So You're Hosting a Small Group?
If you have decided to open the doors of your home to a small group, congratulations, you are on your way to creating a new life-giving community. While your small group may be focused on a bible study, a book study, or maybe even a shared hobby or season of life, the ultimate goal of most small groups is to connect and create community.
As the host, your role is to foster that community. Don’t let that role intimidate you, though, there are several ways you can easily foster community as a small group host.
Put Out The Invitation
Don’t be shy when inviting people to your group. A personal invitation will always go a long way, but posting online can help reach people you don’t normally see. Some churches have a platform within their website for you to post the details of your group.
In addition to your church website or on social media. Check out the Torchable app. The Torchable app was created to connect Christians in your area, making it a great place for group listings. It can be a good idea to invite more people than you may actually want. Not everyone will be able to accept the invitation and even those that do will inevitably miss a week or two.
Once your meeting schedule is set, try your best to stick with it. Nothing derails a small group like inconsistency. If you start to cancel your group for various reasons, people will no longer make the effort to plan around or prioritize it. Show your small group that meeting with them is your top priority.
Pick a Topic
Having a topic to discuss or study can help set the tone and direction of your group. This is where you get to be creative as a small group host. You can focus your small group on bible reading, a book study, a podcast, weekly sermons, a shared interest or hobby, or even a weekly meal.
Whether you are doing a deep dive into a book study or simply getting together to eat a meal and talk about life, your small group can look however you envision it. There is a place for all types of small groups.
If you have a topic in mind, feel free to add that to the details of your group as you send out invites. If you don’t have a topic in mind, it can be fun to gather insight and see what people are interested in doing at your first group meeting.
Fill Their Stomachs
Proving a meal or snacks is never a necessity when it comes to hosting a small group, but boy do people love it. If you love to cook or create fun snack ideas, then this is your chance to shine.
If this isn’t you, sharing the food responsibility can be a great way to encourage ownership in the group. One way to do this is to switch off who brings a dessert or snack each week.
As a small group host, you may feel pressure to keep the conversation going by any means necessary. But remember, your job is not to carry or monopolize the conversation but to foster it. Ask questions, ask specific people their thoughts, be vulnerable with your thoughts, and be encouraging. The conversation will flow as your group grows more comfortable together.
Focus on the Goal
Don’t get caught up in reading or discussing a certain amount of pages, staying on topic, having the perfect snack spread, or having the cleanest home. None of these objectives are the actual goal of a small group. The goal is to provide your group with a welcoming space to connect and grow together.
When your group is over, yes you want them to have learned valuable information from your study, but even more so you want them to walk away having made new friends and feeling they are a part of a community they can count on. This will often lead to deciding to do more small groups together!
One of the best ways to help people connect and reach the ultimate goal of a small group is to have fun! While serious moments are bound to come through sharing and discussion, as a group leader you can be intentional with having fun.
Start each group with a game or trivia. Find fun ways to get to know each other or share about your week.
A small group is more than weekly meetings in someone’s home. A good small group will become friends and a support system. For this reason, it is important to set up a good communication system. This allows you as the leader to show you are thinking about or praying for your group beyond the weekly meetings. It also allows group members to lean on each other for support or coordinate other activities or meetings.
There are a few different avenues for group communication but Torchable is the answer that doesn’t deal with the mess of text messaging or clogging up email inboxes.
Torchable allows for simple and organized group communication in an easy-to-use app. Connecting your group on torchable will also help you stay connected long after your small group meetings are finished.