As 2015 draws to a close, let's take a look at the most popular Training Tools of the year. At SmallGroups.com, we're honored to help bring you practical training that allows you to lead your small-group ministry with confidence. Whether you're brand-new to our site or a long-time friend, I recommend checking out these favorites. Small-group pastors, coaches, and leaders will all find something helpful in this list.
1. Develop a Group Strategy
Expert advice on creating a custom plan for your ministry.
Recent research reveals that less than 50 percent of churches have a well-defined strategy for small-group ministry. Yikes! But we understand—it's really hard to find a structure that fits your context well. Often our first instinct is simply to cut and paste what's working at another church. But then when it fails, we realize it never fit our church to begin with. We'd like to show you a better way. This resource will give you the tools to create a customized strategy for your context. Learn from the experts what it takes to have a thriving ministry and how to get there from your current reality. With their tips, you'll create a structure that not only fits your context, but also meets your goals for group life.
2. Creative Leader Training
Think outside the box and your leaders will want to attend training events.
Regardless of the small-group leader training offered to new leaders at your church, there are issues and needs that come up that require additional training. And many churches like the idea of training events where all the small-group leaders are present. But too often these events are poorly attended and elicit negative feedback from leaders.
In this resource, you'll learn the secrets to holding training events that small-group leaders want to come to. Learn from the experiences of people who have been training leaders for years. Plus, we offer several field-tested activities you can incorporate into your next training event.
3. Leading 101
The basics of leading a small group
There's a reason college students are required to take 101 classes—they set a foundation for more in-depth classes they'll take later. These classes give the basics and serve as a survival guide for the subject. When small-group leaders begin their first groups, they need a 101 class, too. That isn't to say they won't ever need more in-depth training, but they need a base—something to help them get off to a great start and navigate the responsibilities of their role.
That's exactly what this resource is designed to do. This incredible resource gathers some of our best articles for small-group leaders. Learn how to prepare for group meetings, lead discussions, handle challenging group dynamics, welcome new members, and apprentice new leaders. Use this resource to train yourself, or use it with the small-group leaders you coach. Either way, it's a valuable resource.
4. Orientation Guides
Resources for specific roles in small-group ministry from director to leader
Getting started as a brand-new small-group director, coach, or leader is no small task. That's why we created our popular orientation guides. These guides, each for a specific role in the ministry, lay out job descriptions, key knowledge, and even encouragement for leaders as they get started. They're the perfect place to start on our site. We also offer our two most popular guides in Spanish: small-group director and small-group leader.