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There are a few things you can do to help your newest leaders and your most experienced leaders this fall.

Help them choose the right study for their group.

Obviously, if you’re launching a church-wide campaign you’ll be encouraging all of your group leaders to use the study that goes with it. Keying on getting the most our of the weekend series and the importance of having the same conversation as everyone else will help them say yes to setting aside any previous plans and joining in.

If your church isn’t doing a church-wide campaign, give some thought to a few well-selected titles and point experienced leaders in the right direction (3 to 5 is a good short list. The more you add the harder it is for them to choose). It’s easy if you use RightNow Media. It’s just as easy to put together an email with a list of 3 to 5 ideas.

Remember, the newer the group, the fewer choices the better (I choose the launching study and the follow up study for our new groups). When they get to their 3rd study, I begin to give them 3 to 5 to choose from.

Bring your coaches into the loop on the studies you are recommending. They can be much more helpful when they’re recommending the same studies.

See also, Here’s a Sample Recommended List.

Help them add new members to their group.

While I don’t recommend match-making or taking responsibility to resupply experienced leaders with new members to fill up their groups, I want to do what I can to help experienced leaders and new leaders learn to “fish for themselves.”

Our new leader orientation materials include the handout, Top 10 Ways to Find New Members for Your Group. We also send the article out to experienced group leaders on an annual basis.

This is also an area your coaches should be trained in, as it is one of the most common skills new leaders need to learn.

See also, Skill Training: How to Invite a Few Friends to Join You for the Study and Skill Training: 10 Steps to Help New Group Members Connect.

Help them think logistically about when to start new studies.

This may not come naturally to all of your group leaders (new and experienced), but it should at least be an acquired skill for you. In light of holidays, school schedules, and the natural rhythms of your church and community, there are often train wrecks lurking that are avoidable.

Give them ideas for group serving opportunities. 

Serving together is a great community building activity. If your church already has a set of local partners (shelters, food banks, etc.), take advantage of it. If you don’t, you might recruit a team to investigate opportunities in your area and build your own list.

Many churches establish an expectation that groups would find 2 to 4 serving opportunities every year and build that into the normal activities of their groups.

Give them ideas for fun things they can do together.

Some groups will come up with fun things to do together without any help from you. Others? They just need a little help.

Providing a short list of fun activities they can do together and then teaching them how to build it into their routine will help keep things fresh and give them built-in opportunities to invite unconnected friends to join in.

Further Reading:

Top 10 Skill Trainings for New Small Group Hosts

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