Preparation

      1. Familiarize yourself with our Leader Resource Page. This is meant to be a helpful tool to give you the most important information you will need to prepare for and lead your group. You can access that page directly by clicking here. To navigate there from our homepage, click the "resources" tab, then "leader resources" (pw: "search"). 

      2. Familiarize yourself with GroupVitals. This is a cloud-based software that we use to organize and track our groups. It is also an easy way to email or text your group members and record notes about your meetings. Please watch this short, 4 minute video to learn how to use GroupVitals.

  • If you have not received your email invitation to create your account with GroupVitals, email Blaine.
  • Once you have your account set up, create a bookmark for your group page. 
  • Make sure that all of your group members have email addresses and phone numbers on their contact cards. This will allow you to email or text them directly from your group homepage. 
  • Make sure your email and phone number are on your contact card.
  • Set up your notifications to text you an attendance reminder if you'd rather take attendance via text instead of email.
  • You will receive a reminder to take attendance after each group meeting. It is simple, easy, and it really helps us to have this data. Nobody in your group needs to know that you take attendance. It is not for their benefit, but ours internally. It helps us to know how many people are in all of our groups and how often they show up, which is one way to measure health and effectiveness. 
  • We highly recommend that when you take attendance you add a note stating what you covered that week. You can also add anything else you want (like prayer requests, something you want to make sure to cover next week, etc...). We have found that this feature is a great way to remember what you have covered.
  • Within GroupVitals you can make notes on individuals as well as your groups. Think of it as a very lightweight CRM. We recommend that you use this feature to record spouse names, children's names, where that person works, or any other information you want to remember about them. This also helps a co-leader you may have because they can see your notes as well. 

Organization

  1. Decide what kind of group you will be leading and what commitment level that will mean. 
  • Lead an Intro Group (6-8 weeks)
    • These groups will start after each Marketplace Forum series. These are evangelistic groups and typically have a high number of seekers.
    • Leader can commit to leading once or twice a year (Spring, Fall, or both)
    • Examples: True Measure of a Man, and How Good is Good Enough 
  • Lead an Apologetics Group (15 weeks)
    • Leader can commit to leading once or twice a year (Spring, Fall, or both)
  • Lead a Foundations Group (1 year; 30 weeks)
    • Groups will start in March and September. Leaders whose groups start in September are committing to continue their leadership into the first half of the following year.
  • Co-lead an Ironmen group (2 years)
    • All Ironmen groups will be co-lead with either David or Blaine from Search Nashville.

     2. Determine your group schedule prior to your group start date. 

  • What is your start date?
  • What is your end date?
    • For most groups, we recommend you work through your material in short bursts of 6-8 weeks. Take 2-3 weeks off in between. This makes it easier to get commitments and high attendance rates. 
  • Where are you meeting?
  • What time are you meeting? (note start and stop time)

     3. If you are co-leading a group, plan who will lead the discussion each week. We find it helpful to have this teaching schedule worked out prior to the start of your group.

     4. We highly encourage you to spend one-on-one time with as many people in your group as you can. This might be over coffee or lunch during the week. Leading a group gives you a great opportunity to practice relational evangelism since you now have a reason to meet with those in your group. We recognize that for some of you this may be difficult, but for others who have more flexibility it will work great. 

Communication

  1. If you are co-leading a group, decide who will be the primary communicator with your group members.
  2. Decide how you will primarily communicate with your group (email, text, phone calls). This will depend on what those in your group respond to best. GroupVitals allows for easy text and email communications to your group.
  3. We recommend that you get in touch with your groups 3-4 weeks out from your start date to let them know the basic info they will need for their group. Follow up with one or two similarly emails in the week or two before your start date. You may also want to give a personal phone call to everyone prior to your first meeting to make sure that everyone has it on their calendars and to answer any questions they may have. 
  • What is the material?
  • When is the start date? When is the end date? 
  • What day/time will we be meeting?
  • Where will we be meeting?
  • Any other information you think they need to know.
  • Sending a calendar invite to all group members can be a great way to get all this information on their calendars easily.

     4. We highly recommend that you remind your group every week about your meeting the day before you meet. If you are co-leading a group, make sure that you and your partner know which one of you is expected to send this weekly reminder.