How to Host a Small-Group Meeting

Practical advice for group members willing to share their homes

If you've never hosted your small group in your home, I highly recommend it. Even if you live in a tiny efficiency apartment and your fellow small-group members will have to sit on the floor or bring a folding chair with them, it will be great. I've sat on hardwood floors many times during small group, and have seen God move powerfully in our midst.

There are a few things you need to know about hosting a meeting in your home. Some are practical considerations; others are spiritual.

Before the Group Arrives

Is the group meeting at your home this week? The day before the actual meeting, vacuum the floors in the room where the meeting will be held. If you do it a few minutes before members arrive, the dust a typical vacuum cleaner creates may affect some people. My wife, Etna, and I also look around the public areas of our home and move stray papers, shoes, and cups that seem to accumulate in our den.

Just before guests arrive, move the chairs or couches in your main room into a circle. We always bring in dining room chairs to ensure there's enough room for everyone plus a few visitors. Position the chairs and couches close together to make for an intimate gathering, and make the circle wide enough so that no person feels they have permission to sit outside the circle.

Also, find a box of tissues and set it on a side table or coffee table. This way, you won't have to search the house during ministry time if someone needs one. While we're on the subject of tissue, do remember to put a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom and tidy up in there, too!

I also try to remember to turn off or unplug the phone extensions in the part of the house where we're meeting, and to turn down the volume on the message machine. ...

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