5 things to know when beginning to host a Group:
1. Life is a mess, and your friends are asking questions that only Jesus can answer. Help them by discussing the Bible with them using questions from this week’s sermon.
Share with your current Group how you feel God is calling you to Host a Group. Ask them to pray over you as a missionary from the Group. Digital discussion groups, lasting generally no more than 40 minutes using a handful of questions from that week’s sermons, have seen many unconnected in our communities and our congregation get connected. Too many people are going at it as lone rangers when the Lord has designed us for community.
2. You begin praying/prayer walking your neighborhood for 2-3 friends/couples to invite. Think about friends, neighbors, co-workers, unchurched people, parents/families in your hobby or interest…sports teams, band, school, etc.
We will help you discover BBC members in your neighborhood that you could maybe partner with for this study.
3. Decide on a day and time that is good for your first “get to know you” gathering and watch for God at work in the relationships for which you have been praying.
4. We provide a few starter questions for this first gathering; you plan to offer clarity on what you will be doing as a group.
Q: Tell us about your family…
Q: Share about your most exciting moment since Covid19 started…
Q: Do you have pets? Names?
You could say something like, “We felt this would be a good time to over a zoom meeting for families, with all the Covid distraction and for some, lack of hope, we thought it would help families get a sense of hope and have each other to pray with and for. We thought we could get on zoom every week or every other week for about 45min to an hour and discuss the Bible and share about life and prayer requests.”
5. Remember, Groups are like families and no two are alike. We all have the goal of growing closer to Jesus, getting help with struggles, and living a life of fulfillment.
Before First Meeting
Checklist for first meeting:
- 3-4 weeks before your first meeting, Pray and PRAYER WALK your neighborhood for 2-3 friends/couples to invite.
- We will send an invitation email to your BBC Neighbors, just tell us the best date and time for your groups first gathering.
- Watch for God at work in the relationships for which you have been praying.
- Invite people. Email them time, date, address and zoom link.
- Meeting in person? Prepare snacks, chairs, temperature, and a warm, smiling welcome.
- Start and end on time to respect people’s commitment.
- Consider what you will discuss. We provide questions from this week’s sermon here.
Our top Seven principles to live by in a Group.
Principle #1: Share the Load
This Principle is a major help to leaders as the Group starts looking like a family. There are areas in which people in your Group are more gifted than you, the host or leader. Things such as food, hosting, childcare (if applicable), prayer, journaling the life of the Group, etc. Each should have a different representative from the Group oversee these areas.
Principle #2: One Conversation
One way we help each other is by striving to have only one conversation going on in the room at a time. We practice this when we have one conversation with God on a regular basis, not a one sided conversation, not multiple conversations, verbal or in our minds. As you engage in your Bible daily, or engage the group, strive for one conversation at a time. By keeping the Group under a certain number (12-15 people) you are able to better live out this principle.
Principle #3: Refrigerator Rights
As your group becomes more familiar with one another and in each other’s homes, this principle becomes a reality. It is the practical principal of, ”if you need creamer, it’s in the fridge.” You can open the fridge and get what you want anytime. It represents a more personal Principle as well: building transparency into our discussions and lives. This principle can also be a neighborhood experience as you invite friends, neighbors, or co-workers into your home. Conversations lead to relationships, relationships lead to transparency, and transparency leads to disciple making opportunities.
Principle #4: Party
A great way to meet neighbors and have more conversations with people you barely know is to throw a party or cookout. Not only are we following Levi’s example in Luke 5:29-32 as we begin a group, but it is a great way to invite others in as our group ages. We suggest a quarterly party to invite other friends, neighbors or co-workers who are unconnected. This might take some sacrifice on our part or our Groups part but it’s worth it!
Principle #5: Serving Others
One way to meet neighbors is to do a collection, help them at their house, or serve food. Find an opportunity to serve in your community or visit brentwood.church for ideas. Another way to share the load is to let someone in the group lead the service project of your group. Every Group needs an on-going mission project to keep a healthy and balanced perspective of what we are called to do. We also encourage every Group to be represented on an Global mission trip every couple of years.
Principle #6: Covenant or List of agreements
This is an example of a Group covenant and this one actually serves as the agreement for the Orientation four sessions:
- Show up: Commit to attend (Satan will offer excuses or events to distract your ability to attend)
- Be real: Confidentiality
- Join in: Communication in meetings and Share email/ phone numbers for between meetings
- Do Homework: Spend time with God
Approximately 80% of group issues can be avoided if a clear covenant/list of agreements/expectations is discussed as the group begins.
Principle #7: Co-Leader
The most important area to develop people for your leadership is by choosing a co-leader. Everyone needs a Co-Leader!
You multiply your ministry by helping each member discover how to use their gifts, passions and abilities for the kingdom. This is discussed in detail in BBC’s Discover Your Class. One of those vital roles is that of a leader.
- Develop your co-leader by praying for them and spending time with them.
- Equip them to lead:
- Crawl: let them lead the ice breaker one night.
- Walk: have them lead a section of the study a few weeks later.
- Run: Be absent and let them lead the entire next study.
1 Month After First Meeting
You have finished or are about to finish your first study. What now?
- Conduct a survey on how the group is feeling about the direction of the group. What needs to change, what do you enjoy?
- Ask the following spiritual questions to help determine your next study. These questions are indicators of the top 5 practices or sign posts of growing Christians. Choose from our curriculum library for studies related to your groups weakest areas.
- Confirm you have birthdays and anniversaries documented.
- Confirm with the church office that your group is registered and on track for support and development.
3-6 Months After First Meeting
By this time, you should be getting to know each other well. So, here are some monthly or quarterly practices that will help your group family thrive:
- Have a co-leader lead an entire session once every 6 sessions.
- Your group is probably still new enough to offer a social/party to invite potential newcomers to join your group. Socials happen each quarter with at least two of them being focused on including the unchurched from your group members’ prayer list.
- A service/missions point person should have been identified and you are ready for your first mission/service project.
2 Year Anniversary
Some groups go through life stages rapidly. Many groups begin to struggle with consistency as they near their 3rd anniversary. Now is the time to conduct another survey on the life and spiritual growth of the group. What areas are really going well? Where do we need to grow as a group? What principles or practices of Group life are we missing? See group practices and principles in the groups handbooks, linked below: