Fun Friday (new leader edition)

In continuing the new leader theme, here is an email that I sent out to our leaders at the beginning of one of our semesters.

I’m A New Leader: What Now?

If you’re a new community group leader, you might be starting to panic a little right now. The groups kick-off has come and gone and now you are starting to get emails with names of people who would like to be in your group. Yes, that’s right, YOUR GROUP. The reality that you actually have a group is setting in, and that there will actually be a gathering of YOUR GROUP coming soon.

We are here to say: don’t panic. Please put away the knives and sharp utensils. Breathe. Breathe again. It’s going to be great.

We are here to help. We do this groups thing for a living.

Here are a few suggestions to help get you started.

  1. Contact the people on your list this week. They have signed up for this, so they will be looking for your email/phone call. You will probably have to make more than one contact. If you do not hear back after an email, give them a call. There are a few people who still use that outdated device. Your iPhone/Android has a phone calling app…somewhere.
  2. Plan your first meeting. This should be an informal, get to know you kind of affair. Don’t worry about getting into the study at this point. You have people to meet, stories to swap. It might be a good idea to do it somewhere less threatening than your house. Maybe a coffeeshop or a restaurant. Something based around food is always a strong choice.
  3. Start thinking about what study you would like to do. If you don’t have one picked out yet, try doing the Message Questions for a few weeks until you decide on a longer term study for your group. You might find that you like the Message Questions so much that you stick with that for the semester. Our team of super-smart writers would really appreciate that. If you need help picking out a study, we have a list of available studies that we would be happy to share with you. For a fee. Just kidding. Sort of. Our writers need to eat.
  4. Download the Groups Covenant and go over it with your group at your second meeting. This will be the ground rules for your group this semester, so you want to get that out there right away. Don’t forget the “No cheese whiz” rule. You’ll thank me later for that one.
  5. Pray for your group. That really should have been #1, but I didn’t want you to think that this was going to be one of those “super-spiritual” kind of posts and quit reading. But, it really is important. Don’t go without it.

It is going to be a great semester! We believe in you. Your mom believes in you. Thank you for helping people find lasting community at Cross Point!

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About the author

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over twenty-three years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also the Discipleship and Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. Chris’s first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson.