Recruitment Small Group Leaders:
Kickoff Small Groups
What you do in your family to create a community of love, to help each other to grow, and to serve those in need is critical, not only for your own sanctification but for the strength of society and our church. It is a participation in the work of the Lord, a sharing in the mission of the church. It is holy. ~U.S. Catholic Bishops, Follow the Way of Love
When the Bible says “they will know we are Christians by our love for one another,” it means that others will see how we minister to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. A parish provides one of the most effective avenues for followers of Jesus to care for one another. And without small group ministry, a parish can easily become a place for theoretical faith without the practice of it in community.
Community is essential for people to become disciples of Christ, the kind who will go out and tell others about Him. This is the essence of the Great Commission, and it begins, and is ultimately manifest, in intimate relationships between people – small groups.
None of this is a fad, and it’s certainly not un-Catholic. The early Church was made up of people who, in addition to worshiping God in the Mass and Sacraments, lived in small groups and ministered to one another. Today, many Catholics who have left the Church cite their attraction to small group communities that they encounter in evangelical churches. It is time for Catholic parishes to help its parishioners rediscover the beauty and importance of small group discipleship.
Of course, it all begins with prayer — that God will prepare the hearts and minds of people who will lead and participate in small groups. Beyond that, here are a few key ingredients to launching small groups in your parish.
Pastor support: The first step in making small groups work in a parish is having the pastors support. Ideally, He must be on board when it comes to the importance of small groups ministries, mentioning them constantly — in homilies, testimonials, prayers of the faithful at Mass, and meetings. The question posed to parishioners should not be “if” they will participate, but rather “which” small groups they will choose. In an amazing parish, people will see small groups as an essential part of their experience there.
But even if the Pastor is not all in, show him how your small group is growing faith and serving the parish. Start small and let God fill in from there.
Simple pilot programs: It is important that parishes, and especially the leaders of the parish –dive in and do small groups first. This will allow them to embrace the concept themselves, and identify and address any issues that need to be resolved before launching the programs to the entire parish.
The steps for building a small group pilot program are pretty straight-forward:
Now, choose a curriculum or program for the larger parish, choose facilitators and move into action.