3 Things All Small Group Start-ups Must Do

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Starting a new small group can be exciting, but also nerve wracking! Before we hear some great advice on how to start a successful small group, watch this video about a small group that you most certainly won't want to emulate!

That video just makes me laugh! Now listen as Alan Danielson, the Senior Pastor of New Life Bible Church in Norman, OK, shares three essentials for anyone starting a new small group.

Please note: If your church has a small group pastor or someone in charge of small groups, make sure you talk with them before pulling a group together.

Alan's first essential is that you actually start the group. That may seem obvious, but you have to take the time to figure out where you will meet, when you will meet, how often you will meet, etc. What steps have you already taken toward starting your group? What else might you need to do?
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Alan's second point was "Fill." He said that it was the small group leaders responsibility to invite people to the group. Is that how your church does it? Even if your church supplies the initial members of the class, why might it be a good idea to continue to invite new people into the group?
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Who can you invite to join your group? Maybe a neighbor or a coworker?
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Alan talked about Rick Warren's four levels of connection:

  1. Socialize Together
  2. Study Together
  3. Serve Together 
  4. Suffer Together

If you are just starting out, then there's nothing wrong with socializing and getting to know each other. You might not want to start the first meeting by saying, "Folks, if we are really going to be a great group of Christ followers, we are going to have to suffer together!" But, now that you know the four levels of connection, it's not too early to start planning on how you will grow through the four levels. 

What can you do right now to set your group up for success? What service projects are you drawn toward? How can you mobilize your group, even from the start, to be a group that impacts others for God's glory and doesn't just sit around and talk about the Bible?
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Alan said that suffering in the context of fulfilling a mission creates a bond unlike anything else. What will be the mission of your small group? Will it be just to get to know a few other Christians, or will your group bring freedom to people oppressed by sin through the message and hope of Jesus Christ?

For more RightNow Media training posts, teaching videos and Bible study resources with Alan Danielson, click here.

To learn more about Alan Danielson's thoughts on mastering leadership skills, visit his blog:  www.3threat.net