Before you close your browser, understand that the title of this article is in no way meant to offend. Although, if you are offended perhaps God is doing some work on your pride and ego. As a big fan of the popular "for Dummies" series, to me, learning how to host a community group fits perfectly in this "how-to" guide format. Besides, I'm constantly learning what it means to be a great community group leader and consider myself to be chief dummy. I write this article for myself as much as anybody.
There are countless books, videos, and articles available to help us become better group leaders. Community by Brad House and Leading Small Groups with Purpose by Steve Gladden are two great places to start. This article is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the numerous aspects and nuances of effective shepherding and hosting. However, I hope that you will find this an adequate primer to helping you successfully step into leading biblical community.
Being that the God in the Mirror study will be DVD based, much of the work has been done for you. Each week, prior to your group meeting I encourage you to watch the DVD and go through the discussion guide on your own. This will allow you to feel prepared and have your thoughts together. Consider the following order for your group meeting:
- When people first arrive allow for a few minutes of light conversation and/or share some food.
- Start the 1st meeting with an icebreaker (e.g. Two truths one lie or most embarrassing moment) especially if people don't know one another.
- Pray for the group, study, and your time together.
- Play Session 1 on the God in the Mirror DVD
- Go through the discussion guide questions and try and get everyone involved in the discussion (it always helps to share your thoughts and reflections to get others to open up).
- You do not need to ask/answer every question in the discussion guide (the goal is to get good conversation going that leads to discovery and life change).
- After the discussion guide questions ask if anyone has any prayer requests and encourage the group to keep one another in prayer throughout the week.
- Have someone close the group in prayer.
- Don't forget to have fun!
Remember that God will always give you what you need in every situation. 2 Peter 1:3. Trust in Him and remember He is always faithful . Romans 3:3-4 If you have additional questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact someone on the Community Groups team. I can't wait to hear about the blessings you experience by stepping out to host!