In case anyone is wondering, we identified the resources below based on the total number of copies that were downloaded in 2009 by SmallGroups.com members and non-members alike. It's a great list, and each of these items will carry a 25 percent discount until February 12, 2010.
1. Small-Group Leader: Orientation Guide
This guide is designed to help you equip your church to provide orientation and basic training to new small group leaders, and to help seasoned small group leaders refresh themselves on their responsibilities. You may use it either for a group training session or to give individually to small group leaders.
2. Best Church Practices: Small-Group Job Descriptions
Creating documents and systems that improve the health and strength of a small-groups ministry used to be a real chore. But now we've done the work for you! This Best Church Practices download contains 14 job descriptions for the following positions in small-group ministry: apprentice, discussion facilitator, host, group leader, coach, director, and member.
You may use these sample forms—adapting them as necessary—as part of your policy and procedures handbook, especially in view of the great variety of small groups that reach people within and outside of the church. These documents can also help your church develop a standard of excellence for the many levels of workers in a small-group ministry.
3. Effective Turbo Groups
Turbo groups are an effective way to train several new small-group leaders and co-leaders at once. They are also an excellent method for exposing potential leaders to the routines and requirements of a small group in order to gauge their willingness and capability for the role. This download contains everything that is needed to launch and run an effective turbo group: easy-to-digest articles on the basics of small-group leadership, forms for updates and record-keeping, and an extensive five-week curriculum designed to mold potential leaders into effective leaders.
4. Four Pack: Orientation Guides
A lot of churches wish their small-group leaders were better trained. (For that matter, a lot of group leaders wish they were better trained.) But helping people learn the ins and outs of small-groups ministry is easier said than done, especially if your church doesn't have a full-time staff person on the job.
SmallGroups.com has tried to bridge the gap between the need for training and the lack of training with our series of Orientation Guides. These are packs of practical resources and tools that can help people learn what's expected of them and what they can expect to encounter in their different ministry roles. These guides are a great way to give new group leaders, hosts, facilitators, and group members the training they need. And at a discount of $20, this bundle is a great way for churches to provide that training without straining a budget.
5. Four Pack: Assessments and Evaluations
Evaluation is a vital tool at any level of small-groups ministry—from groups and group leaders to coaches and directors. This bundle of five resources (yes, that's right: five) will provide your church with a wealth of tools at a hefty discount.
6. Building a Culture of Discipleship
Many small-group ministries fail because churches view them as "just another program." In reality, a successful small-groups program should be a foundational element for the church that runs it, and building community should be a central goal and regular practice. This download will help your church grow a culture of discipleship that goes beyond a single ministry focus.
7. Re-Launching a Small-Groups Ministry
This Training Theme is designed for churches that have launched small-groups programs in the past, but are still waiting for the ministry to fully take root. It's also for churches that encountered a negative experience with small groups in the past, but want to try again. As a Training Theme, this download is designed for small-group pastors or directors planning a church-wide training meeting to equip all small-group leadership. However, it will also be helpful to any ministry leader who wants more information about re-launching a small-groups program.
8. Small-Group Coach: Orientation Guide
There's no doubt that small-group leaders play an important role in the discipleship process of most churches. They are the men and women "in the trenches" of a small-group ministry that make it work with the Holy Spirit to produce mature disciples of Jesus.
But what about the people who equip, encourage, and empower those group leaders? Depending on the church, they are called coaches, shepherds, champions, and many other things. But they are a vital part of any successful ministry.
9. Best Church Practices: Small-Group Ministry
Creating documents and systems that improve the health and strength of a small-groups ministry used to be a real chore. But now we've done the work for you! Our Best Church Practices download contains 16 policies and forms that can be fully customized to fit your church and ministry. These documents include job and ministry descriptions, application forms, leadership criteria, profiles, and much more. They will help you train leaders, organize and focus your groups, and support them well.
10. Creating Authentic Fellowship in Small Groups: E-Training
Fellowship is one of the big selling points for most small groups. It's what we strive for when the group first gets together, and it's what we strive to maintain when we've been together for years.
But if you've been part of a small group before, you know that bonding with other group members is not as easy as it sounds. There's no magic formula a group leader can use to facilitate deep relationships, but there are some key principles that can be followed to give any a group a greater chance at relational success. This E-Training Module will help you explore and follow those principles.
—Copyright 2010 by the author and Christianity Today.