START A SMALL GROUP

     

Starting a new multiplying small group

Church of Hope NSW believes in the importance of all Christians being connected to the life of a healthy small group. For this reason we have come up with a model for starting a small group which has a focus on encouraging all members of the group to commence their own small groups in the future.

    

I will begin with a few general thoughts in relation to starting a small group

- Most importantly we need to be led by the Holy Spirit in all that we do. (We need His guidance as to what is the best day and time to meet for our small groups and where to meet and who to invite to the launch of new small groups to get them off to a good start)

     

- It is important that every small group has a clear vision for meeting together and that the leader of the small group regularly communicates that vision to those in the small group. Having a clear vision for the small group helps to prevent the small group from losing momentum over time and just becoming a social gathering 

      

- A healthy small group should have the following characteristics and objectives:

i)   That all members of the group are encouraged to lead people to Christ and to invite people to the small group   

ii)  That all those in the small group are encouraged in an atmosphere of love and acceptance to grow in their walk with the Lord and to become mature disciples who flow in their own unique gifts and callings 

iii) That those in the small group are equipped and encouraged to become potential small group leaders themselves in the future 

iv)  That there is a vision and goal to continually grow the group so that it can be divided to form new small groups in the future, and

v)   For those in the group to be equipped to become more effective in sharing their faith so that people can be continually added to God's Kingdom

To help equip those in the group to be more effective in witnessing to others, one key to evangelism could be briefly taught in every small group meeting. For example the importance of using ice breakers to help start conversations with others one week and maybe another week the importance of divine appointments, etc

 

VISION AND GOALS FOR SMALL GROUP (One Example): 

- To help encourage those in the group to win people to Christ

- To continually invite new people to join the small group (i.e. friends, colleagues)

- To create an atmosphere of genuine love and acceptance in all of the meetings

- To help those in the group to grow in their faith and to become mature disciples

- To encourage all those in the group to use their spiritual gifts 

- To equip all members of the group to become potential small group leaders, and

- To continually grow the group so that new small groups can be established

     

- We must always ensure as leaders that we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us as we lead the small groups and be prepared on some nights to change our original plans to meet the immediate and specific needs of those in our small groups. God knows when people have need of encouragement.

      

- To help people to launch new small groups we have put together a Church of Hope New Believer’s Training Manual which can be downloaded by clicking "HERE". This manual can also be downloaded from the Downloads page of our Church of Hope website: www.coh.org.au/downloads.The teachings in this manual can be used in the interactive bible study part of the small group meeting

(Please go to the bottom of this page to see the individual teachings in this manual that can be downloaded separately)

Each week you can prayerfully choose a growth key from the New Believer's Training Manual to discuss and work through in the Bible study component of your small group meeting. I would encourage all new small groups to go through the gospel of grace teaching and the six doctrines of our Christian faith teaching first to consolidate the foundations of the faith of all those who attend your small group. This is especially the case if most of those attending your small group are relatively new believers. 

Upon completing the New Believer's Training Manual teachings you can then prayerfully select the new teachings that you will use for your small group.

You are also free to use your own teaching materials right from the beginning of your small group if you prefer. The teachings on this page are simply there to help people to start healthy small groups. 

     

- It is good to have some general structure for our small groups. Having this structure helps in seeing multiplying small groups being raised up. A key to McDonalds success has been that they have had a good structure which can be easily replicated, but also flexibility within their structure. i.e. Flexibility in the food menu to cater for the specific and changing needs of customers

      

- There is no need to be connected to Church of Hope NSW to commence a small group using our teaching materials. However for those who would wish to come under the covering of our church please email Pastor Conrad at churchofhope@hotmail.com and he will send you a monthly encouraging email to help you in the running of your small group

 

      

FOLLOWING ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS and guidelines in relation to having a good structure for a healthy small group AND what some characteristics of a healthy small group are:

    

i.   Begin with prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to have His way in all that we do.

 

ii.  Begin with an EXPECTATION that God is going to do something new in the meeting. Never allow the small groups to just become dull and routine.

 

iii.  BELIEVE for miracles in the meeting during the time of prayer. (Mark 16:17-18)

 

iv.  After a short time of welcoming one another commence with a time of anointed worship. This will help to minimize the possibility of a whole lot of negative talk getting the meeting off to a poor start (Tea/Coffee and cold drinks can also be served during this time)

 

v. Then share an encouraging and interactive practical bible teaching. Give opportunities for all attending to have some input. For all new small groups begin by using the New Believer’s Training Manual so that all those in the small groups have a good foundation for their faith.

 

vi.  During this teaching time those in your group who have also been released to run their own small groups can learn how to effectively run the teachings for those in their own small groups.

 

vii.  Then have a time of i) personal prayer as people seek prayer for personal issues  AND then ii) pray for others (Each week someone can be nominated to put together some general prayer points for OTHER items and other people's needs)

 

viii. Be flexible throughout the night and be prepared to change direction as the Holy Spirit leads or to focus on one key area of the teaching for the night.

 

ix.  Never get bogged down talking about people's problems. This has the potential to destroy the night and eventually even to destroy the small group. After a short time of listening PRAY for God's help (Ephesians 4:6-7)

 

x.  For any deeper counselling needs arrange for a time to meet as a leader of the group after the meeting or during the week. Alternatively they can meet with one of the church pastors

 

xi. Leaders of small groups should always be training up, mentoring and releasing future small group leaders from within their group to establish their own small groups as well. As people are being prepared to also run their own small group they can be given opportunities to lead the bible study on some nights

 

xii. All small groups should also have a heart for evangelism. Things such as inviting unsaved friends to the meeting and organizing regular evangelism initiatives should be encouraged. Small groups must never just become social groups

 

To help those in your small group to become more effective in sharing their faith with others you can use the following Evangelism Training Teachings:

Introduction and general format for running Evangelism Workshops  (615 kb)

Practical Evangelism Workshop Teaching  (1.22 mb)

Evangelism Fire Workshop Manual  (1.26 mb)

Some keys to being effective in witnessing to and preaching to others  (413 kb)

Some keys to effectively preaching the gospel  (670 kb)

 

xiii.  Close the formal part of the meeting in prayer sealing all that has been learned in the hearts of all the people

 

xiv.  Then have a time of healthy food fellowship: During this time as leaders we must not allow excessively negative conversations to develop to undermine the encouragement that has been gained during the meeting. We must also be careful to not allow cliques to develop

 

xv.  Genuine love, experiencing God's presence, growing in our faith and encouraging others in their walk with the Lord should be the key objectives in all meetings, and

 

xvi.  Wish all those who have attended the meeting a great week when they leave

 

xvii. TWO FINAL THINGS THAT CAN ALSO BE INCLUDED IN EACH SMALL GROUP MEETING

To help those in the small group to be more actively involved in reaching out to the lost during the week and in helping to see the small group grow, the following can also be included in each meeting:

I)   Encourage each member of the group at the end of the night to pray for God to put on their heart at least one person to reach out to before they meet together again at their next meeting, and

II)  At the beginning of each small group meeting give each member of the small group an opportunity to briefly share about how they went in reaching out to the person or people that the Lord put on their hearts to contact at the previous meeting 

It is so important however that people in the group never feel pressured or guilty if they cannot catch up with anyone, or if they failed to catch up with the person or people that they had intended to contact

     
The benefits of encouraging every member of the group to reach out to at least one person before they meet up again are that:

- it will help to make their lives more fruitful

- it will help to see more small groups being raised up in the future, and

- it will help to see more people being added to the Kingdom of God and growing in their walk with the Lord. 

 

GUIDELINES FOR SMALL GROUPS WITHIN OUR CHURCH OF HOPE FELLOWSHIP

Initially all small group leaders that are part of our Church of Hope fellowship are required to attend the fortnightly Church of Hope leadership training small group. This is for our first tier of small group leaders

 

As small group leaders in our Church of Hope leadership training small group begin to raise up small group leaders themselves from within their own small groups, they will be responsible for mentoring and coaching these small group leaders that they have raised up 

 

With the multiplying small group model all leaders are therefore both mentored themselves as well as mentoring and discipling others that they have raised up to run new small groups

 

   

ONE POSSIBLE SUGGESTED TIME FRAME FOR A HEALTHY BIBLE STUDY / SMALL GROUP

7.30 – 7.40 pm   Welcome / Settle in / Open in Prayer

7.40 – 8.00 pm   Praise and Worship

8.00 – 8.35 pm   Interactive Bible Study

8.35 – 8.50 pm   Prayer for people in the group / General prayers

8.50   Close in prayer / Food Fellowship

 

             

INDIVIDUAL TEACHINGS IN NEW BELIEVER'S TRAINING MANUAL

The gospel of grace

Twelve promises of God from the bible for all believers

The six doctrines of our Christian faith

 

CHRISTIAN GROWTH KEYS


























       

          

 

 

SOME GOOD WORSHIP SONGS THAT CAN BE USED IN SMALL GROUPS

Cornerstone

With all I am

Power of Your love

What a beautiful name it is

MAJESTY (Here I am)

How great is our God

Amazing Grace / My chains are gone

As the deer panteth for the water

Raise a Hallelujah

Let me thank You

Sometimes Alleluia

Breathe

All heaven declares

He will carry you