Alpha Tips: 10 ways to start your small group well
Below are timely reminders for you and your team as you prepare for your small group on Alpha.
The short administration and prayer time is critical as it provides time to review important training details with your team and to pray for all aspects of the course, especially the small group guests.
- Welcome guests at the door
Have a few greeters on hand to welcome people and show them where to go next.
- Build bridges not walls
Don’t stand in groups talking to your friends – this is very intimidating for guests.
- Create a nice ambiance
This can be challenging, but there are usually a few people in a church that are good at this. Background music may include secular songs that guests can relate to.
- Hi Charlie.
Remember and use people’s names, they are on the name tags.
- Who has the best seat in the house?
Ensure that the guests have a good view of the speaker during the talk.
A warm smile can calm nerves better than words.
- Be OK with some awkward silence
During the first few weeks, some groups experience time of awkward silence. This is a time they are testing they dynamics of the small group. Resist the urge to 'fill the void' with your own thoughts on things. Hold back and gently encourage the group that you really want to hear from them.
- Make a list
Some groups have found it helpful to actually make a list of the questions that people have. This will give you a good idea of where people are at. Then at the end of the course it is encouraging to look back and see that in most situations, the questions have been answered, or if not completely resolved, it is less of a barrier.
Trust God for who shows up (and who doesn't). It can be disappointing when guests you had hoped to be there do not show up. Stay positive and trust that ultimately it has to be God's timetable, not ours.