Training For New Leaders               Best Practices                 List of Agreements/Group Covenant

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Training For New Leaders

Training and Development for Leaders:

We know that not all leaders develop in the same way or at the same time. So, we have a multitude of training opportunities for all leaders. The list below is an example of the ways in which training and development can take place.

  1. Co-Leaders and Sub-Grouping: Asking someone personally to help you lead the group is a vital step that needs to take place early in the life of the group. Co-leaders can be apprentices or even multiplication leaders for a new group. Sub-grouping your group will increase conversation, which leads to deeper relationships, which opens the door for transparency, therefore creating an opportunity for disciple-making to take place.

2. Expectations: A list of expectations or a covenant also communicates what BBC values and holds important. This is a way of developing you for this ministry.

3. Coaching: At BBC, our staff and other leaders walk with you through your group’s life. They are always available to help answer questions but also will grab coffee with you from time to time to continue the relationship and development.

4. Reports: While taking attendance is not the most exciting role of a group, the report on which attendance is taken is very important. Through this report on your group, the Adult Groups office is able to hear prayer requests, who is active in the group, what you are studying, and if you have new people joining the group. This can be done via a printed report or via the Brentwood Baptist app (Menu > My Groups). (An explanation on how to take attendance in the app is available on the Leader Resources page)

5. Lunches: During certain seasons, someone from the Adult Groups Ministry Team will offer to buy your lunch to learn more about you, your family, and of course your ministry via your group. This is also a valuable time of mentoring and coaching for each of you as you learn from each other’s life experiences.

6. Texts: Texts are a valuable way to quickly ask a question or inform someone of a need/opportunity/story. Be sure you have all of your group member’s numbers in your contact list. Don’t forget to add the Adult Ministry Team members. You never know when an emergency might require a mass text. But more than that, what about just a word of encouragement or “I prayed for you today.”

7. Leadership Summit: Annually we gather all leaders for a celebration, vision reminder, and spotlight on the focus for next season. We love to encourage leaders to share their God stories with each other, which also serves as a training or development opportunity. Words often heard at this event are: “I never thought about that.”

Best Practices

Meeting Experience
Meeting in a home:

  • Comfortable temperature, seating and snacks prepared.
  • Welcome (15 minutes): Greet people at your door and direct them to the snacks and drinks. Help people feel comfortable by introducing yourself and chatting.
  • Ice Breaker (10 minutes): Call people together. Ideas are provided in the Groups Handbook.
  • Discussion (20 minutes): Help everyone share by asking open ended questions. Be accepting and friendly. Don’t give permission to sin, but don’t be judgmental because everyone is on a different place in their journey. Be thankful people are seeking Bible study and Christian encouragement.
  • Enjoy silence: Don’t rush to answer your own question. Silence gives room for the Holy Spirit to work.
  • Prayer requests and closing prayer: Enlist someone to journal these. Pray aloud for the requests and your group.

Online group meeting:

  • Welcome (15 minutes): Hang out for a while because there are usually a few who are late.  Chat and help people feel comfortable.
  • Ice breaker (10 minutes): Be creative. Ideas are provided in the Groups Handbook.
  • Discussion (15 minutes): Help everyone share by asking open ended questions.
  • Be accepting and friendly. Don’t give permission to sin, but don’t be judgmental because everyone is on a different place in their journey. Be thankful people are seeking Bible study and Christian encouragement.
  • Enjoy silence: Don’t rush to answer your own question. Silence gives room for the Holy Spirit to work.
  • Prayer requests and closing prayer: Enlist someone to journal these. Pray aloud for the requests and your group.

After the meeting:

  • Email the participants thanking them and share about next meeting.
  • Reach out to new people individually during the week.
  • Follow up on prayer requests both as a group and individually. Pray for group members throughout the week.
  • Share the load of the group by inviting others to own part of the meeting: menu, childcare, communication, prayer, etc.

Stay Connected with Each Other:

  • Create opportunities to gather between meetings.
  • Create a Facebook group, group text or group email.
  • Don’t cancel meetings. Even if only one couple can attend it is an opportunity to get to know people at a deeper level.

Stay Connected with BBC:

  • Let Beth (Adult Groups Administrative Assistant) know about your Group: day, time, frequency, and roster. She will set up your Group in our database.  She can also provide you with a Zoom link schedule if your group has virtual members.
  • Keep us updated: Beth – [email protected], Paul – [email protected], Matt – [email protected]
  • If you have a challenging situation in your Group, please reach out to one of the Groups Ministers.


List of Agreements/Group Covenant

Setting a list of agreements and/or a list of expectations is the first step toward real Christian community. Approximately 80% of group problems or issues could have been avoided if a clear covenant or list of agreements and expectations had been discussed as the group began. A covenant template is available below. We suggest you talk with the group and come up with a list of agreements unique to your community.

Group Covenant Template

_____________________________ Group Covenant


We will commit to being active in this Group for the next _______________  weeks.

We will gather every _______________ in order to experience authentic biblical community.

We will meet for Bible study and fellowship on ___________________ at _______ o’clock.


We agree to…


Grow together by . . .

  • Making our meetings a priority.
  • Praying for those in our lives who are yet to believe.
  • Worshiping personally through our daily devotionals and corporately at Brentwood Baptist.
  • Allowing everyone to participate in discussion.
  • Challenging each other on our spiritual health.


Care for one another by . . . 

  • Encouraging members to serve each other as needed.
  • Serving God through on-campus opportunities at Brentwood Baptist Church.
  • Serving the world by praying for, encouraging people to go, and/or supporting participants of mission trips.
  • Serving the community by identifying and adopting a project on a quarterly basis.
  • Calling on each other at any time.
  • Respecting each other’s opinions.
  • Keeping discussions confidential unless permission is granted.


Equip each other by . . .

  • Leading some aspect of group, e.g., hospitality, missions, etc.
  • Going together to serve those in need.
  • Intentionally inviting the lost and searching to serve and fellowship with us.
  • Proactively praying for and inviting along at least one person to disciple.

A more basic list of agreements may be appropriate for a new Group or a Group that has not fully committed past the 6-session trial of a Group.



BBC Theological Statement

Theology Class: Bible Doctrines and More

Line By Line

Immersion Conference





What is my role? Gather a group of friends/neighbors for four sessions in a welcoming environment for intentional spiritual conversation. Plan your first meeting, guide discussion, offer to research questions, pray for members. People like to know there is a way out if it is not what they expected, so a 4-session study provides clarity of the expectations and an opportunity to decide to stay with the group.  

What should we study? We suggest having a 4-session study prepared. BBC encourages one of two studies to start with: a. Sermon discussion questions.  BBC provides sermon discussion questions for each week. b. Circle Up, a DVD driven study focused on what it means to be in Biblical community.  At the end of the 4-sessions each person/couple is encouraged to decide whether to continue with the group or not (this is an easy out for people who were just testing the group). 
BBC also provides a curriculum library from which you can choose your next study. You may survey your Group for a topic they are interested in or more importantly a spiritual discipline in which your Group is lacking. Contact Paul ([email protected]) or Matt ([email protected]) for more info on which study to choose. 

What about the kids? Each group is treated as their own family. Therefore, what you study, when you meet, and what you choose to do with the kids during the Bible study time is up to you. We suggest including the kids in the meal time, parties, and mission projects. However, during the study you may hire your own babysitter as individuals or as a group. You can ask a neighbor to watch the kids or ask another group that meets on a different night to trade childcare. Consider finding a teenager whom your Group can adopt as a member to the Group and share birthdays, holidays, prayer requests, meals, etc. with them.  Include the childcare worker in all your email communication. Discipleship is not limited to the adult discussion time, but in our words and actions as well. If your group meets on campus, reach out to the Groups Ministry regarding options for on campus childcare.

What do I do if I don’t know the answer? You have a full ministerial staff supporting you from theology, philosophy, world view, support groups, mission service projects, kids ministry, student ministry, and more. One text, email or phone call will get you on the path to answering their questions by the next meeting.

Ice breakers?  All our studies offer Ice Breakers in the opening of the Leader’s Guide. It is highly recommended that each session open with an open-ended general question. This warms the room and helps people feel comfortable while at the same time moving their thoughts toward the study to be discussed.

DXD Training: Disciples Multiplying Disciples is Brentwood Baptist Church’s strategy.  Sharing/receiving the Gospel, being in a Group and being on mission are the three aspects this strategy incorporates. Groups specifically have the assignments to Grow, Care and Equip; which serve as a checklist and target for a healthy balanced Group. The DXD training shows you how to guide your Group in each of these three areas, both individually and as a Group. 

How do we go deeper? Many Groups will sub-divide the discussion time or meeting weeks between men and women.  This is one opportunity to go deeper personally. Another aspect is to go deeper in your study of the scripture. We provide commentaries and various levels of studies to enhance this desire.

What training is available for me? Brentwood Baptist has a leadership development pathway for every Leader. The Groups Ministry team, and specifically the Groups Ministers, are available to you for any questions or concerns that may arise. The Groups Ministers can also recommend resources to you for mentorship, individual study, etc. Leader training and development also takes place in the avenues for training listed on this page. (see Training and Development for Leaders above)

How do I invite more people to my group? These are the 3 most common ways: Pray for friends, neighbors, co-workers to be open to your invitation. They may be far from Christ, not attending a church, or a fellow Brentwood Baptist member. Second, ask for Group members to pray daily for unconnected friends and invite them to your Group.  Another way is to inform the Adult Groups Ministry Team that your Group is open for new people. This puts your Group on the church website for people to discover.