How long with this group meet?
Studies vary by length; however, the Decades study includes eight sessions. We encourage your group to add an extra session at the end of any study for a celebration. In your final session, each group member may decide if he or she desires to continue on for another study. At that time, you may also want to do some informal evaluation, discuss your group guidelines, and decide which study you want to do next.
Who is the host?
The host is the person who coordinates and facilitates your group meetings. In addition to a host, we encourage you to select one or more group members to facilitate your group discussions. Several other responsibilities can be rotated, including refreshments, prayer requests, or keeping up with those who miss a meeting. Shared ownership in the group helps everybody grow.
Where do we find new group members?
- Find people around you who are new to church, are new believers, or have shown interest in getting involved.
- Look for people you think you can help realize their potential.
- As an “open group,” your group will be listed on our website as an option for people wanting to join a group.
- Ask God to send the right people to your group.
How do we handle childcare needs in our group?
Childcare needs must be handled very carefully. This is a sensitive issue. We suggest you seek creative solutions as a group. One common solution is to have the adults meet in the living room and share the cost of a babysitter (or two) who can be with the kids in another part of the house. Another popular option is to have one supervised home for the kids and a second home (close by) for the adults. If desired, the adults could rotate the responsibility of providing a lesson for the kids.
Where can I hold my small group?
We encourage Small Groups to meet outside the church building in the places where you like to spend your time. Some of the most common meeting places are homes, restaurants, parks, coffee shops, and office buildings.
What should I do if someone asks a question I can't answer?
It’s okay to not have all the answers. Thankfully, we can find guidance through prayer, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Also, let them know that you will do your best to get some information and get back with them at your next Small Group meeting. Always feel free to reach out to a staff member for help.
How do I measure if group members are growing?
Everyone in your group will be at different places spiritually. The process of helping them grow is not to get them to do everything at once, it’s to help identify where they currently are spiritually and offer a practical next step. Make it part of your discussion whether in a group setting or individually. Here are some great questions to guide your conversation:
- What are you most looking forward to in the group?
- What do you feel like God has been doing in your life lately?
- What areas of your faith are you hoping to grow in the coming months?
- What are you focused on in your life right now?
- Have you been through First Steps? Do you remember what your spiritual gifts are?
- Have you ever served at The Bayou?
- How can I pray for you? Everyone in your group will be at different places spiritually. The process of helping them grow is not to get them to do everything at once, it’s to help identify where they currently are spiritually and offer a practical next step.
What are next steps to suggest for group members?
Everyone in your group will be at different places spiritually. The process of helping them grow is not to get them to do everything at once, it’s to help identify where they currently are spiritually and offer a practical next step. Here are some examples of next steps you can share depending where a group member is spiritually:
- Invite them to attend a Sunday service with you.
- Share your personal story and what God has been teaching you.
- Share how First Steps can help them discover their purpose and invite them to attend.
- Invite them to consider being baptized. Invite your Small Group to be there to celebrate anyone getting baptized.
- Share how you find time regularly to pray, worship, and read God’s Word and encourage them to make their own plan for time with God.
- Tell them about The Bayou app and daily devotional.
- If they are ready to receive Christ, offer to pray with them.
What should I do if someone shares something with me (or the group) that requires attention beyond what I can provide?
If you encounter a difficult situation within your small group, please know that you are not alone. If a member is going through a crisis, you can rally the group around them to provide prayer, encouragement, and support. Use wisdom and be sensitive to the situation. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to ask a Bayou staff member. You can reach our adult ministry team by emailing us [email protected].