How to Start...
Perhaps you are like many who think the idea of a family small group is a great one. There are so very many benefits. But you ask yourself, how do I begin? Where do I start? Or even, I have never led a small group before. Would it be possible for me? These are natural questions that have good answers and it is why familysmallgroups.com exists. We want to help you be successful and virtually everyone can be. Whichever category you fit in below, click on it and you will find some needed helps for you.
Pastors, Small Group Pastors, Church Staff, and Church Volunteers:
The use of Family Small Groups in your ministry is probably a new idea and probably one you have never thought of before. We are here to tell you that it works and works very well. In our church, Saddleback Church, at one time we had over 100 family groups with over 1500 people attending them. With that much of a test, here are just some of the things we learned:
Family groups . . .
Make it easier for more people to attend a small group. They don't need to get a babysitter or to isolate the kids in another room when the important part of the night begins.
Immediately add to the number of groups meeting in your church.•Place parents into the primary role as spiritual leader in their family.
So how do you get started? Here are four things you can do:
- 1. Publicize and hold an interest meeting for those who would like to lead or attend a family small group. If you will contact us by phone or email, we will give you all you need to have a successful training including the power point and participant handouts. At that meeting you can match families with similar aged children and they can start the following week.
- 2. An easier approach would be to email the parents and/or small group leaders of your church with a link to our website and let those who are interested start their own groups. Have them give you feedback on their experience so that you can evaluate church wide participation in the future.
- 3. Try a family small group yourself and invite two or three families to join with you. This will hook you on the concept and how easy the familysmallgroups.com study guides make it to lead the group.
- 4. Contact us at familysmallgroups.com and one of our consultants will walk step by step with you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
We want to be a blessing to your ministry and make you successful.
The spiritual training of your children according to the Bible is your responsibility. When you consider that your church has them for about 40 hours per year, it is not reasonable to think the Sunday School teachers can teach them all they need to know. Not to mention, that in every area of life, more is caught than is taught. Your children NEED to see you studying the Bible, praying, singing, and even just enjoying the Lord!
- First, the question we are asked the most. Can these studies be used for Family Devotions? The answer is emphatically YES! They are great for single family devotions because they not only help you dig into the Bible, but they make it fun.
But I have never led a study before?
- If this describes you then the studies at Familysmallgroups.com are perfect for you. All you need is for each person to have their Bible, then open the study guide, and get started. What to do is spelled out step by step including suggested time allotments for each section of your study together. Also, in every study guide is an appendix that details how to lead a family small group successfully.
Should I invite another family or two to join us?
- This is the most fun and profitable way to use these materials and they are designed for multiple family groups. In our years of experience very, very few families ever turn down an invitation to join a family group. They desire this for themselves and their children. They just have never heard of the opportunity before.
What ages of children can participate?
- The study guides are designed for children who can read. If they are not yet old enough, but are mature enough to listen and participate in the games, they can be a part of the group. Usually this is 4 years old and up. Younger than that may need to be watched in another room.
Would my children want to do a family small group?
- Yes. What child does not want to spend time with his/her parents, playing games, discussing challenging questions, reading the Bible together, and eating cookies? If you dont believe me, just ask them. They will tell you.
Does each child need their own study guide?
- We have intentionally kept the price of these color printed, 35+ page books as low as we possibly can for this very reason. Children feel like second rate participants if they dont get their own book. They love writing in and bringing their book back every week. Parents, it is worth the investment.
It still makes me nervous to think of leading a group?
- Usually, all it takes is to make the decision to get started, order the guides, set a date to begin and you are off and going. But if you need any further help, ask your pastor or the person in charge of the small group ministry of your church if you have one of those. Another option is to contact us at familysmallgroups.com and one of our personal consultants will walk with you step by step.
Existing Small Group Leaders
If you are already leading a small group, congratulations. You are doing one of the most important ministries in any church and we applaud you. You already know the blessings of living life with the support of other believers.
Perhaps the idea of including the children in your small group is a new one. For most people it is. We want you to know it can be done and that it can be a blessing you will talk about for years to come.
There are a few ways you can get started:
- Give the group a trial run. In other words, pick a study you would like to do and try it. Each of the study guides is four weeks long. You can do anything for four weeks, can't you? If you and the kids of the group enjoy yourselves, you have found a new way to do your small group!
- Form a second group. Perhaps you love your small group so much, you don't want to change anything about it. That is understandable. At the same time, you still do not want to short change your own children from experiencing the same blessing. So, how about another night with some different families?
- Every other week. Some groups stay together but decide to include the children every other week. This is a compromise that works very well for many groups.
We believe in small groups and we believe in your ministry. We may not have answered all your questions, so please use the contact us tab and one of our consultants will get back to you. Also, look at the parents information page for other tips.