SMALL GROUP RESOURCES
Welcome to this section on Small Group Leaders' resources , overviews and to find study guide suggestions or downloads!
Continue reading for a better understanding of what a Small Group is and why it is one of the many contexts for Discipleship. You'll also find a list of suggestions to help you become more effective in calling others to follow Jesus through 'doing life together'.
What is a Small Group?
The definition of a Holistic Small Group at the Forest Lake Church is based on one of its Vision element:
A disciple-making community nurturning faith, relationships and service.
Why Small Groups?
Based on the characteristics of a disciple, here are the activities that a disciple engages in:
These descriptions of what a disciple does become real within the context of group life or community. Jesus certainly modeled this fact in his lifetime as He gathered the Twelve around Him. Read the Book of Acts! His small group of empowered disciples made an impact for God's Kingdom! (Source: Bill Hull on Discipleship)
Small Group Leaders' Profile:
The ministry leader should primarily be committed to the ABC's (Values), Mission and Vision of the Forest Lake Church. The 'leader' is actually a facilitator in a study setting because he or she asks questions or shares in a way that encourages others to talk within the circle. Here is a summary of additional traits for you to reflect on as you consider servant-leadership for a Smalll Group:
To be the kind of person others will follow, it is important to exhibit teachability, humility and growth.
To lead a group require commitment and making time to be present for others. It may look like 5 to 10 hours a week if one considers initial preparation, leaders' meeting and the small group meeting itself.
Various Kinds of Small Groups:
Suggested steps to organizing a Small Group :
1. Review the 5 guidelines for starting a group based at Forest Lake Church.
2. Prayerfully consider what kind of group you and another will be facilitating. (See 'Various Kinds' list above)
3. Begin to send personal invitations or talking to potential group members.
4. Invite people for a potluck and propose your idea. If it's a Study, find out what they would like to focus on.
5. If starting a weekly Study, spend the first meeting on agreeing and establishing a Group Covenant.
Outline for conducting a Small Group Study meeting-The 5 W's*
Welcome: We develop community by sharing aspects of our lives through introduction, icebreaker, etc. (15mins)
Worship: We celebrate God through songs, or Scripture or testimonies or other creative means. (15mins)
Word: We connect with God through Scripture, share how to apply it to our personal lives. (30mins)
Witness: We pray for one another and plan on how to reach out to others beyond ourselves. (15mins)
Here's an extra 'W' suggested by Small Group coach, Don James:
'Wasting Time"!?: We set some time to simply talk or maybe organize a game night together!
*Adapted from Dr. Joel Comiskey's on How to Lead a Great Cell Group Meeting...
Here's a list of more materials that can further assist you with learning how to establishing healthy Holistic Small Groups for Discipleship within your congregation:
The Life and Mission of the Local Church by Russell C. Burrill
Destination: Community Small Group Manual by Rick Howerton
Spiritual Body Building by Kim Johnson
RELATIONSHIPS IN MINISTRY AND SMALL GROUP More helpful tips in an easy to remember format !
(based on Fields/Warren)
Links for Small Group Study Guides: