This may not be very exciting but I thought I’d tell you how I get ready for small group. I have an old flimsy nylon briefcase that is my small group briefcase. I keep my small group stuff in it. Right now it has songsheets, the Outflow book, and outflow DVD in it. I toss the small group helps—the LifeLine—in there each week.
The longer I lead small group the more I realize that praying is important and preparing the lesson isn’t that important. As many of you might guess, it was my doctoral research on healthy small groups that helped me discover this. It’s really true. This week I prayed for the group at various points. Mostly random prayers as the group came to mind but Vicki and I also prayed for things a few times together.
“You have not because you phone not” is a truth about small group especially when you are starting a new group. We called everyone who has come to group—not many at this point—to inform them of where we were meeting. One person said that she enjoyed visiting our group but would not be back. 🙁
I’m not sure why. We’ll try to find out from her after the service this weekend. Maybe another group would be a better fit for her.
Vicki called a gal who hadn’t come yet but seemed interested. She came! 🙂
I LOOKED OVER THE LESSON
I skimmed the small group helps and highlighted key phrases and the questions that I wanted to ask.
As I prayed for the group this week I could see one of the group member’s face. As we prayed on the way to group this happened again, I realized that this was probably from God. I thought, “We need to pray for this guy tonight.” We did. I have found if I listen, God faithfully shows where to start ministry.
We met at a different host home this evening. The couple is moving out of the country in two months so they have sold a lot of their stuff. They told us that they don’t have a TV or coffee maker anymore. “No problem,” we told them, “we’ll bring a coffee maker and a computer to show, the Outflow DVD on.” On the way to small group, as Vicki and I were praying for the group, I realized that we had loaded up the coffee maker but not the computer. Oops! We were too far from home to go back. I joked to Vicki, “I guess we got the most important thing—the coffee maker!” Fortunately, the hosts had a laptop and external speakers that we could use to play the DVD.
Small group went great. The input, discussion and prayer on reaching our family and friends was on target and really spoke to everyone. Worship was good. Ministry was good. There was delicious cheesecake, popcorn, and coffee for snack. People didn’t seem to want to leave, but I didn’t want to wear out our welcome so I threw my stuff in my old briefcase a little after 9:00 and said we need to run. Everyone left.
One of the group members wants to have the whole group over for a Thanksgiving meal later this month. This group seems to be gelling way faster than the last small group we led. It’s a joy and privilege to be a small group leader.
What do you do to prepare for group?