Ten Ways to Get Moving with Small Groups!
- Understand the Value of Small Groups for Forming Disciples in Your Parish, When Big, Go Small: https://www.dbqarch.org/offices/adult-faith/small-christian-communities/articles-for-creating-facilitating-and-sustaining-small-groups/
Small Groups are Not the Answer: Disciples Make Disciples (often in small Groups) https://www.evangelicalcatholic.org/2014/02/small-groups-are-not-the-answer-2/
- Explore Different Types of Small Groups (the goal of all groups should be forming missionary disciples):
- Small Groups based on the Sunday Homily: Nativity Church (Rebuilt): http://churchnativity.com/, (in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha: https://seasp.org/
- Intentional Groups for Evangelization: The Evangelical Catholic: https://www.evangelicalcatholic.org/small-group-workshop/;
3. Small Groups as a Way of Parish Life (Bible Studies, Book Studies, Seasonal Studies): Anthony Parish, Dubuque: http://www.stanthony-dubuque.org/Adult-
- Choose Appropriate Resources: Check with the Office of Adult Faith https://www.dbqarch.org/offices/adult-faith/small-christian-communities/ or the Archdiocesan Education Resource Center: https://www.dbqarch.org/offices/education-resource-center/
- Identify, Invite, and Train Small Group Facilitators: Look for members of your parish who have the charism for leading others, who naturally attracts others, who take the time to study, who are energized by people and faith, and are willing to step outside of one’s comfort zone.
- Online Facilitator Training by Loyola Press (1st Ten Tips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrjVavG44sM
- Online Facilitator Training by Loyola Press (2nd Ten Tips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvEIZigJja4
- Contact the Adult Faith Formation Office to Schedule a Facilitator Training Session in Your Parish: https://www.dbqarch.org/offices/adult-faith/
- Forming Your Small Groups: http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2016/how-should-we-connect-people-into-small-groups.html?paging=off
- Personal Invitation: Best Way to Grow Small Groups through Personal Invitation: http://www.vcsmallgroups.org/2015/04/02/the-best-way-to-grow-small-groups-personal-invitations/
- Online Sign-Up: Church of the Nativity: http://www.churchnativity.com/small-groups/
St. Stephen the Witness: http://www.ststephenuni.org/belong.html
Saddleback Church (not Catholic): http://saddleback.com/connect/smallgroups/explore
- Work with Small Group Facilitators to Decide: Who? (men, women, couples, parents) What? (always discipleship) When? (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, seasonally, day, evening) Where? (home, online, coffee shop, parish) How? See Appropriate Resources above.
- Mentor Your Small Group Facilitators: A parish point person, whether a paid or non-paid minister, should be in frequent contact with the facilitators through email, phone calls, and meetings to discuss how things are going in their small groups and to provide spiritual growth opportunities for the facilitators.
- Promote Small Groups Throughout the Year: lay testimonials at Mass, encouragement from the pulpit for parishioners to sign-up for small groups and to personally invite a friend, invite newly-registered parishioners
- Offer a Small Group Event: Host an annual celebration for everyone in your parish/cluster who has participated in a small group. Be sure to thank them for joining, encourage them to continue, and motivate them to invite a friend to join! Be sure to have testimonials, good food, and great fun!
- Pray, Thank, Listen, Encourage, Inspire, Listen, Thank, Pray!