Growth Group Leader Resources
Thank You for leading or hosting a Growth Group at First Baptist Church! You will experience the joys and pains of discipleship and real life ministry. Please be sure to pray for God’s strength, courage, patience, and wisdom as you prepare for each new week.
Below you will find important instructions and helpful resources for group leaders. You can also download and read the Ministry Overview.
SHARE: If you find something helpful you would like to share with our other leaders, please send it to Pastor Mark to post on this page. Thanks!
Purposes of our Growth Groups
Our desire in Growth Groups is to create a place where people can build authentic relationships that are healthy, functional, and accepting within the church and community. By modeling these characteristics your group will learn more from your actions than your words.
Authentic Relationships include the following characteristics:
- Self-Disclosure – allow yourself to be known and to know others
- Care-Giving – seek to love others and to be loved
- Humility – serve others and to be served
- Truth – willing to be admonished (corrected) and to admonish others in love
- Affirmation – to celebrate life and to enjoy being celebrated.
As the group leader, you have the responsibility of keeping the group going, keeping people engaged, keeping track of your group members, and the you have the blessing of seeing people grow in their faith and relationships.
In leading discussion time, your goals are to listen, protect, and guide. When you ask a question, listen closely and ask people to clarify their answers. Don’t jump in too quickly to answer your own questions. Silence may be awkward, but it allows people to really think. Guiding the discussion and helping people learn from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit is more important than covering all of the material. If you think you may be talking too much you probably are. It may take some time for people to get to know each other and open up. That’s OK. Be patient!
Gather – Invite members, welcome new people, and see friendships built.
Grow – Encourage discussion where God’s Truth and real life meet. Encourage people to go deeper into God’s Word and take real steps of obedience and commitment. Do your best to let all voices be heard while keeping individuals from monopolizing the discussion or making it all about him/her.
Go – Plan to serve together as a group in the community and in the church. Ask the Facilities Committee for tasks around the church.
- Welcome: Food, & Fellowship – 20-30 min.
- Word: Ice Breaker or Starter Question & Bible Study – 40 min.
- Worship: Prayer & Praise – 20 min.
Leadership & Helpful Forms:
As a small group leader it is very important to keep good records when it comes to contact info and attendance. Keeping information current will help you communicate with your group effectively as well see who is faithful and who may be dropping off and in need of encouragement or follow up.
The contact info sheet is helpful because it allows you to capture the necessary data to stay in touch with your group members. You can pass this sheet around at the first small group meeting of a new term for everyone to fill out. In the future meetings, make sure each guest has a chance to fill it out as well. As a small group leader you may want to enter this contact info into your phone or email address books so you can easily send out group messages or emails to everyone with a single click.
The Group Agreement is important to read together and have everyone sign as you begin a new session. There is a greater level of commitment when people recognize they are part of a group with expectations.
Download the forms below:
- Growth Group Contact Sheet
- Growth Group Prayer Record
- Growth Group Attendance
- Growth Group Agreement
The Art of Neighboring Resources
In case you lose your DVD or workbook you can find the video links and a PDF of the leader guide here.
Leader’s Guide: Art of Neighboring Home Group Leader Guide
Neighborhood Map: blockmap-1
Block Party Planning Guide: block_party_kit
Four Types of Discussion Questions to avoid:
- Obvious Answer – just too easy
- One-word Answer – too short (e.g. yes or no)
- Can’t Answer – too hard
- Too Much Information – not appropriate for mixed group
Read more at Question to Avoid
Warm Up Questions
- If you had to name the one most important ingredient of human beauty, what would you say it is?
- If you were to prescribe a cure for grief, what would it entail?
- If you were to have bells ring out loud automatically (for all to hear) every time you did a certain thing, what would it be?
- If you had to name a smell that always makes you nostalgic, what would it be?
- If you could keep only one book you currently own, which would you choose?
- If you suddenly found the courage to do one thing you have always been afraid of doing, what would you want it to be?
- If you could change one thing about your typical day, what would it be?
- If you were to pick the one thing that always makes you smile, what would it be?
Source: “If” by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell, quoted in MSC Newsletter
Conversation Starter Questions
1. If you didn’t have to worry about making a living what would you most like to do for the rest of your life?
2. What is your earliest memory?
3. If you could live in any other time, past, present, future, what would it be and why?
4. What motivates you most to go to work each day: money or personal satisfaction? If money were not an issue, would you still keep your job?
5. If you knew that tomorrow would be the last full day of your life, how would you spend the day?
6. What is your most important goal in life right now? Will your life change in some way if that goal is reached? If so, how?
7. If the people who know you best were asked, would they say you tend to be mostly predictable or unpredictable? Why? Which of these traits do you most value in a friend? Do you tend to follow a set routine or do you often do the same things differently?
8. What social situations tend to make you most flustered and nervous? Why?
9. For $10,000 would you be willing to stand up spontaneously and sing The Star Spangled Banner at the top of your lungs in the middle of a church service?
10. What are three things you would like to accomplish in the next year?
11. If you were to move to a poor, primitive country, what three things would you most miss from your current life?
12. What is the biggest lie you’ve ever told? Why? What were the consequences, if any?
13. What three things do you believe without any doubts?
14. What is one of the books (other than the Bible) that has had the greatest influence on your life? Why?
15. If God would grant you any one request, what would it be?
16. “Activity that does not result in progress toward a goal is a waste of time.” Do you agree? Is it ever OK to waste time?
17. What would you say are your 5 greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
18. Under what circumstances do you feel most lonely? Least lonely? Why?
19. What do you look forward to most about growing old? Least?
20. What traits do you think are most important to instill in your children? Why?
21. If you could relive any part of your life, what would it be and why?
22. Have either of your parents either told you they were sorry or asked your forgiveness for something? How did it make you feel?
23. What is the most difficult choice you’ve had to make in your life up to this point? Why? What factors helped you make the choice?
24. Do you believe God has only one perfect mate for everyone?
25. A football coach once said, “We learn almost nothing in victory, but we learn much in defeat.” Do you agree or disagree. In your life, have you learned most from failures or successes?
26. What would you most like people to remember you for after you die? What would you like written on your tombstone?
27. What is the most dangerous thing you’d like to try doing? What keeps you from doing it?
28. What are the biggest questions you have about your relationship with God?
29. What are the 5 things you are most thankful for in your life right now?
30. Would you say that the focus of your life right now is more on the development of relationships or on the accomplishment of goals and objectives? What would you like to change about this focus, if anything?
31. During WWII German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. Although the conspiracy failed and he was executed for making the effort, do you think Bonhoeffer was right in his attempts to kill Hitler? If you had been Bonhoeffer, would you have participated in this murder conspiracy? Why or why not?
32. What was the greatest peer pressure you felt as a teen? What is the greatest peer pressure you feel as an adult? How are you handling it?
33. As a child, when you got caught doing something wrong, which of the following were you most likely to do? Blame someone else, Deny that you did it, Run and hide, Take full responsibility and accept the consequences. What are you most likely to do now as an adult?
34. Do you think people would be surprised about your thought life? How often would you be embarrassed if others knew exactly what was on your mind? Do you think your thought life is better or worse than most of the people in your circle of friends? Why?
Source: Galaxie Software. (2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.
More Ice Breaker Questions
Click link for 150 more questions: Ice Breakers