Life Group Leaders and Hosts

Responsibilities of Life Group leaders and hosts

There are three main Life Group Sessions per year that last an average of nine weeks each (Winter, Spring, and Fall).  The first session is between New Years and Easter, the second is between Easter and the summer, and the third is between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

 We also provide 3-Week Intro Groups occasionally to give people a brief experience with Life Groups so they can get a feel for it.

 Some Life Groups are “specialized groups” that focus on specific study topics or issues (e.g. Celebrate Recovery).  Specialized groups are reviewed and approved by the pastors.  Specialized groups may have unique schedules that match their specific curriculum.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF LIFE GROUP LEADERS

1. PREPARE FOR THE MEETING. Listening to the sermon and completing the weekly homework. Having your Life Group Questions filled out in advance is important. We encourage everyone to have their questions filled-out before the group begins because that ensures better quality discussion. So be a good example.

2. FACILITATE THE DISCUSSION DURING THE MEETING. Leaders are not to be Bible teachers but leaders of the group and discussions. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Make sure that everyone is respected and heard and no one person tries to dominate the discussion. Some people may try to “hijack” a discussion by letting no one else talk or by steering the discussion towards their favorite issues or topics. As the leader, your job is to not let that happen. You may have to talk to a such a person after the meeting and respectfully ask them to not do that again.

3. TRACK PERSONAL TRIALS & NEEDS OF GROUP MEMBERS. Keep in touch with the spiritual pulse of your group and the individuals in it. When problems, issues, or trials surface in a member’s life, you will need to keep in touch and aware of their general condition and progress. Remember that discipleship is about helping people become more like Jesus, not solving the world’s problems. Move towards problems and find ways that the group becomes part of the solution and support.

4. COMMUNICATE SPECIAL NEEDS UP-LINE TO YOUR PASTORS. It’s possible that some issues will surface in your group or a member’s life that are beyond your experience, expertise or comfort zone to deal with. In that case, leaders are responsible to communicate up-line to one of the pastors on staff for guidance or additional help.

5. MAKE SURE THAT ATTENDANCE IS TAKEN WEEKLY. Attendance is very important. It helps the pastoral staff know who is in a group and keep an overall pulse on the groups as a whole. Use the church online attendance app.

6. ORGANIZE HOSPITAL VISITS FOR YOUR GROUP MEMBERS WHO ARE IN THE HOSPITAL. When a crisis or illness hits, your group needs to spring into action. While your host will take the lead in providing any needed meals or practical help, you as a leader need to be sure that you and others from the group are available for prayer and support as needed. Also, keep your pastors informed of the situation.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF LIFE GROUP HOSTS

As a Growth Group Host, you do much more than just provide a home to meet in; you are part of a leadership team! The combination of a committed leader and a committed host (each focusing on their roles within the group) is hard to beat.

1. PROVIDE A CLEAN, COMFORTABLE HOME ENVIRONMENT. Good questions to answer are: Is my house clean by meeting time? A clean living-room, kitchen, and bathroom helps people feel comfortable. Do I have enough comfortable chairs? Hard chairs make for a long meeting! If needed, you can purchase padded folding chairs for a nominal price. Do I have enough lighting? A well-lit (not glaring!) room energizes a group, while a dark or dim room de-energizes it. Maybe it’s time to add a lamp to that dark corner! Is my house free of dog or cat odors? If you have indoor pets, your house may well have odors that you’ve grown used to. Ask a good friend for an honest evaluation! Also, remember that many people are allergic to dogs or cats. It’s a good idea to ask your group about this at your first meeting. If it’s a problem, you may need to keep your animals out of the house before and during the meeting. Are my children interrupting the group? It’s important that children do not interrupt the flow of the meeting, either by coming into the room or by requiring you to leave the meeting. Of course, there will be times when this is unavoidable due to an emergency or special circumstance. But these times should be the exception, not the rule. If children are interrupting or within earshot, the honesty and transparency of the group will suffer.

2. PROVIDE A WARM AND FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT. As part of the leadership team, your job is to help your members feel loved, accepted, and welcome. This involves things like:
• Introducing folks to one another during your first meeting.
• Making sure to talk with and involve the shy or less popular members before and after meetings.
• Keeping in touch with group members between meetings.

3. PROVIDE SUPPORT & FEEDBACK FOR THE LEADER. One of the host’s most important jobs is to discuss and evaluate the group with the leader on a regular basis. This often can be done informally after everyone leaves. Items to discuss include:
• What’s going well in the group? What’s not? Who’s hurting in the group? Who’s growing? How can you help?
• Are you dividing your time wisely in the meetings? Are you balance between sharing, study, and prayer?
• Another way to help your leader is to jump-start the discussion when the discussion lags. Sometimes a question will elicit no response (either because everyone is nervous or because the question was unclear). Whenever this happens, you can help your leader by breaking the ice and answering the question yourself. Or, if the question is unclear, you can ask the leader to rephrase it. Knowing that your hosts will help you out of a jam gives a leader a lot of security.

4. ORGANIZE MEALS FOR MEMBERS IN THE HOSPITAL OR OTHER SPECIAL NEED. One of the host’s most important jobs is to make sure anyone in your group who faces a significant crisis gets the practical support they need. The host should organize the group to meet practical needs whenever they arise in the group. A common example would be the need for meals during a time of illness or crisis.

5. ORGANIZE WEEKLY REFRESHMENTS. Keep it simple like finger foods, chips and dips, waters. You can schedule volunteers in your group to bring something like cookies or a dessert on different weeks.

6. ORGANIZE ONE POTLUCK. Work with your leader to plan a potluck. Once planned, the host is responsible to organize and oversee the details, for example: Who will bring what to the potluck?

7. ORGANIZE ONE SOCIAL OUTING. Work with your leader to plan a social outing. It might be helpful to talk to your group about ideas. (e.g. bowling night, go to a restaurant, game nights, boat ride, bonfire). Socials are a great way to build deeper relationships.

For more information, go to http://hbchurch.net/lg/