In the last session, we established that you have two key roles as a small group leader for The Family Project; shepherd and host. Let’s talk about what the shepherding role means for you.
The Oxford Dictionary defines shepherd as someone who guides or directs in a particular direction. That’s your primary function as a small group leader. You have the opportunity to provide guidance and care for those in your group. You also guide discussion and offer enthusiasm about what you’re studying for the week. Remember, your preparation time doesn’t have to be intense, but a general knowledge of the week’s material will be helpful.
As you get ready to start your small group, make sure you set up clear expectations for everyone involved. Communicate clearly your start and end times for the group and make sure to honor those. No doubt people will have child care arranged or set aside time for specifically for the group, so it will be important to be honor their commitments with adherence to the set times.
Also, the subject matter can be heavy and deep. Starting and ending the meetings with prayer will be essential. Prayer will give your group time to prepare their hearts for what God has in store for the evening. After you’ve met a few times, encourage other members of the group pray for your time together.
Shepherding your small group in discussion and prayer is crucial to ensuring your small group time is a time of rich discussion and learning. We hope these tips give you guidance as you work to make your small group a rich experience for all involved.
If you find yourself with questions about The Family Project curriculum, related resources, or need additional support, you can call Focus on the Family at 1-800-AFAMILY or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.