Small Group Leader Expectations
The following is intended to serve as a guide for the Experiencing God small groups… it is not an all-inclusive list! But will give you some idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into!
* Weekly hosting in your home
* Average group time will be about 90 minutes
* One of the goals of small groups is to create a safe environment for people to be vulnerable… it starts with leadership. Encouraging vulnerability, openness and honesty will be a critical role for the leaders. It will require you to go first! Be willing to risk sharing what’s really going on in your life – and you can set the tone for that by refusing to make your house look PERFECT by going crazy cleaning more than usual, etc. Refuse to perform for acceptance. (doesn’t mean you need to be a slob to be a leader – but neither is perfection required! ha!)
* The study should be primarily discussion based. Pastor Steve will be providing a weekly list of questions for the group study. These will be intended for facilitating discussion. It is not intended for you to do a ton of preparation and present a Bible study. Please do not dominate the conversation.
* The primary goal is NOT to get through the discussion questions. The primary goal is for group members to FELLOWSHIP – sharing with one another their experiences with God
* Here’s a sample from one of our small groups of how they structure their evening… yours doesn’t have to look exactly the same way. You may want to add or subtract some components.
– arrive & settle in – (15 minutes)
– worship & prayer (10 minutes)
– Fellowship/Sharing (10 minutes)
– Discuss the study (35 minutes)
– Prayer requests (10 minutes)
– Closing prayer (5 minutes)
– Review plan for next week (5 minutes)
TOTAL: (90 minutes)
- Be Patient: involvement takes time and involvement precedes any real transformation. This is why as leaders we must first bathe our approach with grace and fostering relationships with people. Christ speaks to the heart, and though we may be one tool he uses, we can be confident that merciful grace should precede that usefulness. Be merciful and gracious in tone and approach.
- Model Transparency: Desiring the group to grow in their honesty and willingness to share will normally begin with someone modeling it. That person is the leader. What God is teaching you, comforting you and convicting you about is normally a window into others lives. All of us are interpreting what is going on in us and around us. We are not mere participants. “The poor in spirit” that Jesus launches the Sermon on the Mount with immediately grasped their attention. Why? Everyone knows the feeling of being poor on the inside.
- Delegate Responsibilities: Everyone needs to be part of the small group team. Each person that has a responsibility will normally see the group as something other than a place to consume. We live in a consumer culture and stronger groups grow stronger by expecting investment. Don’t ask for volunteers; ask specifically of people…will you do this? This will also help identify future leaders as great leaders take initiative. Is there someone in the group who could lead the worship part, or prayer, or bring food, etc. etc. Do less and accomplish more.
- Comfort, Safe, Challenging: A group may feel a little awkward at first. Likened to a first day in school, some things are new and unfamiliar. No one will be required to read or pray. You should expect, however to hear about some deep, important things from God’s word and life issues. We want people to feel safe and welcomed, so unless something is illegal or harmful, you can anticipate confidentiality.