What are the goals of our Small Group Ministry? To develop a network of small groups that:
How would you organize to support small groups?
What key roles are needed?
What would you want the groups to be like?
What would you have the leaders do?
What should group leaders be disallowed from doing?
How would you support the groups?
What is the monthly Leadership Gathering?
What role would the clergy play?
Why is content so important?
What do we try accomplish with content?
What types of sessions do we offer?
Does every group do the same session at the same time?
What's in a session's content?
What kind of sharing do we include?
What's the value of preparation?
Why do we need Leader Notes?
Why do we have a content team?
Who selects the leaders? What do you do when one of the persons who wants to be a leader is not qualified?
The council selects them; they must have certain skills, which are listed. Generally, people who are not qualified will self-deslect when they read the FAQ about leadership skills.
How are groups formed?
It starts off with sign-ups; in most cases, it's self-selecting. By staying within the structured format, you allow people to get along with those who they might normally not be able to.
How many people are in your program; how long did it take to get going?
Currently 120 participants; took about a year to establish; created task force to work through all the issues, recruitment of leaders, membership tracking.
When people sign up for a specific group, do they know who the leaders are?
Yes, it's worked both ways; but the driving factor has been meeting time more than the group leaders, or participants; groups will go through transformation and change, anyway.
Where do you meet?
Some at the church, more at peoples' homes.
What about service?
Some groups have participated in social action groups; service gets encouraged by the content that's written.
As new groups form, what do they do about the content? Do they go back and tackle earlier topics?
They can. All the content is available to group leaders, and on the website.
What do you do about people who reveal themselves in the group to be mentally ill, or have severe issues?
We knew certain leaders were very competent in dealing with certain types of issues, and tried to assign people to be with those leaders (but made clear that it was not the leader's job to deal with the person's problems.
How do you introduce SGM to visitors?
There is a Small Group Ministry table at coffee hour every Sunday.
Are you sharing your group leader training curriculum?
It's on the website.
What things do you have problems with?
One of the things we struggle with is smoothly matching up of members to groups. It's not easy.
How do you handle scheduling of SGM meetings?
Our SGM groups meet the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month; therefore, we ask all committees to meet the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month. It takes a total commitment of the church to do this.
Do you allow affinity groups?
Yes, there are several women's groups, and also young adult groups.
Reported by Allan Stern; edited by Jone Johnson Lewis.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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