HOW TO BECOME A LEADER OF A GROUP?
Must complete the following:
- Active member of Lighthouse Church
- Complete First Steps Course
- Must have signed the Commitment and Honor Code
- Meeting with the Director of Connection Groups
- Attend Connection Groups kick off meeting
GROUP LEADER CHECKLIST
Connect with the Connection Groups Leader.
Each group leader has an oversight called hub leader, the one who will provide support, encouragement, and guidance when needed. Please respond to your hub leader when they reach out to you.
The Outreach System also has someone who will train you on using the Planning Center app, the main tool used to organize and maintain your group's roster and events.
Pick a Meeting Place.
Determine an appropriate location for your group. Be aware of privacy, noise level and cleanliness. Don't assume it has to be at home! Local restaurants and cafes are usually great neutral locations, or a lounge at our headquarters.
Set the Meeting Schedule.
Determine when your group will meet and establish the length of your meetings. Be sure to update your list of upcoming group meetings in Planning Center (PCO) so your group members will be aware of upcoming or cancelled meetings.
Determine Your Group Focus.
Some groups focus on activities or common interests while others choose to read through a book of the Bible together or review the Sunday’s sermon. Many groups use published materials to learn and grow. You can visit our resource library! There is a wide selection to choose from, including our church-designed connection group curriculum titled Acts Groups.
Respond to interested people in your group within 72 hours. This communicates value and excellence as you are a representative of Lighthouse Church.
Consulte más detalles sobre cómo responder a consultas grupales en «Consultas y respuestas grupales».
A focus on people.
Think about who you hope to reach through your group and identify ways you can show hospitality. Think about the possible barriers for that particular group of people. For example, if you think your group might benefit from children’s ministry being available, check with the ProxGen (Next Generation) Leader about options for childcare reimbursement or mid-week children’s group.
Plan for fun!
Don't forget to plan for fun in your group to help enhance relationships. You could plan an activity at a new location, host a party, celebrate each other's birthdays, or host a game night!
Use Planning Center to report group attendance each time you meet.
Share your Group Story.
We love to hear how God has changed lives in our connection groups. Share your story with us on email@example.com
Have you thought about what you will do at your first group meeting? Next tab is a great place to start!
FIRST GROUP MEETING IDEAS
Use your first group gathering as a social time to allow members to get to know each other.
Here are some ideas:
- Set a time to pray over your first meeting. You could even plan to do this with your hub leader!
- Put out sticker name tags to help people learn each other’s names.
- As people arrive, let them know how glad you are to see them and introduce them to others in the group.
- Put an encouraging note or Bible verse on each chair.
- Provide snacks or order food such as pizza.
- Put conversation-starting questions out on tables.
- Play a game that allows everyone to share a little about themselves.
- Make the first night a game night and invite members to bring their favorite games.
- Put together a list of songs to play in the background at the meeting.
- Give each person a postcard and ask them to write down one thing they’re hoping for with the group.
- No matter how many people show up to the first meeting, have fun!
In the next tab you have some DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind to help everyone in your group have a great time.
GROUPS DOs AND DON’Ts
As you lead your group, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and directions. If you are debating on doing something with your group, you can always reach out to your hub leader for a second opinion.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Do plan and communicate with your group in advance.
- Do look for ways to make it easy for people to engage.
- Do submit attendance each time your group meets.
- Do update Planning Center with the latest details on your group.
- Do use your group time to facilitate discussion.
- Do encourage group members to pray for each other.
- Don’t use group time for lecture-style teaching.
- Don’t cancel a meeting without letting everyone know.
- No se preocupe si no tiene todas las respuestas. Está bien decir: «No lo sé, pero déjame averiguarlo».
- Find out the key ingredients to help your group thrive.
INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL GROUP
- Pray for those you invited.
- Pray for their health, marriage, children—everything!
- Pray for upcoming group meetings.
- Pray during group meetings.
- Pray for group members whether they are present or not.
Invite New People
- Appoint greeters for your group.
- Introduce new group members to everyone.
Start and End on Time
- Honor people’s schedule and time.
- Before your group starts, think through how you would like to use the meeting time.
- You can choose to have a time of connection after your scheduled group time for those who want to stay a bit longer.
Welcome People Warmly
- Keep a watchful eye for people who wander to the corners of the room and stand alone.
- Make sure you have funny or interesting icebreakers. It’s not easy to recover from a bad start.
Create an Atmosphere for God to Move
- Be prepared and expectant. God always shows up to a prepared and expectant atmosphere.
- Believe for God to move during your group meetings.
Minister to Your Group
Be sensitive to the fact that first-time visitors often come to a meeting with a ministry need.
Don’t let your schedule inhibit you from the most important part of the meeting:
- Minister in an orderly way.
- Train the members of your group to minister to others.
- Focus more on the needs of the people than on the content of the meeting. After all, it was what Jesus taught us in his ministry.
Have a Clear Purpose
- Cast vision for the meeting.
- Cast vision for group growth.
- Invite group members to embrace the group vision.
- Learn how to build a healthy foundation for members to grow.
Healthy things grow! Cast vision early for the growth of your group members and leaders. Whether your group is a social, study, or serve group, create an atmosphere where people can grow in community and their relationship with God.
Everyone needs encouragement. Some people need to hear they’re doing a great job while others need to hear things are going to be okay.
Empower group members by calling out the potential you see in them. For example, if someone is a great gatherer, encourage them to invite people to the group or even lead a group of their own, if so, guide them through that process.
You could also ask group members to share the responsibility of providing snacks, welcoming guests, taking attendance and leading the discussion time.
The Word of God
The Word is life-giving and needed to experience spiritual growth. You can have a Scripture of the day or share a verse the Lord has put on your heart. It doesn’t require preaching; it’s simply encouraging people with the Word.
Make prayer a priority. Prayer is instrumental in building genuine community within your group and making group members feel cared for, connected, and encouraged. Prayer creates a way for each group member to hear from God, believe what He says, and obey Him.
Explore the answers to some frequently asked questions about leading a group.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I start a small group?
Ask God for direction about what group to lead and what type it should be. Then be sure to register your group for that semester online, when it is available. Be sure you complete the steps it takes to become a leader.
How do I invite people to my group?
A personal invitation is the best way to bring people into your group. Social media is another great way to spread the word.
Who should I invite to my group?
Don’t be afraid to invite the people already around you. Group members don’t have to attend Lighthouse Church.
- Invite your friends and people you meet at weekend service.
- Invite people you work with or your workout buddies.
- Invite parents of children on your child’s sports team.
- Invite people you volunteer with at church or in the community.
Where can I hold my connection group?
We encourage connection groups to meet outside the church building in the places where you like to spend your time. Some of the most common meet places are coffee shops, parks, and homes.
Does my group have to meet weekly?
We encourage meeting weekly each semester in order to build the relationships but many groups do meet biweekly or monthly.
Why do I need to report attendance?
Reporting isn’t numbers; it’s stewardship. It helps us track the engagement level of each person in your group. If someone misses a few group meetings, a need may have arisen in their life.
Small Groups team takes note of that. Fellowship is the first step toward healing and growth, and we want everyone to feel connected and supported.
How do I choose a curriculum?
We have different resources to use during group meetings. We also have specialized resources for groups such as Extraordinary Marriage, Extraordinary Parenthood, Free by Grace for Substance Dependence. We also have the Action Groups resources ideal for a short devotional during social or entertainment gatherings.
Remember, the goal of your group is to create a safe and welcoming place for people to grow or heal together, no matter the curriculum or activity.
What should I do if someone asks a question I can’t answer?
It's okay to not have all the answers. Thankfully we can find guidance through prayer, God's Word and the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Also, let them know that you will do your best to get some information and get back with them.
What should I do if someone in my group shares something with me or the group that requires more attention beyond what I can provide?
If you encounter a difficult situation within your connection group, please know that you are not alone. If a member is going through a crisis, you can rally the group around them. If you are unsure of what to do, don't hesitate to ask. Then do not hesitate to seek help, so that you can assist this person with the appropriate ministry. You can contact your center leader or connection group director.
NEXT STEPS FOR GROUPS
gradually. As connection group leaders, our primary role is to uncover the spiritual condition of group members and walk beside them leading them one step closer to God. What this looks like will be different for each person.
Here are some practical examples to help you:
If a group member is not in a relationship with Christ, bring them to a church service where they can hear the Word of God.
- Encourage group members to be baptized.
- Invite group members to complete First Steps.
- Connect group members to the Dream Team.
- Introduce group members to the idea of daily prayer and Bible reading.
Our Connection Groups will be most healthy when leaders take an active role in knowing each person in their group and intentionally helping them move one step closer to Christ.
Click here to visit the First Steps page.