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How frequent, and how long, are the sessions?
How you use the small group ministry sessions will determine the frequency of meeting. Small group ministry with adults usually meets once, and preferably at least twice, each month for one to two hours. Small group ministry with youth can happen every week, or once or twice a month alternating with other programs or activities. It is important that the time be designated as small group ministry, that this be announced prior to the session, and that participants make a commitment to attend these sessions.
How you use the sessions may also determine the length of each meeting. If you use the sessions as Sunday morning curriculum, you may be limited to 60 or 90 minutes. If you use the sessions in another context, you may gain more time. Note: In Chapter 4, Sample Sessions 7 (Is It Good to Be King?) and 9 (Childish Things) suggest using a film as the focus. Showing an entire film will take additional time; facilitators who need to keep the session at 60 minutes can pre-select segments of the film to share with the group.
The time of day when you hold sessions may influence whether or not you decide to serve food. If you do include food, whether snacks or pizza or bag lunches, decide who will bring it and how the costs will be covered. Find out about allergies and make sure anyone who may bring food is informed. Remember to include time for clean-up at the end of your session.