New Host Helps

Best Practices

Theology

New Host Helps

Getting started:  

  1. Build relationships: Start by Hosting some friends and neighbors in an initial gathering.
  2. Zoom with a Coach: a one hour preparation meeting with a trainer.
  3. Coffee time: meet with a Adult Groups Ministry Zone Director for your area.
  4. Get trained: a 4-session Leader Orientation to help you work out the bugs of leading a group.
  5. Register your Group so we know how it is going and how to pray and guide you.
  6. DXD time: Disciples multiplying Disciples is BBC strategy to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
  7. Huddle up: Huddles are gatherings of 3-5 other group hosts and leaders where encouragement as well as sharing of experiences and ideas takes place.

Meeting Experience
Meeting in a home:

  • Temperature, seating and snacks prepared.
  • Welcome 15 minutes: greet people at your door and direct them to the snacks and drinks. Help people feel comfortably by introducing yourself and chatting.
  • Ice Breaker 10 minutes: call people together. See “ideas” section.
  • 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 request and your group.

Online group meeting:

  • Welcome 15 minutes : hang out for a while because people are always late.  Chat and help people feel comfortable.
  • Ice breaker 10 minutes: be creative. See “ideas” section.
  • 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 request 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, ect.

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:

  • Your Zone Director will reach out for coffee.  But don’t limit your conversations with them to this one meeting. Text often.
  • Let Nastasia (Adult Groups 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.
  • Keep us updated: [email protected][email protected][email protected] 
  • If you have a challenging situation in your Group, call your Zone Director or Eddie (615-545-4589). 

Best Practices

Theology

FAQ

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 resarch 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 encourged 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 [email protected] or [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, mission projects. But during the study you may hire your own babysitter as individuals or as a group. You can ask a neighbor to watch the kids, ask another group that meets on a different night to trade childcare. Consider finding a teenager whom your Group can adopt as member to the Group, share birthdays, holidays, prayer request, meals, ect 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. 

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 a 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.

What is Coffee with ZD? Each off-campus Group is given a Zone Director as a guide, encourager and prayer warrior. They work within a High School Zone to grow the Brentwood Baptist ministry in your area. They will be your biggest support in hosting a Group.

Tell me about Orientation: Orientation is a four-session experience with other new Hosts and Group Leaders in which you discuss Community, the Great Commission, Hospitality and the Great Commandment. This Is usually an experience offered in the home of your ZD, designed to mimic an actually small group environment with a meal, prayer time, relationship building and Bible study discussion.

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. 

What is a Huddle? Huddles are gatherings of 3-5 host or leaders and their spouses.  These happen in various places from a room on campus, a home in the evening or even a restaurant. These are better known as cross-training where these is little agenda, no info-dump, but a time to share your successes and struggles with fellow host and leaders.

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 ever Host and Leader. It begins with a HOST Preparation Zoom experience. You will receive a Zone Director who is a prayer warrior, encourager and guide for you.  A 4-session Orientation follows where you meet other Host and Leaders and discuss more in-depth Group ministry and our strategy, structure and systems to help you reach others for Christ and grow spiritually together. Modules are available on-line for the three objectives of Groups: Grow, Care, Equip also.

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

 

Sample List of Agreements for Our Group

List of agreements: This will serve as our covenant for these four sessions.

  • Show up: Commit to attend (Satan will offer excuses or events to distract your ability to attend) We will start and end on time.
  • Be real: Confidentiality
  • Join in: Communication in meetings and Share email/ phone numbers for between meetings 
  • Do Homework:  Spend time with God 

 

Contents

  • Name tags 
  • Ice breaker ideas 
  • Quick start guide 
  • Sample email invite
  • Personal guide to hosting your group
  • Leadership pathway diagram

 

Sample Email Invite from BBC

Jesus designed us to love him and follow him in biblical community as described in Acts 2:42-47*. At Brentwood Baptist Church we strive to help people connect to this biblically community in their own neighborhood. There are several families from your neighborhood who have connected with Brentwood Baptist in some way in the past and we want to bring everyone together for one night via Zoom.  

Brentwood Baptist is hosting an online gathering for you and your neighbors led by Eddie & Lisa Jones on Sunday evening September 13, 2020 at 6pm.  

I sure hope you area able to jump on-line for a few minutes to meet your BBC neighbors and hear about the biblical community we are looking to begin in your neighborhood.   

Please RSVP by replying to this email by September 10th.  We will promptly send you the Zoom invite link so you can join the online gathering. 

Or if you no longer want to receive messages from Brentwood Baptist please let me know.  

 Eddie Mosley
Adult Groups Minister 
Brentwood Baptist Church 

 

Resources

  • “Connecting in Communities, Understanding the Dynamics of a Small Group” Eddie Mosley
  • “Groups Emergency Handbook”
  • Curriculum Library list 
  • Spiritual health questions
  • Leadership Website
  • Holman Full Bible Commentary
  • Small Groups Bible