Every great small group starts with a first meeting. But how do you get ready for this meeting?
Be in prayer leading up to the meeting.
Ask God for his blessing and that the right people would show up and that the group would go well.
Prepare the environment.
Maybe rearrange the furniture in a circle instead of just having it the way you normally have it. Have enough seats, set a comfortable temperature and have adequate lighting so people can read their bibles and see each other.
Meet people at the door as they arrive.
Greet them and tell them how glad you are that they came, and then give them a name tag. For the first handful of group meetings, it's important to wear name tags. It avoids that whole awkward, "What's their name again," because you really don't want to keep asking that. So have name tags.
Start the group time with an ice breaker.
About 15-20 minutes after people have arrived, have the group gather in a circle and begin the process of having a group with a fun question. The goal is to get the ball rolling so people can get to know each other. Once you've done that, you could have a brief discussion, but the focus to that first meeting is just building connections with each other and getting to know each other.
Close with prayer.
As the meeting progresses, keep an eye on the time and then when it's about 15 minutes until your group meeting ends, honor the time commitment you’ve made and close in prayer. If people want to stay around for another hour or two, that's up to you and them, but at least the people that are real time sensitive and need to go, those people feel that they're comfortable to leave.
And then congratulations! You've now had your first official group meeting.
*This is the first post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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