Let’s be honest… Hosting a LIFEGroup might seem a little scary at first. But here are five common fears along with encouraging tips for each of them:
1. I’m nervous about hosting my first LIFEGroup meeting
- Good news! Your nervousness has nothing to do with how good of a LIFEGroup host you are. In fact, this fear is completely natural and proves that you care about your role as a leader, which is one of the most important factors in determining who should be the leader.
- No one is expecting you to give a life-changing sermon or recite Leviticus. If you don’t puff yourself up as a saint or an expert and simply be yourself, you might find that people become comfortable with you and each other much sooner.
- Remember that, while it takes courage to lead a LIFEGroup, it also takes courage to show up to a stranger’s house. Remember that all new-comers are likely nervous themselves. If you focus on simply getting to know new people, you’ll likely find that you’re focusing less on your own nerves.
2. I’m still not comfortable praying out loud
- It’s no secret that public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world. Praying out loud can easily get lumped into this fear category but remind yourself that a simple, short prayer is still a good prayer. Jesus said in Matthew 6:7, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
- To start out, try praying out loud when you’re by yourself. Get used to the idea of speaking your prayer thoughts. If you’re still concerned, try writing out a general prayer you can loosely follow from the “notes” section in your phone or in a notebook you have open in front of you.
- Praying out loud is an important step to take when it comes to spiritual growth. Don’t let the Enemy trick you into avoiding it altogether, but rather use this opportunity to grow. Once you’ve grown more comfortable in vocal prayer, you’ve set a great example for your group and have a unique position to encourage others in the group to grow in that area as well.
3. I’m feeling self-conscious that my house isn’t always neat and freshly cleaned
- Take the pressure off yourself. Your house doesn’t have to look like a hotel room every week, especially if you have kids.
- Here are some general questions to ask yourself to see if your house is realistically in presentable shape for LIFEGroup: Is the floor picked up so a clear walk way is available? Is the bathroom toilet, sink and counter wiped down? Is the kitchen floor and counter wiped down? Is the couch cleaned off and inviting? Are the lights turned on? Are there plenty of clean glasses ready to use for drinks?
4. What if no one signs up for my new LIFEGroup right away?
- Don’t worry! Some new groups may take a semester to draw sign-ups. Just keep inviting people you meet (at FOTP and elsewhere) to join and don’t take slow growth personally.
- Keep the invitation open and stay on the LIFEGroup catalog, knowing that God will bring you the people He wants you to be in community with!
- In the meantime, feel free to visit another LIFEGroup so that you have a way to grow and share in community.
5. What if only one or two people have joined my LIFEGroup by the time we’re supposed to start the semester?
- Feel free to take a couple extra weeks to meet casually and socially until you have a larger group. Meet at a local coffee shop or restaurant and talk about how you can each invite others to join you as you hang out together and discuss the previous weekend’s message–what impacted you or what you have questions about.
- In the end, there’s absolutely nothing keeping your small group from going through the study together.
6. What if I have some awkward or difficult personalities within my LIFEGroup?
- Many times, this can be the result of someone just taking a little longer to get comfortable around a new group of people, or maybe having a different expectation than others about what LIFEGroup meetings should be about.
- This is one of the reasons why the LIFEGroup Member Agreement was made. Feel free to review this with your entire group as a way of setting a uniform expectation about what to expect and how to behave at LIFEGroup.
- Remain inclusive and, as long as their personality does not pose a threat to the overall health of the LIFEGroup, do your best to continue showing love to that person. Your LIFEGroup may be exactly what that person needs to grow in their social skills!
- If their behavior does begin to pose a threat to the health of the LIFEGroup, try to set up some one on one time with them to see if they have an unresolved issue that is causing them to act in that way, and lovingly remind them that the purpose of a LIFEGroup is to provide an environment that encourages vulnerability and transparency.