Your First Small Group Meeting: Top 10 Ideas

First Small Group Meeting

Your First Small Group Meeting: Top 10 Ideas

You know what they say. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Maybe that’s why when a brand new group begins, its first small group meeting is so important!

We’ve learned to include the Top 10 Ideas for Your First Meeting in every New Host kit.

Here’s an example of our Top 10 Ideas for Your First Meeting. Feel free to use our list or even better, create your own!

Top 10 Ideas for Your First Meeting

1. Be sure to 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. 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 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. 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”:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • Are you from this area?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live? Why?

5. Give everyone a five-minute warning that “we’re about to move into the living room and get started.” When you get settled, let everyone know that “we’re just going to use tonight as a way of getting to know each other a little better.”

6. This is a great time to ask a few “get-to-know-me” questions:

  • Would you describe yourself as more of an extrovert or an introvert? Give an example.
  • Would you describe yourself as a structured, “just settle it” kind of person? Or more of a play it by ear type?
  • Are you a hugger? Or a non-hugger?

7. How about a little more info:

What motivated you to sign up for this group?

What are you most hopeful you’ll gain as a result of being in the group?

What are you most afraid of (in terms of the group)?

8. This is a great time to talk over the Group Expectations document. Nobody’s signing anything. Just a good way to get values and expectations on the table. Simply read over the values and reconfirm expectations.

9. Distribute copies of the study you will begin at your next meeting. Collect any payment that your group members have ready. Ask any who were unprepared to bring payment next time. (Important: If there is anyone in your group that cannot afford to pay, we have a way to help.)

10. Pray to close the meeting. Make it really simple. Ask, “Is there anything we can be praying about for you personally? There may be times when we pray for those who aren’t part of the group, but today, let’s keep prayer requests focused on just group members.” Write down any prayer requests. Close with a very simple prayer.

This article originally appeared here.

Previous articleAdaptive Decision Making, Change and Leadership
Next article5 Ways to Prepare for Easter
Mark Howell
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.

Get the ChurchLeaders Daily Sent to Your Inbox