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How do I start a Small Group?
The hardest part of starting a small group is knowing where to begin. We've got you covered with our simple guide below.
- Where will your small group meet?
Your small group can meet anywhere, but we recommend you find a place that is somewhat quiet, accessible, comfortable, and with easy access to those members of your group you would like to invite. Here are some ideas of places to meet: a brewery, restaurant, bar (make sure to check the schedule ahead of time to ensure they are open when you would like to meet), a Parish hall, center, rectory space (make sure to confirm with the Pastor that you can use the space), etc. You may even decide to meet on Zoom, but we highly recommend taking advantage of meeting in person if you can, as you feel comfortable. Meeting outside may also be an option in the summer months. Pick your favorite place and stick to it!
2. Who will attend your small group?
When we first began our men's group in December, we had just a handful of interested guys - maybe 3 or 4. We met through daily Mass and were like "we should have a men's group." Now we have over 30 guys. The theme here is to build something small that works well and then invite all of your friends. Then have your friends invite their friends, and so forth. The more of a value add you give to your small group, the more welcoming and hospitable you make it, the more guys who will join! But it will take time and consistency. Keep meeting. Keep going. Keep inviting. Keep praying. And keep Jesus front and center in all that you do.
3. What day/ time will you meet?
You're not going to please everyone. Select 4-5 times that work well for you and create a Straw Poll here. Or create a Doodle. Send it out to the friends you want to invite, and find a time that works for as many people as possible. Make sure it's a reasonable time not just for your group, but for evangelization. Would other guys want to go to your men's group at that time? EG days/times that you may want to avoid would be Friday or Saturday nights, early morning on weekdays (before 7:30am), etc. Make it a day/time that is easy to invite others to, a day/time when they will be most likely free.
4. What will you cover in the small group?
Here is the small group structure:
Accountability for the next week
Prayer (pick the hour of the Liturgy of the Hours that is closest to your end time and go with that; EG if you end at 8,9pm, end with Night Prayer. If you end at 8am, go with Morning Prayer, or perhaps you could even attend a daily Mass nearby after).
Make sure to have each new person find an upcoming week to give their witness. This is really important to ensure that everyone can get to know each other. When you've finished going through everyone's witnesses, spend some time going through some of our recommended reading here. Make sure to select something that is easily accessible so everyone can read it and no one has to prepare every week.
5. I don't have much time to give to this. How do I run this group efficiently to maximize my time?
Follow our model. Our model was designed for efficiency and little to no preparation each week. It was meant to be followed step by step and if executed well, works! If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take a look at our mission plan guide or reach out to Joe. Also make sure to keep meetings on time. Guys are more likely to stay committed if you respect their time.