How to Prepare for your First Group

How to Prepare for your First Group

A week before the first meeting

  • Check your roster and call all new members to welcome everyone to your group.
  • Share insights about your small group—size, stage of life, how long your group members have been together and why you love your small group.
  • If possible, meet your new group members at church prior to your first meeting.
  • Email everyone in your group and provide the location and time your group will meet. Communicate specifics about the first night—food, study materials, childcare, parking.
  • Confirm any roster changes with your small group with the Small Group Coordinator.
  • Begin praying for God to be working in your small group.

30 minutes before your first meeting

  • Make your home inviting, clean and comfortable.
  • Have a clear plan for the evening with questions and things you want to accomplish.
  • Put out snacks, drinks or dessert. Don’t overthink or overdo it, simple is good.
  • Set up extra chairs and ensure sufficient seating.
  • Make sure the room has good lighting for people to read their Bible/study.
  • Put pets in another room or outside.
  • Double check that your bathroom is clean for guests.
  • Give final instructions to children and thank them for sharing their home with others.
  • Unlock your front door and turn your porch light on.
  • Anticipate that God will work in the lives of your small group members.

During the first 15 minutes of your meeting

  • Welcome each small group member and greet them by name.
  • Thank each person for coming and help people feel comfortable.
  • Discern the attitude, mood and comfort level of each person.
  • Engage anyone who appears distant or by themselves.
  • Pull your group together once everyone has arrived.
  • Start with a few questions to help your group members get to know each other.

The rest of the meeting

  • Share your heart for small groups and what you want to see happen this year.
  • Introduce the study and make sure everyone has their own copy or knows how to get one.
  • Explain the Eight Commitments of Small Groups and the importance of mutual ministry.
  • Go over the dates of your small group schedule for the next month.
  • End your first meeting 15 minutes early and allow time for group members to connect.
  • Close with prayer and ask God to work in your small group.

After the meeting

  • On CCB, mark your attendance, share a few notes about your group and include any prayer requests.