Getting Started

For many of the suggested steps below, the ministry coordinators have electronic templates and sample documents to help with customizing and planning the documents.

  1. Attend meeting of mentor couples – A great way to really get a feel for the power of a small group is to attend one of our meetings.  You will get a sense of how it is run as well as the group dynamics.
  2. Contact ministry coordinators – Let us know that you are going forward in starting a group and the type of group you are starting.  We will then assist with providing any couples that have come forward who might be a good fit for your group.  You will be assigned your mentor couple to help support your group.
  3. Solicit group members – Ask in person, call or send a note to potential couples who are interested. A personal invitation goes a long way. For those who are interested, you can ask them if they know another couple who might be interested as well.  For the initial meeting you might want to ask a few extra couples in the likelihood that all won’t be able to commit to your group.
  4. Plan the informational session – The group leaders will work together to plan out what you want the informational session to look like.  The purpose of this meeting is to introduce yourselves, share why you are starting a group, what your vision is for the group, and what general guidelines/commitments you expect in order to be involved in the group. You might want to have your mentor couple attend this meeting to help with introducing the overall ministry and the benefits of being in a small group.
  5. Set up an informational session – In your home, invite the potential couples over to share with them more about your vision for the group and spend time getting to know each other.  This will allow couples to ask questions and get a sense if this is the right experience for them.  Don’t ask the couples to commit on the spot unless they are willingly to do so.  Let each couple have time to discuss together in private if they think it’s a good fit and they are willing to make the commitment.
  6. Follow up with couples – Personally thank and follow up with each couple to see if they are willing to commit.  If not, thank them for thinking about it and get any feedback you can as to why they are not interested. If the couple is still interested in the ministry, but just want a different group, let the coordinators know.  If they are interested in being part of your group, then let them know when you’ll be having your first introduction meeting.
  7. Have introduction meeting with your new group – The purpose of this meeting is to get your entire group together to discuss and commit to the schedule, format, resources, group values, contact information, hosting expectations and anything else that the group needs to decide.  This is also when you want to spend more time getting to know each other personally.  At this meeting you won’t be starting any lessons; it is primarily for gaining clear expectations together for how your group will operate in the future.  You might want to have your mentor couple attend this meeting to help with getting everything planned.

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