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Top 10 Ideas for a First Small Group Meeting

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Any time you’re starting a new small group meeting, a great first meeting is very important. I include these ideas on a simple handout inside every new small group meeting leader’s packet.

Top 10 Ideas for a First Small Group Meeting

1. Use a Great Resource

Be sure and refer to the ABCs of a Great Start for Your Connection Group for important tips on making sure your group members come to the meeting.

2. Make Sure There’s Food

Plenty of food goes a long way in making your first meeting a relaxed time together.  But…make it easy for everyone to bring something.  You might be tempted to supply it all, but don’t.  Asking each person to bring something to the first meeting helps ensure turnout.

3. Encourage Fellowship First

Encourage everyone to come a little early and plan on “grabbing a bite together.”  There isn’t a one-size-fits-all prescription, but allow at least 30 minutes hangout and eat together time (i.e., if you’re meeting begins at 7:00 p.m., plan on hanging out until 7:30 p.m.).

4. Have an Icebreaker in Mind

It’s a good idea to have an icebreaker or two in your pocket for the hangout time.  While it definitely helps to have a plate with food on it and a cup with something to drink in it, it’s still a little unnerving for many to have first conversations.  Here are a few “while we’re eating questions”:  (a) Where did you grow up?  (b) Are you from this area?  (c) If you could live anywhere, where would you live?  Why?

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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.