Guidelines for Church Small Group Leaders

Despite the growing popularity of small community groups dedicated to worship and ministry, the leaders of these small groups of worship face some unique challenges. While there is a great potential for spiritual growth within this kind of setting, there are also risks that ministry leaders must understand in order to fully and safely embrace the fellowship taking place.

Safety in the Home

Many of these small groups begin their meetings in the home of the group leader or one of its members. In these cases, there are some important considerations that must be addressed. The homeowner’s insurance policy must cover liability should any accidents occur in the home while hosting is taking place. The group leader should also spend some time surveying the home in order to ensure that there are no open hazards to other group members such as loose handrails or exposed wiring. It is also wise for the host or leader to clearly communicate to members rules that apply to any special considerations in the home being utilized. For instance, rules should be established regarding swimming pools, appliances, and any other potentially hazardous resources.

God’s Children

As small groups gather and grow in numbers, it is not unusual for a need to arise concerning child care. Because the parents hold the ultimate responsibility for their children, any supervision that is provided in this capacity should be approved and supported by all of the involved parents. Should this care be given in the home of the members or leader, then the room used for this purpose should be given special consideration. It should be fully accessible to all members and cleared of all dangers to children of a variety of ages. Small group leaders who are operating as an arm of a church must also be sure to provide copies of the church’s policies on child supervision as well.

Eating and Health

Good food and fellowship can be a central element for small worship groups. When food is included, meals should ideally be prepared by an outside, professional source such as a catering company or restaurant. However, a home-cooked meal is not out of the question. In these cases, leaders need to be sure to address some critical issues that include noting food allergies and ensuring that certain dietary restrictions are taken into consideration.

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