Top 10 Small-Group Ministry Training Tools of 2018

Top 10 Small-Group Ministry Training Tools of 2018

This year’s most popular resources for small-group ministry

Building and maintaining a thriving small-groups ministry requires so much of your time and attention. You may find yourself feeling pulled in 10 different directions as you serve each week. At, we know you want to make the biggest impact possible, and we know your time is limited. That's why we've compiled a list of our most popular resources from 2018. From casting vision to leader training, these tools are designed to help you use the time you do have to skillfully lead a healthy small-group ministry and see lives changed. You can do it - we're cheering you on!

1. Small-Group Leaders Training Program
Set a firm foundation for your new small-group leaders.

Training new small-group leaders can be difficult. What exactly do they need to get started? How can you help first-time leaders feel confident? And how do you keep the training and ongoing coaching process stress-free?

With the Small-Group Leaders 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 the format that works best for you: a half-day workshop, a five-week turbo group, or a variety of other formats. Our program includes a comprehensive leader's guide and five video sessions. Participant workbooks can be purchased separately.

2. Orientation Guides
Resources for every role in small-group ministry, from from director to leader.

Getting started as as a brand new small-group director, coach, or leader is a daunting task. That's why we created our popular orientation guides. Designed with specific training for each role, these guides lay out job descriptions, essential knowledge, and encouragement to get you started!

Our director & leader guides are also offered in Spanish.

3. Create Sermon-Based Studies
How to write engaging group studies using your pastor's sermons.

Linking your pastor's weekly sermons with your small-group curriculum opens the door for meaningful group conversations and transformation that sticks. You don't need a large church or specialized campaign to make sermon-based small groups work. In fact, you can offer 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 thoughtful discussions. It's easier than you might think!

4. Develop a Group Strategy
Expert advice on creating a custom plan for your ministry.

Recent research from LifeWay reveals that less than 50 percent of churches have a well-defined strategy for their small-groups ministry. Yikes! But we understand - it's challenging to find a structure that works best for your groups.

Human instinct tells us to look to others who are succeeding and simply try to copy their methods. But when that approach fails, we can see the ways our ministries strengths and weaknesses differ from others. Let us show you a different way. We've gathered the most helpful strategies from top leaders in small-group ministry. Learn what it takes to make your ministry flourish and how to get from point A to point B. With this tool, you'll create a structure that fits your context and meets your goals for group life.

5. Leading 101
The basics of leading a small group.

Just like new college students need 101 classes to lay the foundation for more complex learning later on, new small-group leaders need a 101 class to pave the way for in-depth training in leading a group. We've designed Leading 101 to walk new leaders through the basics of leading a group. With this tool, they'll learn how to prepare for group meetings, lead discussions, welcome new members, handle challenging group dynamics, and apprentice new leaders. Use this resource to train yourself, or distribute it to the leaders you coach to set them up for success!

6. Plan a One-Day Retreat for Leaders
Leaders need a break to re-focus and refresh.

Ministry leaders are no strangers to burnout. Serving and building up the spiritual health of others often leads to neglecting their own needs. But God wants to refresh his children and equip them to serve from their rest in him. This training tool is designed to help the ministry director plan and lead a meaningful retreat for small-group leaders. Gather together for a time of rest, relaxation, and extended time alone with God.

Included are articles and Bible studies to aid in retreat preparation, tips on choosing times and locations, and a participant's guide that will serve as a roadmap for your leaders on the day of the retreat. All the content you need for the retreat is ready for you - just pick a time and place and you're set!

7. Conquer Common Meeting Problems
Say goodbye to low attendance, bad studies, childcare issues, shallow relationships, and more.

You've done all of the hard work: attended leader training, picked a great study, and formed a group of people you're excited to get to know! Then, you start meeting and suddenly wonder why you wanted to be a leader in the first place. You're facing one of these common meeting problems: spotty attendance, a study that falls flat, awkward relationships, or trouble with childcare. Don't freak out - we can help! We've gathered the best advice from our small-group experts to help you get back on track.

8. Launching a Church-Wide Campaign
Practical advice to help your church pull off a campaign.

Organizing and executing a church-wide campaign seems like a daunting task - or at least one that raises a multitude of questions. How do we choose the right material? Can we make our own curriculum based on the pastor's sermons? How do we convince existing small groups to get on board with the campaign? How do we let the congregation know about our plans in a way that gets everyone excited to participate? How do we convince people to join a new small group, and where do we find new leaders? What do we do when the campaign is over?

Take a deep breath - we have answers and practical advice for all the questions and more in this training tool on launching a church-wide campaign.

9. Market Your Small-Group Ministry
Communicate about small groups in a clear, compelling way that draws people into groups.

Small-group point people need an intentional strategy for marketing the small-group ministry. It's not always easy to know where to start, though! Thankfully, we've gathered wisdom from experts like Steve Gladen, Mike Mack, Carter Moss, Will Johnston, and Ben Reed on how to market your ministry effectively. Learn how to develop a marketing plan, communicate effectively, keep small groups in front of your congregation regularly, and pull off a successful campaign.

10. Train Your Group in Relational Evangelism
It's a whole lot simpler than it sounds.

Just the word "evangelism" can send a little chill down the spine of many Christians, but relational evangelism (bringing the hope of Jesus naturally into your relationships) really isn't scary. In fact, it can be really simple. Your group members are in relationships every day - with their family members, coworkers, neighbors, and friends - and you can help train them in easy ways to intentionally incorporate the Good News of Jesus into their relationships. Here's how to get started!

Free Newsletter

Sign up for our Weekly newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.