How to Make Every Meeting a Small Group

Doesn’t matter if my small group is 6 in the morning or 6 at night, when I’m leaving I’m feeling empowered and refreshed. Doesn’t matter if a meeting is 6 in the morning or 6 at night, when I’m leaving I can feel drained and stressed. When you think about it, small groups are a lot like a meeting in the sense that:

  • It’s a Group of People 
  • There Is a Leader 
  • There Is a Subject Driving the Conversation

So, why is one resented and the other embraced?

The intention of going into a small group is to build one another up. In a meeting, while there are goals to accomplish, they can easily become battlefields that tear one another down. While confrontation and tension can be healthy, if your meetings took a page out of the small group handbook, people could leave a little more refreshed than defeated.

To make your meeting like a small group, make sure you:

• PRAY TOGETHER: You probably start a meeting out with prayer; however, do not rush through it. Feel free to sit in the silence, to ask God to send down the Spirit through the conversations. Ask God to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Just hand it over to Him, let God lead your meetings.

• SHARE LIFE TOGETHER: Just as you use the Scripture, questions and teaching to drive your groups conversation, develop an agenda that does the same. When you put together the small group curriculum, it’s important to consider the flow of questions and Scripture. It will create a mood and bring people to certain conclusions. The topics on your meeting’s agenda will do the same. There will be times when you will have to hold off on a topic because of the tension in the room. There will be other times when another item will need more attention because of the weight it holds. Don’t just throw the agenda together—pray over it and allow it to move the conversation.

• CHALLENGE EACH OTHER: A healthy small group not only has time for information and discussion, but time for application and challenge. In a meeting the application to the information you discussed is called an action step. When you leave a small group, you should feel commissioned to resolve and test the conversation you shared. In a meeting it’s pointless to just discuss items and not walk away with a plan.

• PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER: Whether the conversation is positive or negative, you’ve just endured spiritual battle in your small group. Before you head off in the world, it’s important for a small group to pray for one another. In a meeting, the action steps that have been delegated are going to face adversity and obstacles. If you can pray for the people in your meeting, then you are giving them the comfort they are not facing their responsibilities alone.

Granted, not all meetings are as thorough as a small group. Sometimes you just need to check in and move out. Next time you are planning that big meeting and preparing the agenda, take the time to discern the emotional and spiritual journey it will take the group on. If you approach that meeting like a small group, you’ll help your team leave empowered to take on the obstacles outside the organization instead of defeated to take on the obstacles within the team.

How do you ensure people leave meetings feeling motivated?  

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Chris Wesley
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.

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