections:
- Remind everyone to Follow @SacredHolidays on Instagram and Facebook
- Celebrate + Pray for the Women in Prison doing the study (because of the 10% of Profits donated)
- Go over the Start Here section.
- Share a little bit about Lent Candles
- Ask the group to do the Photo Challenge together-- will be a great way to all connect with one another during the week too!
8:20 - 8:55 | Go through the Reflect + Fast + Commit section. I am planning to run through the questions and ask others to share.
8:55 - 9:00 | Pray. This night I'm planning on playing a song and asking everyone to get on their knees and surrender this study and this season to Jesus. To ask big things of Him. To open their heart to Him moving. Maybe even have them write out a prayer on the inside cover of their study.
9:00 | Say good night. (We always want to end on time. If you are open to people staying, you can say, "You are welcome to hang around another 30 minutes to chat, but want to end now for those that need to get home.")