Note: This article has been excerpted from the SmallGroups.com training tool called Small-Group Member Orientation Guide.
Hollie Baker-Lutz is the marketing coordinator for the Discipleship Team at Christianity Today International. She has been involved in small groups—as a member and a leader—for more than ten years.
Building Small Groups: Can you tell me a little bit about your current small group?
Hollie Baker-Lutz: Right now we have three couples that attend our group regularly, and we meet once a week. We start by having dinner together and then we get to the "study" part, which right now is Rob Bell's Nooma series.
One thing that's interesting about our group is that we're trying to re-focus on prayer. In the past, we've fallen victim to something that I think is common for a lot of groups, which is trying to save time at the end of the meeting for prayer, but that time just doesn't get protected or valued as much as it should. So we are starting to experiment with new ways to pray and getting a new focus on prayer.
And how has that been going?
Good! Recently we tried an exercise where we pray through the alphabet, thanking God for one thing represented by each letter. So it could be an attribute of God, like faithfulness—or I think I thanked God for grapes when it came to G. That was a really cool experience.
What do you enjoy most about being part of a small group?
I think it's the opportunity to be more transparent than usual. In a church setting, for example, you obviously can't have a lot of one-on-one interaction with what's being talked about. But in a small group, you can really interact with the material being taught. You can also interact with other people and be honest about where you are and how ...