Essentials for Small Group Leaders
While our church fall planning will look different this year, launching Small Groups should still be on your church calendars. However, the way that we plan, recruit, implement and evaluate will look different.
Pastors and Small Groups Leaders, now is the time to identify the small group hosts for the fall. Think strategically, invite a few extra so they can work in pairs in the fall and you have a pool of leaders for Advent Small Groups.
If you are a first time Small Group Host or if you have led small groups for years, these uncertain times requires some new ideas and tools. This workshop will help prepare you to plan, invite and lead successful small groups this fall. This workshop is designed for laity. Congregations can set up follow up consultations following this workshop.
Important Spiritual Practices to incorporate into your small groups
Small Groups are essential as we navigate this season on change. Consider incorporating some of these important spiritual practices derived from United Methodist membership vows into your small groups:
Prayer: At this time your church, your community, our nation and this world are in desperate need of prayer. Setting aside some time to pray during small group is crucial.
Presence: While we are all grateful that technology allows us the ability to worship at any time, there is a special value in joining together to see and hear one another. Consider having your small group watch worship together, invite friends to a Facebook “watch party” or watch your streamed service on Zoom.
Gifts: This is a financially challenging time for many, while there are others that have maintained a steady income. Small groups can be a place where transparent conversations about stewardship and giving can take place. A new Breakthrough Small Group series, Greater Than https://www.gnjumc.org/greater-than/ address these topics.
Service: God continues to invite us to serve our community and the world in these hard times. What ways has your small group been inspired to serve? GNJ offers ideas for mission engagement, https://www.gnjumc.org/covid19/covid-19-resources/mission/
Witness: There are lots of people who are really struggling and could use a word of hope from God. Reach out to neighbors, family and friends and offer a prayer or just a few words of encouragement.
Guide for Newly Appointed Pastors
Click here to access a valuable guide for newly-appointed pastors with recommended questions for both pastors and small group leaders to foster conversation as they embark on their new appointments.
Why Small Groups?
In the midst of the bustle of life, people are meeting in small groups to discuss issues that are meaningful to them, offer mutual support and explore their relationship to God. Men, women, couples, teens and young adults are gathering regularly to talk about how God was working in their lives.
Small Group ministry has its foundation in both the Bible and church history. Jesus and Paul did significant ministry in small groups. John Wesley developed a system of discipleship by gathering people together to share how they were doing in their walk with God.
Today in GNJ we still hold to the belief that faith is best nurtured in a small group setting. Relationships built within a small group draws us closer to each other and nearer to God. Small Groups helps us create a more intimate and meaningful understanding of our faith.
New resources will soon be available to help you form Small Groups as well as support and enliven the Small Groups that are currently active in your congregations.
Click here to register as a small group leader (current small group leaders and those interested in becoming a small group leader).