Monday, December 18, 2006
Brian’s View of Successful Home Groups
As I’ve been doing ministry I have found home groups to be very successful. There are many reasons. I am not going to get into all the reasons I feel they are successful but I am going to type out a few ideas that I believe make home groups successful.
As I’ve gone around to home groups, lead home groups and been over 2 ministries that have home groups these are some things I have learned.
These can also apply for Sunday School Groups, Small Groups or really any group you are the leader over.
1. BE EARLY //
You should show up 15 min before your group starts. Students will make a decision based on the group the second they show up. You do not need to be trying to get settled while visitors and attendees are showing up. Get there early and be prepared. Stand at the door and welcome students. Make it a great environment.
You want to connect with students. That is what it is all about. Play football, PS 3, Xbox 360, sit and talk about boys/girls. The main thing is to get there early so you can connect with students.
2. START //
Don’t be afraid to tell the students that it's time to start. There comes a time when it is time to stop playing games and to sit everyone down and start your discussion time together. Be sure and let them know you’re the leader, not them. This does not mean you treat teenagers like little kids but you do need to let them know you are the leader and when you ask them to start they should all gather together and start.
Remember to give them a little bit of “settle down time.” Let them get a drink and some food as they sit down to talk. You want the environment to be relaxed and free.
3. DE-BRIEFING //
Everyone needs time to wind down. Ask questions every week like who had a good week? Why did you have a good week? Why did you have a bad week?
Pull out your note book that you wrote prayer request in the week before and ask them how those are going. Most students would probably have asked you to pray for a test or a big game. Talk to them about it.
Let them know you are here for them and not just there to carry out your agenda. YOU’RE NOT THERE JUST TO LEAD A LESSON. You are in these groups to impact student’s lives forever.
Look back at your teenage years and determine if you remember relationship more or a Sunday school lessons more!
During this time use it to build solid relationships!
4. GET PURPOSEFUL //
Take the lesson you have been given to DISCUSS, not teach, and begin. Prior to the Home Group/Small Group you should have taken 5 minutes to look at the lesson and then write down a couple of question that will help kick off the discussion for the evening.
Take those questions and the one’s you have been given and start your lesson.
5. BE THE LEADER //
Students love to get off topic and that is okay at times. What you do not want is to have a random discussion that night and accomplish nothing. A great exercise I do often is when other questions are asked I will write them down and say lets come back to that at the end of this discussion we are currently talking about.
Then when we finish the lesson if it was short or not good discussion I will bring up those questions. In some cases, I will take the questions over a couple of weeks and make a lesson out of those topics they expressed interest in.
6. END //
Don’t let each group drag on. You want it to end where students want more. Before everyone leaves the group that night be sure and remind them of their goals and pray together.
Goals // we have goals that each year we want each home group to add 5 new students to their group. That might not sound like a lot but if we grow 5 students a group that means we grow 5 families for the church. Each family has an average size of 2.5. That means out of 14 groups we will see around 175 new people a year at our church.
Prayer // Write down prayer request. Be sure as all the students mention their prayer request you write them down so that during the week you can check on them. Then have a student in the group close with pray.
7. HANG OUT //
Just have some fun as everyone is about to go home. Don’t leave before the students do. You should stay until they are all gone. This can be another great time of connection.