The First Meeting

The First Meeting

How to start strong

As you sit, waiting for your new group members to arrive, your heart races, your palms sweat, and you've got a million questions running through your head. It's your first meeting.

The truth is that all small-group leaders have been there—we all have a first night story to tell. And we've all made it through. To make it through your first night a little more smoothly, use this resource. You'll learn how to prepare for and lead your first meeting with a new small group. With lots of practical tips and encouragement, you'll feel a lot less anxious as you head into the big day. And if you're a coach, director, or pastor, this is a great tool to use with your new leaders!

For a sample from this resource, see First Night Survival Guide.

Leader's Guide

You Can Do It!

What Did I Get Myself Into?
Even if you're doubting your decision, you've got what it takes.
By Brett Eastman

No, You're Not Crazy!
Why leading a small group is more than worth the trouble
Interview with John Ortberg

Start Well

Make the Most of Your First Meeting
From before they arrive to after they're gone
By Mark Ingmire

First Night Survival Guide
Preparing for and leading your first meeting
By Will Johnston

Lead a Strong First Meeting
Tips on making the most of your first night
By Pat J. Sikora

Small-Group Ground Rules
Six things to discuss as a group so you're all on the same page
By Jay Firebaugh

The Childcare Conundrum
An overview of childcare options
By Reid Smith

Small Group Blessings
What I've learned through my small group
By Brett Eastman


Total number of pages: 21

You have permission to make up to 1,000 copies of this resource within your local church.


Practical Ministry Skills
Microsoft Word


Resource Review: Starting Small
Resource Review: Starting Small
Gain a practical overview of small-group ministry.
Set Leaders Free
Set Leaders Free
What it takes to let leaders lead
What Can I Expect from Small Groups?
What Can I Expect from Small Groups?
Walk into your new group with realistic expectations.
Create a Compelling Vision
Create a Compelling Vision
Assess and revamp your current ministry vision, or create one from scratch.
Create a Realistic Vision
Create a Realistic Vision
Take your church's context, culture, and history into account.
Church Planting Wisdom for Small Groups
Church Planting Wisdom for Small Groups
Leading small groups in the Jesus Mission is a ministry of Leadership Journal:
Leadership Journal