I’d like to be a Host, but should I wait until I have more experience? If you have a willing heart, a DVD player, and a few open seats in your living room, you are ready to be a Host. The DVD and curriculum are “plug and play” so that anyone with any level of experience can Host a successful group.
Do I have to attend one of the Host Orientations? YES. There will be several available times and attending ONE of them is required. You will receive some very important training and you will be given additional information that will enable you to pick up material for your group.
On which day of the week does the group take place? One of the great things about the study is that it fits with every person’s schedule. Pick the day and time that works best for you. For example, if Thursday nights is easiest, then you might want to Host your group on Thursday nights. A busy career couple might want to meet on Saturday mornings while a mom with kids in school might prefer a group that meets on a weekday morning. The typical time slot will be 1 ½ to 2 hours. It is really up to you. Just pick a night to start and let the group decide from there.
How many weeks am I committing to? Your commitment is to host 4 weeks.
What is the time requirement each week? From start to finish, the average small group meeting lasts between 1 ½ to 2 hours. As the Host, you might commit a little extra time between meetings each week to review the book and the leader material as well as to pray for your group members.
How long is the DVD session each week? Though the group meeting will last between 1 ½ and 2 hours, the video itself will be approximately 10 to 15 minutes in length. The rest of the evening will be spent using the workbook that accompanies the series.
How many people should I be expecting to accommodate? The real answer is, “How many people can you fit?” If you have a small home, invite a few. A larger home, invite more. We suggest inviting more people than can actually meet in your home. In our experience, about half of those who say they will come will actually come. An ideal number of people to have in a small group is -10. This allows for great interaction. If your group gets much larger you can break into groups to share and pray after the Bible study.
Who will be in the group I will host? We want you to start by inviting your friends! They are the most natural place to start. You can even ask them if they know anyone who would like to come. In addition, we may have the names of a few people who have signed up for the study and live nearby. Also, we will publish a list of available host homes so you may get a few emails or phone calls from people who see these.
How can I form a group with people who are similar to me? If you’d like to form a group with a certain affinity (like Couples, Singles, Women, Men, etc.), let us know by marking this on your commitment card. However, in most cases your geographic community will provide a “proximate” life stage or lifestyle affinity. Be sure to invite a few of your own friends that you enjoy hanging out with.
I am currently in a Next Step Group. Do I have to leave it if I am going to Host a new group? No. Although some members of existing Next Step Groups will choose to “take a 4 week vacation” from their group in order to Host a new one, others will simply meet on a different night and be part of two groups. Do what feels comfortable.
What do I do with the new group that has formed? As the Host, we are asking that you open your home to this new group for 6 weeks. We ask that you show the DVD each week and help the group lead itself. We also hope that you will pray for this new group and each of the members individually.
Will I be asked to continue Hosting this group after the six-week series? We are SO grateful for your gift of 6 weeks. When your commitment is over, each Host will personally decide what their role will be with the group of friends that birthed in their home. It is our hope that some Hosts will choose to continue with their new group. If that’s not your plan, we hope you will help the group raise up a new leader and find a new place to meet and that you will come alongside them and mentor them so that they have a better chance of being successful.
I live out of the area. Should we still consider being a Host home? Yes! If you live out of the area we would still love to support you as a Host. Since it is unlikely that we will be able to provide you with a list of potential group members, we would encourage you to pray about which neighbors and friends you could invite to join you for 6 weeks.
How should we handle the childcare issue? Ultimately, each host will decide how they will address the issue of childcare. Most groups ask the members to find their own babysitters and attend the group by themselves with the children left at home with the sitter. Some groups put the children together in a “bonus” room at the Host home and all the members pitch in to pay a sitter or two to watch care for them. Other groups swap child-care with another group they know who meets on another night. And yet others create kind of a neighborhood co-op with the group. There are many creative solutions and it is a great idea to address these up front with the people you are inviting. If you make it six weeks as a starter group without kids you will never go back to before.
I will be out of town during one of the weeks of the series. Any ideas? Sure, on the night you will miss the group, simply plan on having others lead and facilitate the evening. Or reschedule the meeting.
Do we need a large home to host? Absolutely not! Most groups will end up with 10 to 12 people. If your group grows larger than that we’ll help you figure out how to make it work!