Connect group leaders training
Leading a Connect Group
Leading a connect group isn’t about being perfect; it’s about serving others by giving them a place to connect. Hosting a group is simple—choose a topic that interests you and select a time and location to meet with others to share it. We help you every step of the way beginning with initial training then with ongoing coaching and support.
We ask everyone preparing to leading a connect group to watch the short videos below and read through some of the useful information telling you more about about the culture of our church.
When you've finished watching the training videos and decide you'd like to be considered for leading a connect group in Home Church go ahead and complete the form at the bottom of the page which tells us that you'd like to take the next step and get some help walking this exciting journey over the coming months.
Speak soon, enjoy!
Connect groups are a place where these 3 things happen:
1. A place where people find authentic friendship.
From the beginning of time it's been obvious we are designed to be in relationship with others. We serve a God who is by His very nature, relational and desires to know us intimately. There are numerous examples of the relational nature of our God throughout the Bible. One is when God desired to be in relationship with His people when He said, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people”
Lev. 26:12 "I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people."
Another is when God explains it is not good to be alone....
Gen. 2:18 "The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’"
It is in Acts 2:42 that we come across the greek word 'Koinonia' (koy-nohn-ee'-ah.) This Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.”
Friendship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia.
When we find Jesus we become part of a family - we are no longer strangers.
Ephesians 2:19 "...you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household"
2. A place where people are cared for and care for others.
Jesus came to earth to reconcile the relationship between God and us. Jesus was up close and personal with the people He encountered and cared for them dearly. He was clear in John 13:35 about the fact that our relationship with and care for one another was of upmost importance.
John 13:34-35 ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
And then in John 15:13-15 Jesus takes our relationship to a new level and calls us 'friends'....
John 15:13-15 "Greater love has no-one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
We are challenged to look out for each other on Philippians 2:4..
Philippians 2:4 "...Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
3. A place where people can grow in their faith.
We read in Acts chapter 2 that the early church acted upon the words of Jesus and were relationally connected, in unity, meeting regularly in homes to grow in their faith, for fellowship and prayer.
Acts 2:42-46 "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,.."
Our grace has always been centred around family; to some this means being a church for the generations, to others its finding friends that feel like family. Whichever way you look at it, Home Church has a reputation for being a place that 'feels like family'.
Everyone is welcome at Home Church where you'll find people from all walks of life. When you feel part of a family, it makes sense that you'll want to get involved, contribute and play your part. We don't stress membership but do encourage everyone to get involved in our five core values.
We call them the 5 G's;
"We are a soul winning church"
Commit to telling people about Jesus, bringing friends and family with you to church to experience the life-changing message of Jesus Christ for themselves.
"And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”
"We are a relational church"
Commit to being relationally connected especially participating in a small group if the life of church. We believe it's the best way to build friendships and grow in our relationship with Christ.
"They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts."
"We are a servant-hearted church"
Commit to serving others with your gifts and talents. We believe God has equipped each of us with unique gifts and skill sets. We encourage you to use your talents to serve God's vision through the local church.
"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another."
"We are a generous church"
Commit to financially supporting the vision of Home Church through tithes and offerings. We count it a privilege to give back to God from that which He has blessed us with.
"The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped."
"We are a thriving church"
Commit to moving forward in life. We don't want to simply survive, but thrive in our faith, relationships, health, career and more. We are devoted and passionate learners.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,"
How do Connect Groups Work?
There are different types of Connect Groups. Is there a book study you'd like to lead? Do you have a passion or interest that could involve others? Would you like to host people in your home?
- Connect Groups meet together for a set length of time throughout the year.
- Our 3-month rhythm is: Jan-Mar (Break) May-July (Break) Sep-Nov (Break)
- Each cycle begins with an empty group and people register for your group at every restart.
- Connect Groups meet frequently - either weekly or fortnightly
- They meet on different days of the week
- They meet at different times of the week
- They meet in homes, coffee shops, in the park etc.
Each group has a leader - every cg leader is supported by their department leader who comes alongside to help their group to help it flourish and assist with pastoral care.
When it is time to launch new groups we help you promote your group.
However we encourage every leader to gathers people to their group themselves.
- Prepare well.
- Invite people to your group.
- Email or call the day before your group as a friendly reminder.
- Create an inviting and friendly environment (play music, think about the environment)
- Have food and snacks available.
- Give plenty of time for DISCUSSION. Approximately 70% of the speaking should be from members and 30% from the leader.
- Keep the discussion POSITIVE.
- Stay on TOPIC. Carefully lead the conversation back to the topic when tangents occur.
- Where sensitive issues or complex questions arise in your group, do follow up one-on-one or refer to your ministry leader if necessary.
- Steer the discussion in a direction where EVERYONE can participate.
- Ideally, men should minister to men and women to women.
- Pray for one another.
- Encourage people in the 5G’s.
- Prioritise places in the group for people who are part of Home Church.
- Share communion together.
- Don't take offerings.
- Don't do praise & worship.
- Don't try to do a church service.
- Don't use unapproved speakers or materials.
- Don't get into controversial topics.
- Don't entertain a critical or divisive spirit.
- Don't allow gossip or disruptive behaviour - it's a privilege to be in your group!
- Don't postpone a group meeting without informing your group and ministry leader.
- Don't be too intense.
- Don't build your own little kingdom - not a platform for your ministry.
Responsibilities of a Leader
A leader is:
- A person of character and integrity.
- Committed to personal spiritual growth. (a self-feeder)
- Supportive of the vision of the church, understanding the purpose of Home Church and embracing the four core values.
- Passionate about God and people.
- Refer any pastoral issues to your leader.
- Grow your group - invite people!
- Make it a safe and welcoming environment.
- Keep up to date with our pastoral care guidelines espeially page 7 where it gives instructions for connect group leaders. Read them here....
Let us know you've completed the training videos...
Connect Group Topic/Theme Suggestions
Whilst not an exhaustive list, here's some ideas.....
- Book/DVD Study by Joseph Prince
- Book/DVD Study by Beth Moore
- Book/DVD Study by Priscilla Shirer
- Book/DVD Study by TD Jakes
- Book/DVD Study by Tim Keller
- Book/DVD Study by Robert Morris
- Book/DVD Study by John Maxwell
- Book/DVD Study by Andy Stanley
- Book/DVD Study by Brian Houston
- Book/DVD Study by Bobbie Houston
- Book/DVD Study by Jimmy/Karen Evans
- Book/DVD Study by Craig/Amy Groeschel
- Book/DVD Study by Charles Swindoll
- Book/DVD Study by Steven Furtick
- Interest Connect Group - Cooking
- Interest Connect Group - Baking
- Interest Connect Group - Crafts
- Interest Connect Group - Football
- Interest Connect Group - Squash
- Interest Connect Group - Golf
- Interest Connect Group - Tennis
- Interest Connect Group - Running/Fitness
- City Workers Connect - Meeting early in London
- Family Connect - Children Welcome!
- Young Adult Connect - Age Specific
- Song Writers Connect
- Business Entrepreneurs Connect
- Sunday Message Notes - Discussion & Dinner
- Sisterhood Connect Group - Mornings
- Sisterhood Connect Group - Afternoons
- Sisterhood Connect Group - Evenings
- Mens Connect Group - Morning Coffee & Word
- Mens Connect Group - Evening Coffee & Word
- Mens Connect Group - Bible Study Group
- Bible Study Connect - Psalms
- Bible Study Connect - Proverbs
- Bible Study Connect - The Gospels
- New Believers Bible Study
- Street Outreach Connect - Training & Practical
- Mum's & Babies Connect - Friendship & Prayer