As 2017 draws to a close, we’re reflecting on the past year of ministry. In so many ways, this has been a tough year to minister to people. With seemingly daily tragedies and a bounty of tough questions, many of us have lost at least a little sleep wondering how best to care for the people in our flock.
On the other hand, 2017 has been like any other year in ministry—small groups continue to be a prime way that people learn about God, grow in their relationship with him and others, and experience life transformation. And so we keep on, doing everything we can to equip our leaders, choose great curriculum, and develop a great ministry strategy. It’s no surprise that our Small-Group Leader Training Program tops the list this year, but it’s also great to see newer resources like Train Your Group in Relational Evangelism make the list. See our most popular training resources of the year below.
1. Small-Group Leader Training Program
Set a firm foundation for your new small-group leaders.
It can be difficult to train new small-group leaders. What exactly do brand-new leaders need to get started? How can you help them feel confident as they begin leading? And how can you train them effectively with as little stress as possible?
With the Small-Group Leader Training Program, we've done the hard work for you. You'll get all the tools you need to implement an engaging and practical training in a half-day workshop, a five-week turbo group, or a variety of other formats. Included, you'll find a comprehensive Leader's Guide, five video sessions, and information on how to order the accompanying Participant Workbook for your leaders.
2. Create Sermon-Based Studies
How to write engaging group studies that tie into your pastor's sermons
Churches across the world have had success with small-group campaigns that link the sermon with what small groups study during their meetings. But you don't need a specialized campaign to make sermon-based small groups work. In fact, you can offer great sermon-based small-group guides to your leaders year-round.
This Training Tool will show you how to take your pastor's sermon notes and turn them into easy-to-use guides that can help your small-group leaders facilitate transformational discussions. And it's easier than you might think.
3. 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.
4. 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.