One of our ongoing discussions when it comes to group life is – how high do you set the bar for leadership? If you set the bar too high, you will automatically weed out potential leaders who just need a chance to be tapped on the shoulder. If you set the bar too low, you run the risk of having groups that are ineffective at best, heretical at worst. Where that dividing line falls is tricky to find.
Although I feel like we don’t currently set the bar too high for our community group leaders, I still thought we were missing people who would not necessarily want to start out leading a group, but could be an amazing host. They already naturally have people that they do life with and just need some direction on helping those people take their next spiritual step. That is why we decided last semester to officially adopt the concept of HOST groups.
Most of the inspiration for our HOST groups came from Steve Gladen’s book, Small Groups With A Purpose. You can read about the specifics in the book, but we just simply said: “If you have a few friends, can serve snacks and have a dvd player you can host a group for at least the next 6 weeks.” We realized by doing this that we would open ourselves up to scenarios for groups that we have never had before.
Would it be possible for someone who is not yet a Christ follower to host a group? Yes.
Would this lead to some uncomfortable conversations? Absolutely.
Was it ultimately successful? I believe so.
Nearly all of our HOST groups from this past semester have continued and a few of them have committed to becoming a full community group with a leader that is going through our leader’s training. If we had not opened up the parameters for what a group could be, we would have missed out on some amazing stories of what God can do.
I will probably write about a few of them in the near future.
They may flip your thinking a bit…but it’s definitely more fun that way. 🙂