CREATE your small group.
I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t want to start a group, I want to join a group.” I totally understand that. Starting a group sounds incredibly challenging, scary and a lot of work. It can be sometimes. But we have found that when you start a group with your friends, the group tends to be stay together longer. And starting a group is not as difficult as you may think it is. Here are four simple steps to start building community and friendships.
1) Invite two of your friends
You can’t have a group unless you have people. Who are two or three friends, family members, neighbors, church members or coworkers that you can invite to start a small group? You don’t need ten people. You just need one or two other people to start doing life together. You may feel that no one wants to join your group, but maybe your friends are just waiting for someone to ask them. Sometimes it takes one person to initiate and invite to get the small group started.
2) Choose a place and time
There’s a misconception that small groups MUST be at homes. Jesus didn’t always meet in homes. Jesus often met with people in the field, on the shore, and even on the streets. Homes are a good place for discussions. But if you can’t open up your home for whatever reason, there are other creative options out there. Your workplace is one option. A parks, beach, or your favorite coffee shop are other great places to start. Find a place and time that is most comfortable for you and others to have good conversations about the study.
3) Choose a study
I love this part of small group because I love learning together. I want to grow not only in my faith but all parts of life (financial, relational, parenting and love). What are you interested in learning together as a group? There are so many free resources and curriculum out there. You can register at mysaddleback.com for a lot of free studies. You can also buy curriculum either at pastors.com or amazon.com.
4) Offer Hospitality
Coffee and desserts always provide an environment that ease conversations. That’s why food always make a party better. They provide a warm and welcoming environment helps create reflections and conversations. So offer a simple snack or beverage. You can even rotate that responsibility week by week. People love to cook or buy fun things to eat. It’ll break down walls and build lasting relationships.
I know you can do these four simple steps. You have the ability to create life long relationships and connections. It’s always the hardest to start a group, but once you find some friends then the group will start to take off. For some of you, this may be the hardest thing you do, but if you keep at it, it will be the most life giving thing for you.
So let me ask you, “Which step do you need to take to get your group started this week?”