Small Group Leaders
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 contact 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 and when prompted, enter the small group leader password to access their small group information. If you forgot the small group leader password, please contact the small group communications/tool administrator.
Upcoming Training Schedules
Keys to a Healthy Small Group
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 tho 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 includes group building.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 neighbor 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.
Looking for a new study for your small group?
Use the CORriculator. This is a tool developed by the Church of Resurrection United Methodist Church in Leawood, Kansas, one of the largest UM churches in the USA, for their small group leaders. Tool provides a way to navigate through a myriad of studies based on three major categories (knowing, loving, 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 (Church of the Resurrection) allows other UM churches to have free access to the tool. Just click on CORriculator to go to CORs 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 interviewing over 300 churches across the USA who have small group ministries. Their 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.
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 contact the small group coordinator.
In the meantime peruse the many downloadable links from the Small Group Big Impact (SGBI) web site 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.