Small groups are our intentional answer to the call Jesus gave us to make disciples.
Joining others isn’t a “nice to have” in our discipleship with Jesus, it's a necessity. We join together because it’s good for us to do so. Our need for each other is part of our design and is commanded in Scripture at every turn with nearly fifty “one another” statements throughout the new testament.
Small groups at TBC is our platform “to love one another well”, to “encourage one another”, “spur one another on”, “admonish one another”, and so on.
Our commitment as Leaders
Leading a small group is one of the greatest commitments you can make in service to our church. While healthy groups share the responsibility of leading and shepherding one another, our leaders are committed to keeping the group healthy. They take the lead in caring for the group. The commitments of a small group leader are as follows:
- Sustain a growing and abiding walk with God (John 15:4-5)
- Maintain a humble and teachable spirit with an openness to be sharpened by God and others (Phillipians 2:3-4)
- Set an example for the believers in your group in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity (1 Timothy 4:12) so that you can confidently say, “follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
- Live a life of integrity and authenticity, seeking to be above reproach (Ephesians 5:7-10; Proverbs 10:17)
- Know well the condition of your group and its member’s emotional, physical and spiritual health (Acts 20:28)
- Ensure the group is caring for each other through biblical support, counsel, and attentiveness to issues as they arise (Colossians 3:12)
- Be proactive in communicating the necessary group information. (Reference the Get Clear doc)
- Be proactive in communicating when you need help, guidance, or resources for you or your members with Elders.
*The above has been adapted from Watermark Community Group Launch Curriculum
Communicate the following with each member of your group. Make sure each member is clear on these items.
Share with the group why you meet and what you hope to accomplish with your time together.
When and Where You will Meet
Decide on a consistent time and place.
What Time your session will begin and end!
Communicate the time, and how you will honor it.
Communicate that the group is “closed” by default and that there will be a group discussion when bringing on new members.
Communicate expectations and arrangements for childcare during meetings.
Communicate the importance of the consistent attendance of each member as a cornerstone of forming true biblical community.
Set expectations on how your group will communicate information and what kinds via email, text, et
What we’ll do together!
Communicate what your time together will consist of. Reference the Small Group Guidelines, and the Small Group Meeting doc.
How to Have a Great Small Group Meeting!
Read through the small group resources guide ahead of time. Pray for your group and your time together.
Welcome your group into your home, consider the seating arrangements, temperature, and snacks.
Encourage participation while being careful not to put anyone on the spot, avoid interruptions and distractions as best you can. Try to honor everyone’s time and commit to start and end times.
Small Group Guidelines
Review these with your group during the first meeting. As a leader be mindful of them and steer your group members to be mindful of them as you continue to meet.
Anything said in the group stays in the group.
Commitment to regularly attending a group meeting is a priority. If it’s necessary to miss communicating as early as you can.
I will show deference to the thoughts, opinions, and feelings of others.
I will leave time for others to talk and I will allow others to express themselves without interruption.
I will not offer advice unless it is specifically requested.
I will be as open with my life as I can be at this time.
We will come together before God as a group to ask, confess, and thank the Lord. During the week, I will pray for members of my group on a regular basis.
I will become involved in caring for group member’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
I will serve others with my group
Our group will be a place of fun, joy and laughter.
Your Small Group Meeting
General Small Group Information
- They are made up of 10-12 people who meet weekly in various homes throughout the greater Lafayette area.
- Groups usually run 10-15 weeks before taking a break for the summer or the holidays.
- The typical meeting lasts two hours and includes a time of visiting over snacks, sharing, discussion, and prayer.
- Most of our Small Groups discussion is anchored by the scripture covered in the sermon. Each Sunday we provide a small group guide.
Specific Parts of your time together
Below are descriptions of each item we recommend you incorporate into your time together.
This is a great time to offer snacks and catch up.
This is time for you to facilitate group discussion in response to questions centered around scripture.
Group Prayer Time
As the leader you can take requests for prayer and lead the group in how you’ll pray for one another while you are together. (i.e you pray out loud, go around the room, let people volunteer, etc.. )
Separate Male & Female Accountability
Often separating sexes makes both men and women more comfortable in sharing struggles, and asking for counsel. It also provides a safer place to share accountability, and encouragement in our pursuit of living faithfully.
Sample Meeting Agendas
Use this as a guide when planning your meeting.
5pm - Check-in
5:20 - Group Discussion
5:50 - Group Prayer
6:05 - Male/Female Accountability
6:45 - End!
Who can I turn to?
As a leader of a small group you may be faced with something you need help with. There is a support network you can lean on. Contact one of our elders anytime you need help.
Extra Physical, Spiritual, and Mental help and support
If a member has a need that is beyond your group’s ability to meet, reach out with their permission. An elder can help connect you with counselors, spiritual mentors, and help our church meet their needs.
Conflict between members
If conflict between members can’t be solved within your group, reach out. Jesus expected our sins to bring conflict and promised to be there for us when we gathered to solve it. (Matthew 18:15-20)
Problems with Doctrine
If a member of the group is continuing to struggle with a certain doctrine, sharing a false doctrine, or using group discussion time as a personal platform even after your counsel, reach out for help and guidance. (Acts 20:29-31)