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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The policies of our Small Group Ministry are outlined in our Frequently asked questions. For a printable version of the the FAQ click here.

1. Purpose and Goals of the Small Group Ministry

1.1 What goals are we attempting to reach by establishing small groups?

1.2  In what way is the small group ministry to be ministry?

1.3 What is the relationship (if any) between the small group ministry and evensong groups current commitees/action groups in the congregation? (Worship Associates, Social Action Committee, etc.) current affinity groups in the congregation?  (Men's groups, etc.) the adult education ministry of the congregation?   

2. Leadership 

2.1 Do all small groups have a leader & a co-leader? Yes 

2.2 Who is responsible for recruiting leaders? 

2.3 How are leaders recruited? 

2.4 By what criteria are leaders selected? 

2.5 Is training required for leaders and co-leaders?  Yes   

2.6  What are the responsibilities of leaders and co-leaders toward their groups, toward one another, and toward the congregation?  

2.7 What do we disallow leaders and co-leaders from doing? 

2.8 What is the Leadership Community Gathering, and what happens in it?

2.9 What is the Small Group Ministry Council, and what does it do?  

2.10 How is SGM Leader’s and Co-Leader’s service completed or terminated?

3. Establishing and Maintaining Groups

3.1 Who is responsible for establishing groups?

3.2 How do people join a group?

3.3 How does group membership relate to church membership?

3.4 How is the diversity of the congregation expressed in the small group context?

3.5 How often can a group absorb a new member, and how is a new member integrated?

3.6 How and when do groups birth?

4. Content & Process of Gatherings

4.1 What is the content of SGM gatherings?

4.2 What is the process of the SGM gatherings?

4.3 Who is responsible for the content?

4.4 Do we want all groups to be on the same topics/themes, and is any coordination desired with worship topics? Why can’t each group just decide on its own topics?

4.5 If a group wants to develop its own themes/ topics, is any approval or oversight needed?  If approval and oversight are needed, how are they provided?

4.6 How is the SGM content made available to the small groups?

5. Group Responsibilities

5.1 Is there a recommended frequency of meeting?

5.2 Is there a required or recommended involvement in the congregation? 

5.3 Is each group expected to make certain commitments to the wider community? If so, what are the expected commitments?

5.4 How are the financial needs of the groups met?

6. Group Functioning 

6.1 Is each group member expected to make certain commitments to the group, to the congregation, or to the wider community?  Yes:

6.2 Is the group expected to make certain commitments to each member? If so, what are the expected commitments?

6.3 What are the group meeting logistics? 

7. Congregational Responsibilities

7.1 What resources are made available to the small groups?

7.2  What support does the congregation provide to the groups and the SGM as a whole?

8. Evaluation and Assessment Processes

8.1 What needs to be evaluated?

8.2  What evaluation process is used?

We need ground rules for dialogue that allow us to be present to another person's problems in a quiet, receptive way that encourages the soul to come forth, a way that does not presume to know what is right for the other but allows the other's soul to find its own answers at its own level and pace.

from the book, "The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life", by Parker J. Palmer.