Is your small group host home free from distractions, welcoming, magnificently conducive to learning, fun, openness, and spiritual growth? It should be and it can be!
If you are gracious enough to open your home, make sure you are ministering to your best ability by checking these “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” of hosting a small group meeting.
- Pray for the meeting and the members by name as you clean your meeting space, and if applicable, for their kids as you clean the childcare space.
- Bring in enough chairs so everyone has a place to sit, and arrange the chairs in a circle so that everyone is sitting close together.
- Make sure the temperature and lighting are comfortable and practical.
- Assist the leader in staying on schedule by eliminating all distractions in your home.
- Turn off the TV before people arrive – even if the big game is still going!
- Remove pets from the room for the entire evening.
- Honor the childcare arrangement you agreed upon.
- Consider inviting older children to be a part of your group meeting; and all children to be a part of opening prayer and icebreaker.
- Refuse to answer the phone if it rings during the meeting, and turn off ringers in the room where you are meeting.
- Remove access to alcohol and prescription medicines. There will be people who are struggling with addictions in our group meetings.
- After the meeting, before you turn the lights out and head to bed, thank God for all he did during the meeting and ask him to fill your home with His Spirit and His love.
- Meet in the same home month after month, year after year. Give other hospitable people a chance to use their gifts, and your regular hosts a week off from time to time.
- Hesitate to invite others to come early or stay late to help clean, cook, or prepare your house for the meeting.
- Think your home is too small to host a group. Smaller, humble homes are often the best environments for a small group meeting.
- Leave any bad emotions from the day unaddressed – marital conflict; anger; stress from work, etc. Hosting is a ministry to others, so you must do your best to deal with these emotions; confess sins; forgive others; and to the extent possible, be at peace with everyone (Rom. 12:18) so you can minister to others. This doesn’t mean to put on a mask and pretend everything is fine. You can still be transparent with your group. But just remember that you have agreed to give these two hours as a ministry to others.
- Don’t be shy about politely running off the lonely souls who haven’t a clue that it’s past your bedtime. Set a “hard end time” and stick with it.
(Thank you to http://www.randallneighbour.com for much of this content)