During the next week we are going to be launching all of our small groups into homes all over the area. We just got done with our small group leader training and this year there are a ton of new leaders leading groups this year. So excited! One thing we talk a lot about is our host homes. For the most part all of our small groups meet in homes of either the leaders or students. The leaders set the tone for the small groups in making sure it feels like a welcoming place.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind for before, during and after the small group meeting:

Before the group meets– Connect and meet with the parents of the students. You would be surprised how many parents never meet the leader at all! Make sure you have communicated to the entire group in a clear way when and where you are meeting. Connect with each student to let him or her know how excited you are to lead him or her. Connect with the parents of your host home to make sure the guidelines are set before the group gets there.

During the group – Be sure to greet them with their name. The name of a student is one of the most important things they have. Make them feel welcome. Have the room you are meeting in an ideal setting for a group. Pay attention to the lighting, temperature, seating, etc. all of that counts when wanting a successful group. Make sure everyone has the ability to talk and if they are quiet, ask them if there is anything else they want to add. Be yourself so they can be themselves as well. Always make sure to start and end on time and be respectful to the host homes.

After the group – Follow up! There is nothing better knowing that if there was a prayer request or a conversation that happened to know that it was not forgotten. Follow up during the week with a text or a phone call.

These are just some quick tips for rookies leading in a group for the first time. Is there anything else you would add to this list?