You want to kick off your small group year the best you can. Hmmmm, a “foolproof plan” sounds attractive.
This three stage plan will not disappoint you! Following it with prayer and a pure heart for your group will make your members valued, engaged, aware of what to expect and committed to the group for the entire semester.
Bold claims? Give it a try! (And feel free to add your observations and other ideas to the discussion in the comments section.)
“ABCs” OF A GREAT SEMESTER START:
Before Your First Meeting
- Make a map to your house and send this out a week ahead of time.
- Call your group members. Personal contact is critical. When you call them, your enthusiasm is very important.
- Ask each person to bring something (soda, chips, etc.). This cements their attendance, making them much more likely to show 🙂
At Your First Meeting
- Start your group off with an informal social meeting. Food is always helpful. Discuss the ownership and agreement of purpose of your group using the tools on pages 6 & 7.
- Have nametags and markers ready at the door. Arrange for an uninterrupted session (i.e., childcare needs, food prepared in advance, etc.).
- Get to know one another with an introductory game/ice breaker. Rule of thumb: Get everyone talking in the first five minutes of the meeting!
- Establish a good pattern for prayer by praying at the beginning and end of the meeting, and asking how to pray for each other that week.
- Set a date and place for the next meeting before you dismiss.
After Meeting Follow-up
- Call or touch base with everyone who attended the meeting to thank them for coming. Shake their hands when you see them at church. Set a pattern early for contact with you between meetings.
- Call all of your new group members a couple days before your next meeting. Don’t assume that they’ll remember. They will need your encouragement to come to meeting #2!