If you are used to following the Small Group semester model at your church or are looking for a way to begin virtual Small Groups for your church during this time, check out a few things below that the team at Highlands is doing to prepare for summer Small Groups:
Continue Existing Groups
Since consistency is essential during this time, the team at Highlands is encouraging their spring Small Group leaders to continue their groups into the summer. While the spring semester was initially set to end on Sunday, May 3, and the summer semester was set to begin on Sunday, June 7, the team at Highlands has decided to let Small Groups continuously meet during this time. Therefore, there is currently no “semester” model that is being followed.
However, each current Small Group leader must be connected with individually to make sure that they are in a place to continue leading his/her group through the summer. When calling Small Group leaders from the spring semester, ask questions like:
Do you feel like you’re in a good place to lead a Small Group?
Do you have any needs or concerns that are keeping you from continuing to lead a Small Group?
Do you feel like leading this Small Group is the way for you to make the most significant impact during this time?
If they decide to continue leading, each leader will be encouraged to re-register his/her group as an online group for the summer so that they can still keep track of their attendance, member needs, and more. For more information about the Small Group registration process at Highlands, check out the below resource on Grow Online:
Train New Leaders
While there is no set “summer” Small Group semester launching, there will still be a push to train new Small Group leaders that want to begin leading groups in the summer. The training for these leaders will look different from regular Small Group leadership training, but there will still be a process that a new leader must go through to prepare to lead a group.
In this new training environment, Small Group leaders will be taught how to enjoy online connection while also emphasizing the importance of in-person connection once we can meet again. While this training process is still in the process of being finalized, you can check out resources on the regular Small Group Leadership Training from Highlands on Grow Online:
Launch New Groups
Whether it’s a leader that’s been leading groups for years or one who’s just now gone through Small Group leadership training, people will want to launch new Small Groups in the summer, and therefore, the team at Highlands is prepared for that! While there may not be a “Small Groups push” as usual, the importance of joining a group will continue to be conveyed to the congregation, so there must be groups available for people to join.
As mentioned earlier, if you are beginning Small Groups for the first time, you can still put these ideas into practice. However, we highly encourage you to look at the following resources from Grow Online on how to start a Small Groups ministry at your church:
Please keep in mind that the Small Group resources from Grow Online linked in this post were produced to cover the in-person Small Groups model. However, we encourage you to use them as a frame of reference as you being virtual Small Groups.