Small Group Leader Resources
Welcome to the small group leaders web page. Here, small group leaders will find helpful information for leading their small group. If you are not a small group leader, but are interested in becoming one, please email the small group coordinator.
The ChurchTeam tool is a web-based tool used by small group leaders and small group ministry administrators to communicate and manage St. Paul’s small group ministry. Small group leaders receive training on how to use the tool. Small group leaders can access the tool by clicking on the Leader Login button found on the Small Group Connector page and when prompted, entering the small group leader password to access their small group information. If you forget the small group leader password, please email the small group communications/tool administrator.
ChurchTeam Tool Training
Keys to a Healthy Small Group
- A Clear Purpose: A group needs to have a shared understanding of the group’s purpose and the how to accomplish it. The best way to create a purpose is to get two or three people together who have a similar purpose and have them invite others to join them.
- A Good Beginning: Make ways for the people to feel that this is their group from the beginning. Make sure that you run a good tight meeting so that people will sense that they are going somewhere. Groups are growing things and like other growing things, you need to let the group do their own inviting. Assigning people to groups is usually not an effective way to grow.
- Helpful Leaders: A helpful leader is basically one that is prayerful, prepared, and active in the life of the group. Good leadership does not just happen.
- Clear Communication: In each of the group’s meetings, your goal is equal participation by all members. Plan the first few sessions carefully because patterns of communication will be quickly established for the rest of the time together.
- Worthwhile Content: The content of the discussion needs to be both intersting and relevant to the group’s purposes. People need to see how the Bible is relevant to their lives and have a clearer understanding of God’s character. Make sure the materials you use are designed not only to do Bible study, but also include group building.
- Growing Trust and Caring: One of the goals in every small group is learning to love one another. Over a period of weeks and months, intimacy and self-disclosure should grow as the group is guided in that direction. If conflict arises along the way, don’t smother it. Deal with it as a group. Correctly handled, it will deepen the trust and care among the members.
- Centered in Jesus Christ: One important reminder about Christian small groups. We are called to follow Jesus and his purpose in small groups. If a small group loses touch with why it is meeting, bring it back to the purpose as followers of Jesus. This will also mean a time for prayer. Make sure to leave adequate time for prayer requests and caring.
- Serving Others: As followers of Jesus, not only are we called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and body, but we are called to love our neighbors as well. A small group needs to be intentional about serving others, because this brings glory to God. Each small group should find ways to work together to serve others through a specific service project. By working together we also practice loving one another in the group as well as those outside our group. It helps us to grow stronger in our faith in Jesus Christ.
Additional Information for Leaders
Looking for a New Study for Your Small Group?
We currently have a lot of study materials available in our lending library at the church. Much of the material is located on the shelves next to Donna Snyder’s office. We are currently building an online database resource of this library. It is not complete at this time. Feel free to search through the Small Group Lending Library document to look for ideas for your next study. Feel free to save a copy of this document on your computer for more detail searching capability. Just right mouse click on the document and click on Save As. If you have any questions please email Donna Snyder.
You can also peruse an online resource called the CORriculator. This is a tool developed by the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (COR) in Leawood, Kansas, one of the largest United Methodist churches in the country, for their small group leaders. The tool provides a way to navigate through a myriad of studies based on three major categories (knowing, loving, and serving) and three levels of depth (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). All the studies listed are approved by a committee for having content that is supported by United Methodist theology. COR allows other United Methodist churches free access to the tool. Just click on CORriculator to go to COR’s web site to start the search. Read through the material on the web page to understand how to search for resources. Then begin the search. Once you find what you need, contact Donna Snyder to order the resource. Do not contact COR! Have fun looking for your next exciting study that will help your group grow in their faith in Jesus Christ.
What Are the Foundational Principles for Leading a Small Group?
The book Small Groups Big Impact, written by Jim Egli and Dwight Marable, defines the DNA of a successful small group ministry. The research from this book was the result of surveying more than 300 churches across the U.S. who have small group ministries. The research focused on two primary levels: the small group leader level and the church level. On the first level, they asked and discovered answers to the question: Why do some small groups grow while others - in the same church and similar settings - don’t? On the church level, they sought the answer to the question: Why do some churches have vibrant growing group ministries, while other churches’ groups fall flat?
They discovered four key small group leadership principles and three pivotal church factors.
- The four small group health measures: Pray, Reach, Care, and Empower
- The three church factors: Intercede, Coach, and Equip
These principles and factors have an affect on three growth outcomes: Conversion Growth, Assimilation, and Group Multiplication.
All of this is thoroughly explained in the book. If you need a copy of the book, please email the small group coordinator.
In the meantime peruse the many downloadable links from the Small Group Big Impact (SGBI) website for some valuable resources to help you develop these principles and factors in your small group leadership and ministry.
How to Create an Event for Online Reservations
The ChurchTeam tool can be used to create church events that will support online registration. To learn how to do this, download and read the St. Paul’s e-RSVP document.