220 - How to Lead a Weekly Men's Small Group
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Tuesday, September 17 2013 00:00|
NOTE: This article was first published 10 years ago. Because of the urgent need to give leaders proven, practical guidance to disciple men, we're republishing it now. With a few minor edits, it appears as originally published.
The goal is to "create, capture, and sustain disciples." How can we overcome inertia? To make disciples we need momentum--we must "create, capture, and sustain momentum." So what's the secret? The secret of momentum is to "create, capture, and sustain value."
THE CASE: WHY SMALL GROUPS?
Jesus used a small group to create momentum. Jesus launched His divine plan to redeem mankind by making disciples out of a small group. Impressive. The question, of course, is why would he do that? Why a small group?
Jesus knew that most meaningful change takes place in the context of small group relationships--men sharpening men with truth, encouraging each other for the daily battle, and sticking with each other over the long haul.
HOW TO FORM A GROUP
1. First, make a list of men you might like to have in your group. Figure you need to ask two men for every slot in your group. Pray over their names. Ask God to give you names you might not ordinarily think of.
2. Next, decide what kind of group you want to lead. You could wait and make a group decision, but it will likely fall apart. Leaders lead--and men like that. There are many different types of small groups (after each type I have offered a suggested size, but this is an art, not a science): Bible Studies (6 to 12 men--remember, 12 is a number that's been successfully used before); Discussion Groups (4 to 8 men); Support Groups: specific issues like addictions (6 to 12 men); Prayer Groups (2 to 6 men); Accountability Groups (4 men); Fellowship Groups (2 to 8 men); Mentoring Groups (2 to 4 men); and Mission Groups: service projects (5 or more men).
THE FIRST MEETING
The first meeting is informational...
HOW TO LEAD AN EFFECTIVE DISCUSSION
Here are some hard-learned lessons about leading an effective discussion...
OTHER SUGGESTIONS TO BE EFFECTIVE
Bible Studies: If you have the time, aptitude, and interest, you can develop your own curriculum. If not, try the Man in the Mirror Weekly Video Bible Study. You can get it free online and choose from more than 35 series. Watch or listen to the message, then discuss the downloadable questions. There are also unedited transcripts if you want to teach the material yourself. Click to see a Table Leader Job Description, register as a Small Group Leader, and more.
WHAT MAKES A GROUP LAST?
Value is what makes a group last. Every time a man shows up, he has decided not to do something else. Most men have many choices, so your small group has to meet the "real and felt needs test" or it won't last.
So what do men find valuable? Life can be brutal. Every day men must manage their lives against the Fall. Because life is so hard, men need to be encouraged. They need a hug from God. They need the human touch. And this, while wearing the skin of a loner.