Being a new small-group leader comes with a mix of emotions. You’re probably excited about the new opportunity, but you may also feel a bit anxious about getting started or worried about how to lead effectively. We can’t completely remove those first meeting jitters as you wait for everyone to arrive, but we can help you feel more prepared and confident to lead. These resources are consistently our most popular resources for new leaders for a reason—they really do help! Get started today with these practical tools.
1. Small-Group Leader Orientation Guide
A helpful overview of the basics of small-group leadership
This guide is designed for brand-new leaders who need an overview of their responsibilities and guidance on getting started. You’ll learn how to cast vision for your group, gain confidence in your new position, invite people to join your group, and find the right study. Perhaps most important, though, you’ll get a clear picture of what small-group leaders do and learn how to measure whether you’re successful. It’s also available in Spanish.
2. 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. When small-group leaders begin their first groups, they need a 101 class, too. That isn't to say you won't ever need more in-depth training, but you need a base—something to help you get off to a great start and navigate the responsibilities of your role.
That's exactly what this resource is designed to do. We’ve gathered 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.
3. 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 to 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.
4. Theological Discussions for Everyone
Get everyone involved in meaningful, fruitful discussions.
Discussing the Bible as a group can feel daunting. Especially when we have some group members who know a lot and others who are just beginning their walk with God. But the Bible is meant to be accessible for everyone, and your group discussions can open the door for great growth to take place. Rest assured, you can lead discussions that get everyone involved. This Training Tool will show you how to prepare for meaningful discussions and how to troubleshoot issues. Learn what it takes for group members to experience life change and then plan your discussions accordingly.
5. Conquer Common Meeting Problems
Say goodbye to low attendance, bad studies, childcare issues, shallow relationships, and more.
You've gone through leader training, picked a great study, and formed a group of people you're excited to get to know. And then you actually start meeting—and you wonder why you ever wanted to be a leader in the first place. Whether it's spotty attendance, a study that bombs, awkward relationships, childcare woes, or another common meeting problem, you're ready to turn in your resignation. But there's hope! We've gathered advice from the experts to help you get back on track.
—Amy Jackson is associate publisher of SmallGroups.com.