It’s your first group meeting. The thought of leading that first gathering can be intimidating even for the most seasoned group leader. Here are some helpful hints that might make those first encounters with a new group of folks just a little less awkward.
Before the Meeting
- Communicate. Make sure and communicate with everyone reminding them of the meeting. This may be via phone, email, text, Facebook or whatever means you will establish as the best way to communicate with your group. Make sure to include the day, time, and address. You may want to include directions if everyone doesn’t know the location.
- Plan for some food. You might want to include the three C’s — chips, cookies, and caffeine. Think something salty, something sweet, and something good to drink. If that something good to drink includes caffeine, people are more likely to stay awake!
- Pray for your group. If you know who will be joining you, pray for each by name. Pray that the group will be open to experience relationship with each other and with Christ.
- Have name tags for everyone. This isn’t a required piece but will help new people get to know the others in the group.
At the Meeting
- You may want to have an icebreaker to get the conversation started. Some people are really good at asking good questions so this will be easy. Others might find this more challenging. Check out some sample icebreakers at smallgroups.com or Google ‘icebreaker questions’!
- Share the vision of this group. Each group may have a different philosophy of why they will be meeting. Hopefully at the core, we want to develop relationships with one another and with Christ. Sharing the vision of the group is important to share from the beginning so you can set the stage for why this group exists. If you leave this open to the individuals’ imaginations, you will have a wide variety of expectations and therefore most people will be disappointed. Being very clear here will set the stage for successful future meetings.
- As a part of sharing the vision, consider answering some of these questions:
- Why are we meeting?
- What do we hope to accomplish?
- Are we a group that requires consistent attendance or is it okay if people pop in and out?
- Will we have homework?
- How long will the group last?
You might want to add a few of your own specifically if there is something that is an important part of your group culture.
Taking it Home
What are some things you’ve learned as you’ve lead your first group? If you’ve attended a small group, what are some things you’ve seen other leaders do to make that first meeting a meaningful one? (comment below)
As you’re leading and have questions, the Community team is here to help you with those. Add a comment below or email us, and we’ll be glad to help in any way we can.