Four Essentials for Growth Group Leaders

1: About The Leader

Being a Growth Group leader can be a highly rewarding act of service – I pray that you will grow too in the process!

Growth Group leaders 3 legged stool

  1. Be trained. Look out for moments of leader training organised at church so that you can know and improve your skills in leading a Growth Group and understanding God’s word.
  2. Partner with the church. Operate in partnership with other groups in your congregation and with the plans of the church. Don’t be a lone ranger.
  3. Be growing. What is your own discipline and plan for Christian maturity? Read Being a Bible Study Leader by Robert Sweatman once a year (mandatory reading).

2: About Growth Groups

We are about growing or maturing and doing that alongside one another. Let’s describe these as ‘coaching’ and ‘community’.

Coaching

  1. Learn to Read. The bible is a book and learning how to read it is so important to Christian maturity. The Growth Group study material is a tool only and must not overshadow the primary goal of learning to read and listen to God’s word.
  2. Learn to Pray. The primary way of learning how to pray is by listening to others and practising. Sing praises to God in your prayers and learn how to magnify God with your prayers together.

Caring

  1. Learn to Care. Growth Groups provide a close community of people who can be praying, sharing and caring for one another. One reason we encourage groups to be formed from the same congregation is for easier follow-up and strengthening the sense of church membership.
  2. Seek to Grow. Your congregation is the mission field for your Growth Group. Remember, there’s no such thing as a full Growth Group – only groups that are ready to multiply! A large group of 15, with two leaders added, can become two new groups of 8 or 9.
  3. Work Together. What ministry or initiative could your group do together this year? Sunday morning-tea or supper? Letterbox leafleting for the church? A street party in your area? Gardening at the church? A BBQ at a church event? A dialogue dinner with friends?

3: Preparing The Study

In short, you want to be familiar with the bible text and the aim of the study before the group meets. Read the whole book once or twice before a series starts.

The Essentials of Preparation

  1. Pray.
  2. Read the passage you are studying for the week.
  3. Make notes
    1. Context – what has happened previously in the book, testament and bible that helps illuminate this section?
    2. Observation – What is obvious in the text? What words stand out? What seems weird, out of place, or abrupt in the text? Paraphrase each paragraph. Write down any questions that you have.
    3. Meaning – what is the point of this passage? What is the purpose and meaning of it? And what is unique to this passage that the bible would be worse off for not having?
    4. Application – How would you apply this passage? Be careful to find specific application instead of things like: have faith, or know that Jesus is Lord, or trust God.
  4. See the point. What is your number one aim for this study?
  5. Pray. Thank God for what you have learned and pray for his help in guiding the group to know him more too.

The Tools for Help

  1. Growthgroups.campbelltownanglican.org contains a pastor’s notes on each passage as well as other general resources.
  2. The study book material. This is a tool to assist discussion and direction for the group and is in no way a mandatory book for the group to use.

4: The Meeting Plan

Meet and Greet. First 30 minutes: Members arrive, grab a drink and have good conversations which can be handed to God in prayer at the end of the study.

GGMeetingPlan.jpg

Context and Observation. Now, spend about 30 minutes reading and comprehending the bible together. The questions in the book are aimed at comprehension before moving to a meaning and application.

Meaning. Take a moment to try and summarise what the group has covered. Skillfully draw in all the ideas that have been discussed to show what the bible has taught the group tonight.

Application. Put forward an application for the group to discuss. It may have already been covered during the discussion but if not, draw everyone’s attention to one area that you decided was a good application from the text.

End in prayer together. Make a point of encouraging prayer from everyone. This may take time and strategy but it is worth the effort.

About 90 minutes from the starting time, everything has been covered and all that is left is for people to hang around and chat some more. The aim is not to exhaust people but create a refreshing and sustainable plan for everybody.