9 Essentials Before Week 1 of Group

We can't wait to begin another year of Community Groups with you!

We, your Group Coaches, had a blast at our Kick-off training last night as we prepared for our new groups year ahead. Thanks for taking time out of your busy fall schedule to focus on leading your group!

We want to do everything we can to support you and help you get ready for your first week of group. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. 

Here are 9 essentials to cover before your first week of group.

1. Plan A Group Meal

The best way to start off the group year is by catching up together over a meal. Who doesn't love food.  Connect with your group this week to plan what's for dinner.

2. Connect With Your Group

Make sure to connect with your group about details for your first meeting: location, date, time, kids care. Nothing beats a phone call before the first week to reconnect with your attendees and new prospective group members. Maybe you could meet with new group members in the lobby on Sunday so they have a familiar face their first week in group.

3. Bring A Preassigned Volunteer Schedule

Instead of asking for people to sign up for shared group responsibilities on the first night, bring a preassigned schedule to your first meeting. Let people know they can connect with you as leaders if there is a schedule conflict or a role they are not comfortable serving in. This is a great way to share leadership by sharing responsibilities for snack, childcare, hosting, and even facilitation. 

4. Bring Group Agreements

Make sure to review this with your group the first week of each trimester. 
You can pick up copies of the Beginning of the Trimester Group Agreement at your campus info center this Sunday, or download and print copies that will be included with the sermon discussion questions this week.

5. Bookmark the New Group Leaders Website

This is where you will find Sermon Discussion Questions, the Community Groups blog, leadership documents, previous breakouts, training materials, and more.

6. Register and Update the New Group Database

People are checking out groups online this week. Make sure your group name, time, location, and description are still correct. It would be a bummer to have a new group member show up on the wrong night. 


As we mentioned last night at the Group Leader Training, this year we are going to try out Group Vitals, a new Community Groups database that will replace our previous one. 



 1. No login required to take attendance (great when you forget your password)
2. Text message attendance reminders in addition to email reminders
3. Ability to add guests and share notes with your group coach when filling out attendance
4. "Group text" option to communicate with your group
5. Text notifications when someone expresses interest in your group online
6. A map search feature for people looking for a group



7. Update Your Coach on Group Changes

Have you added new leaders or new group members, or do you have group members in transition? Let your group coach know so we can update your group roster and make sure any new co-leaders have an opportunity to fill out the Group Leader Application.

8. Fill Out the Group Leader Application

If you are new to Community Group Leadership and stepping into the role this year, please fill out the Group Leader application found at the link above.

9. Pray For Your Group

Planning goes a long way to help create healthy group environments where people connect, feel cared for, and grow spiritually. God uses our efforts but we are dependent on God to change lives and make us more like Him. 

We are praying for and with you this week! 


Jason DeGraaff
Community Groups Pastor

Life is better connected!

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