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How to Use This Handbook

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Welcome to small group ministry! Small groups provide a great opportunity for women to grow in their faith and to experience authentic, loving relationships with other Christians. Your role as a leader of a small group is to maximize both opportunities for all participants, including yourself.

Women are best equipped for small group ministry through regular training and resources in the “how-to’s” of ministry to other believers and in how to use their unique personalities, spiritual gifts and calling to enrich the ministry within the Body. This handbook is a resource that any small group ministry can use to train its leaders—not just for leading Bible studies but also for all other small group communities within your organization.

The 5C’s of Small Group Leadership handbook contains valuable information presented in a teaching format followed by “Think About It” questions for reflection and practical application. The most effective way to use this guide is for each new small group leader (or those who have not already been through this handbook) to read through and reflect on the “Think About It” questions in advance of a designated “small group leader training” day. Consider the “small group leader training” day as a gathering time for all leaders (new and experienced) to discuss what they’ve learned from each section, to ask questions, and to brainstorm solutions to any anticipated challenges.

Since participants in small groups might be new Christians, long-time Christians who have never been discipled, or those who have not trusted in Jesus yet, be certain to include training for your small group leaders in how to share the gospel and how to disciple young believers in the basics of the Christian faith. This information is included in the “Commission” section. 

What Are the 5 C’s?

Character — This section covers the role and character qualities of a servant leader in Christ’s kingdom, the handling of doctrinal differences, and incorporating one’s unique personality, spiritual gifts and behavioral style in a ministry setting.  

Connection — This section covers how a small group leader effectively connects and works with other members of her ministry team.

Community — This section covers the advantages of small group participation and ways to build and maintain community within a group.

Commitment — This section covers the ongoing commitment to the “nuts and bolts” of small group leadership including preparation, managing the time, and directing the discussion. It also includes managing crisis situations.

Commission — This section covers the role of the small group leader who is commissioned by Jesus to be a disciple-maker, encouraging the members of her group to follow Jesus as His disciple and to live for Jesus as disciple-makers in their sphere of influence.

The Joy of Small Group Leadership

Being part of a small group can be a most enjoyable experience for a Christ follower. The ideas in this handbook have been developed by those who have spent years being women’s small group leaders. Women of all ages enjoy community and benefit from it when it works well. We hope that you will take to heart these suggestions and become the best small group leader you can be. Enjoy serving Jesus through serving the women in your small group!

Melanie Newton