Our goal is to equip you with resources that will help you lead effectively — whether you are a new or experienced Small Group leader. Below we provide our current ministry emphasis, information on childcare, answers to frequently asked questions, and practical tips. Thank you for your investment in people.
In the works right now is a new tool for group management through Shelby Next, our church membership system. If you are interested in using the system to help you manage contact information and communicate with your group, please join us in beta-testing ShelbyNext Group Management.
Personal Discipleship is also a current focus at Brook Hills. We have compiled a Quick Start Guide to help you take the first steps in discipling an individual or 2-3 people in a same-gender weekly meeting context.
Choose from the sections below for all things Small Group:
Current Emphasis: Discipleship Wheel & 3 Circles
In our most recent Small Group Leader Gathering, we introduced a new tool we call The Discipleship Wheel. It can be used in many ways. The Wheel helps us see what a balanced Christian life looks like. It can be used to help us evaluate our own lives and our growth in Christ. Small Group Leaders can use the tool to evaluate the spiritual maturity of their groups, and thus map curriculum to help meet those areas needing growth. For more details, please visit a page we set up, brookhills.org/discipleship, that contains the wheel and helpful tools, videos, and sermons.
We are also still emphasizing faithfulness in sharing the gospel. Back in August we introduced and emphasized the Three Circles Gospel Presentation. Here is a link to that meeting. We also have a handout available, 3 Circles Outline, to further equip you and your group to share Jesus with others. If you need more ideas on how to do this, click here for a blog with suggestions on continually equipping your group.
Curriculum, Resources, Right Now Media
Weekly Small Group Guide - The Brook Hills Small Group Guide is a document we publish weekly based on the sermon. It allows groups to dig deeper into learning how to apply the sermon to everyday life. Once on the This Week Page, click the blue "Downloads" button to see the "Small Group Guide" link. Looking Last Minute? You can find guides from previous weeks attached to the Sermon Archives.
The BH Small Groups Library is a collection of hard copy resources available to any leader and listed as an online library. Simply search for the book, DVD, or CD desired and submit a hold on the resource. A member of the Small Groups team will reach out, reserve the resource and connect with you to get the resource into your hands. Let the team member know how long you would like the resource and return it to them when it's time!
RightNow Media is the Netflix of Bible study, through which you can instantly stream biblical teaching to your Small Group. Right Now Media contains over 10,000 videos. The church has purchased access for our members and Small Groups. Just visit brookhills.org/rightnow to check it out. If you have questions about creating an account, just email Jay Gordon.
New Believers - For discipleship of new believers, New Life in Christ is a simple and free course can be printed a online as needed. It contains a series of 13-session studies. Discipleship Essentials by Greg Ogden, is another great resource. It is a 25-session resource.
Recommended Books - Books are a key way to train leaders to teach and equip our groups. New leaders and continuing leaders will benefit from these two reads: Bold Moves, by Craig Etheredge and Real Life Discipleship, by Jim Putman.
Commentary Suggestions – Looking for the perfect commentary? Here are a couple of sites that may help. Ligonier has a top 5 pick for each book of the Bible that describes what type commentary it is. Also, Best Commentaries is more exhaustive and stays up-to-date as new commentaries are released.
Curriculum Recommendation – We recommend that groups spend most of the year in the Small Group Guide. You are welcome to pull out of it from time to time to hit a topic that is of interest or special need to your small group.Using the guide also keeps the group closely linked to Brook Hills, encourages people to attend the Worship Gathering in order to be prepared to discuss, and the preparation is easy for the leaders, allowing them to take the extra time to invest in people. Any other curriculum resources are the responsibility of the Small Group, both in ordering and paying. Other resources should be approved by the Local Disciple-Making Team.
Leadership Tools (Kids, Values, Projects, Team Roles)
Small Group Values is a one-page statement of shared values that can be reviewed with your Small Group annually.
Small Group Team Roles is a one-page document with names and brief job descriptions of roles that leaders can delegate to members of their group.
Small Group Discussion Guidelines is a one-page document to help groups facilitate great discussions.
Caring for Kids is a two-page document with suggestions and ideas on caring for kids during off-campus group meetings.
Small Group Foundations is a multi-page booklet reviewing strategy and philosophy of Small Groups.
Mission Projects for Groups is a page that lists opportunities, details, and contact information.
- Small Group Basics Answer Guide
- Spiritual Gift Assessment
- Threads Evangelism Booklet (No longer in use, but some helpful teaching on evangelism.)
- Suggested Books (These were mentioned by Matt Mason at a Small Group Leader Gathering.)
- 40 Questions: A Getting to Know You Game (Good for use in the first few group meetings.)
New Leader Info & Links
If this is your first time here, congratulations on completing the process of becoming an Adult Small Group Leader at Brook Hills. This page contains good-to-know info about leading an Adult Small Group.
Consider listing your group – There's no better way to keep an outward focus than to be open to new people in your group. Leaders have described it as refreshing to have new people. The group is "listed" if it is open to new people joining. Listed groups are also on the printed Small Group Directory, which is available at the Kiosk.
Inquiry Response Time – If your group is listed, and someone contacts you through our website, please respond to them within 24 hours. You are welcome to have multiple people receive an info request. Contact us via email to provide another email address for this.
Facebook – You'll want to connect with us on our Facebook group. We use it to build community and train leaders. You'll see announcements of new small group leaders and links to good (short) articles or blogs about leading small groups.
Other Social Media – If you use Twitter or Instagram, join us there also. Find our links on the right side of the page.
Picture – Please send us a picture to use on social media to introduce you to other Small Group Leaders and to use on your group's webpage, which will be public if your group is listed.
Elder Assignment – Each Small Group Leader is assigned an Elder who will pray for you, relate to you, encourage you, shepherd you and be available to help you when needed. The Elder is encouraged to meet with your group once each year.
Small Group Values – These Values are great to share as your group starts and then again periodically. The document is linked in the General Resources Section above.
Weekly Leader e-News – We encourage you to register to receive our weekly e-News that includes information you need to know. Click here to sign up. Check out the e-News Archive to see what you've missed recently.
Logistics for all Leaders
Leader Gatherings – Plan on attending our next Small Group Leader Gathering. We typically have three each year: August, October, and January. Check out the next one, "Small Group Basics," under the "Upcoming Events" box on the right.
Reserving Rooms – Your group is welcome to use BH facilities for fellowships or special meetings. To schedule those, please contact the Small Groups Ministry Assistant.
Leader Transitions – If you must step down from leadership due to relocation or life changes, please involve the Adult Small Groups Team in the transition. We want to build a relationship with the new leader as well.
Summer Break – For 6 weeks each summer, we encourage all adult small groups to take a break from their normal meeting schedule. A break is healthy and allows groups to start back strong in the fall. During the break, it’s a good idea to stay connected for fellowship, ministry, and missions. Some ideas to be considered are serving locally in some way or a day trip for fun. For groups that include parents, the break is a great time to do some things that involve the whole family. We usually schedule the break from July 1 to the Sunday following the start of school.
Off-Campus Leaders Only
Child Care – Providing child care can be a challenge, but there are also benefits to children being at a group meeting with their parents. Some groups use paid caregivers while others rotate group members. Here are some suggestions on what to do with children during small group meetings. Also, if needed, here's a link to the childcare reimbursement agreement and request.
Meeting Consistency – Meeting regularly is a good thing. We want to encourage all groups to meet as often as possible, even if only a few people are able to participate. Those small meetings can be times of getting to know one another at a deeper level.
Group Locations – Here are the locations of our couples and co-ed off-campus groups. Knowing the location may allow you to partner with another group in ministry to your geographical location such as a Rock the Block.
On-Campus Leaders Only
Meeting Length – We recommend meeting for 1.5 hours, including welcome time, announcements, prayer time, lesson, and discussion. 9:00am Small Groups should seek to finish the formal meeting by 10:30am in order to vacate the room no later than 10:45am. That allows members a short break and transition time to worship. 11:00am Small Groups should finish by 12:30pm.
Coffee Details – Industrial-size coffee makers are located in a small kitchen right across from the Prayer Room. Coffee filters are located in the cabinets, but small groups are responsible for providing and making their own coffee. These machines make coffee by the gallon, so we recommend purchasing a large can of coffee to use for multiple weeks. Many of the groups have a small tub with their group name on it in which they store their coffee supplies, storing the tub in the storage closet in their small group room. We suggest using a large coffee dispenser to transport and distribute the coffee. Please put your groups name on it to ensure it is not misplaced. This is the best system we have at this time due to power limitations in the modulars. Coffee Pots are not to be used in the Modulars or any On-campus rooms.
Storage Box – A storage cabinet is provided in each room. Upon request, the church will provide a small file box to be labeled with your group's name to be stored in the cabinet. Please help keep the cabinet clean by disposing of items you no longer need. These cabinets may not be locked, so valuable items should not be left there.
Meeting Consistency – Meeting regularly is a good thing. We want to encourage all groups to meet as often as possible, even if only a few people are able to participate. Those can be times of getting to know one another at a deeper level. The need is even more critical for on-campus groups. We invite guests to drop-in and try out on campus groups at any time, so it is really important to be there as often as possible when people take the step of giving a small group a try. Some options for canceling would be to 1) ask someone in the group to lead the group, 2) ask a staff member to lead, or 3) combine with another group.
Meeting Cancellation – As a last resort, you may need to cancel the meeting. If so, the staff will put a sign on the door and let the Welcome Desk and Small Group Kiosk know about the change. We don't want to direct guests to an empty room, so your communication is critical to creating positive experiences for our guests.
Meeting Rooms – Please contact us if you need more tables, chairs, or a different setup. You are welcome to change the set up in your room, but if you do, please return the room to its previous condition so that the group meeting next has what it needs. Also, please return any items taken from another room.
Feedback & Meet
Group Details Update – If your group is new or in transition in any way, please complete this form to help us list or re-list your group correctly. Thanks!
Snapshot – Twice each year we ask Small Group Leaders to provide an information update on their Small Group. It will typically occur in October and April. Snapshot Link.
Video Conferencing - If you have been asked to participate in a Zoom Meeting, please click the Zoom Meeting Link to participate.
Leader Tips Blog
New Year, Same Old Group, Starting Strong!
4 Ways to Grow With Your Small Group During Summer