More in depth answers to the most often asked questions about what it means to host a group and how you can best prepare.
Why should I Host a Small Group?
There's literally nothing like it: That special moment when you realize you have something in common with someone in your group. Or... that moment of hilarious, spontaneous laughter from the group when someone says something that's a lil "TMI". Or... that lightbulb moment and audible response, from someone in the group, that you can tell struck a chord and just may change their life forever. Or... that moment when asking for prayer needs and the most closed-off person breaks down in tears and reveals the need they've been holding onto and the group rallies behind them. Or... that moment, after years have passed and you remember the first time your best friend... was someone you met in your small group.
Will Jesus or our Pastors love you anymore if you Host?
No... (Ok...Maybe just a little. ;-))
What if too many people sign up for my group?
Totally your call. You are the host and know what you can handle, even with stretching a little bit. One possible option is to pull on someone who is a "star" in your group and encourage them to host their own.
What if no one signs up for my group?
***Most important tip on this whole page.*** This is where our new hosts miss it the most often. The absolute best way to ensure that you won't be all by your lonesome self is to Co-Host with a couple of people. That way, if no one else shows up, it'll still be a win because you'll have 3-4 people there! But even if, you seriously can't let that get to you. Plus, we really encourage you to start recruiting people yourself for your group. Take ownership. It's your group, we believe you can reach out to someone within your CWC family, among your family, your friends, your co-workers in a way we never could.
What if I'll be out a week?
Work your best to establish consistency with your group, this helps ensure they keep coming. We are creatures of habit. But if you know you're going to be out a week, the biggest win would be to have a co-host who could cover that week's session. Some have went ahead and done it because it was no big deal for their particular group. Some extended the semester one week and made it up. Some have double-downed and either did two sessions in one night (with a super-condensed version so it was still a reasonable time) or did both sessions that week. You and your group's choice. No wrong answer.
What if I want to host more than one group?
If this your first time, start with one and make it the best you possibly can. If, however, you've hosted before, adding another group is a way to stretch yourself, but only if your schedule and passion level allows you to be able to sustain it. If you feel that's not enough... our advice: Join someone else's group and be a blessing and support to them. Who knows, it's a good way to develop yourself as a leader by watching how someone else does theirs.
Am I the right type of person to Host a Small Group?
You even asking that question probably means you are. You ask that question because you want to do it right, because you want to show honor and alignment with the same culture of CWC that you've experienced or... because you're a little nervous and doubting yourself. If it's some version of the first two, you're a blessing for thinking that way. If it's the last reason... listen: We love you and believe in you. You can do this. We're here to help. Partner with someone else you trust as a Co-Host and it will make it even easier. You got this!
Do you have to be a member at Christian World to host a Small Group?
The cool answer is, "No!" However, we also want to set you up for success. We provide a couple of options for non-members to be involved. 1) Offer to be a co-host with a current member. It's a great way to capture the life-giving culture of CWC. (2) Host what we call a "closed" group and invite your family, best friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
When and how long is the semester?
This semester for IF Small Groups will launch Sunday, September 24th and land Saturday, October 28th. This is a total of 6 full weeks.
When I submit my form to Host a Small Group, what happens next?
Great question! As soon as we receive your completed form submission for being a Host, we will follow up with an email with further instructions. You will also have greater access to our Small Group Leadership.
Which day and time should my small group be?
Whichever day and time best fits your own rhythm of life. We've had some groups be first thing in the morning. Some in the afternoons. Some evenings. Some late evenings. As far as the day of the week, whichever day of the week allows you the best time to prepare for your group.
When and how often will my Small Group meet?
Once a week, at a day and time of your choosing.
Where should my Small Group meet?
The most obvious would probably be in a home, but we've had many think outside the box and have met in: gyms, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, ball fields.
How many people should I have in my small group?
Most common sizes are 4-6 | 6-8 | 8-10, depending on your room available and comfort level. If your first time hosting, we recommend to aim for 4-6 people.
Ok, how do I recruit people for my group?
Sooooo many creative ways to do this! A few ideas that have worked for many of our other hosts have included: 1)sending hand-written invitations (2)post up that you're doing a group on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (3)call or text a family member, friend or neighbor and invite them (4)talk to people at before or after one of our services (5)*help serve on our major sign up days - September 10th, 17th, 24th.
How about food, snacks and stuff?
We leave that up to you...but don't feel pressure. Some hosts simply have water bottles out. Some add coffee to the mix. Some add bagged snacks. Some make stuff. Some hosts even invite their group to bring snacks with them. Some have full-out meals. Some even have their groups at restaurants! We leave this up to you, the Host...but do not let this be a deal-breaker for you or add unneeded pressure. This is about building relationships with people, not food.
You mentioned showing these videos being on RightNow Media?
I don't know how to do this? or - I'm not set up to do this?
Not a problem at all. We got you. If you have the capabilities but have just never done this, contact our Small Group Leaders and we can have someone coach you through it. If you need a RightNow Media login - CLICK HERE to register
How long should each session be?
This is a good one to have a strategy for. Best is to prepare yourself and prompt your group for no longer that 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 mins. You will be amazed at how fast the time will fly by - especially when people get chatty ;-) One other powerful tool is what we call the soft dismissal. This is where you feel the group is still going strong on the subject but you're passing the hour mark. Simply announce the time to people, and that you want to let them know that you respect their time and that you're going to pray and allow everyone a potty break, then whoever stays...stays. After about another 20-30 mins, thank everyone for their time, then close for the night. Remember, you don't want to spend all the group's energy in one night! You'll have several weeks together.
Ok... so run through what a typical Small Group meeting looks like?
In its simplest form: 10 mins prior - welcome people in, offer snacks and a seat, / 5 mins - start meeting by thanking all for coming, give them all a minute or two to "settle in", pray over your time that evening / 10 mins - watch video / 30 mins - discuss what you've just watched / 5-10 mins - soft-close, ask for any prayer requests, pray and give option for people to dismiss.
I get nervous in group settings, how much do I have to speak?
The cool thing about this is, if you do it right, barely at all. First off, the video session does all the heavy-lifting for you. Thank God you don't have to teach this material...right??? Your role as the Host is really about facilitating your group opening up about what they just watched. You can always give your own input as well, after a few from your group have answered (or to get the ball rolling if no one speaks up quickly). So, as soon as video finishes, there are always a couple of powerful default conversation-starters we use: 1) What are a couple things from this video that really stood out to you? (2) What are a few things you're taking away from this video to try to incorporate in your own life? How?
How do I keep the discussion on track if we go down a bunny trail?
Great question! If you have a conversation turn sideways or get off-track, simply... and life-givingly remind the group of the topic (use a little humor - "a spoonful of sugar", as they say) and re-ask the question or ask someone other than the person that was excited but maybe went in a different direction. It's ok to let people's imaginations go a little distance from the topic, but once you, as the Host see it going down an unproductive path, just steer your group back on track.
What about kids? How do we manage childcare?
A few ways to answer this question:
If you'd rather not have kids in the equation: 1) Simply indicate on your Small Group Info (2) If questioned, politely let them know that you will not be having children over and offer to help them find a group that does.
If you want your group to be "child-friendly" but just need a good strategy: 1) Have a previous convo with any others that would have children attending with them and involve them in the solution. (2) Have parents with children chip in for a sitter. (3) If you have a solid teen available among the group, volunteer them as tribute ;-)
Can I take up an offering at my Small Group?
No! hahaha - what's wrong with you?!?! Nothing wrong with chipping in for childcare during your session or for pizza or takeout though!