SMALL GROUP PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
Use a tool that can be used in both the Grow and Go settings. This allows for people to make a seamless transition from grow to go. The Discovery Bible Study (DBS) would be recommended.
Use hard start and end dates. This accomplishes several things. It makes attendance manageable for parents who have to arrange for childcare, school schedules, etc. It is also less intimidating to those who have never attended a small group. It provides an easy opt out for those who don't feel inclined to continue.
Meet for short sessions. For example; five weeks on, two weeks off. You'll be surprised how popular and effective this becomes. Short sessions increase participation, develop friendships, and don't exhaust leaders and hosts.
Have all groups on the same schedule. This generates church wide momentum, and creates an easy transition for those who want to move from a Grow group to a Go team.
Encourage and enable migration from Grow groups to Go teams. Grow groups focus on maturity, Go teams focus on multiplication. Go teams use Pathway as a resource.
Provide pre-meeting training, and post-meeting debrief for hosts and leaders. Training can consist of online, and/or in person one time training session. Debrief can be in-person and online. Debrief is a time to express thanks, gather constructive input, and collect recommendations for future leaders/hosts.
Model multiplication. This begins with the pastors and elders and filters down to ministry leaders and laity. Leaders should be able to say, "Imitate me, as I imitate Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 The culture of a church is not changed solely by exhortation from the pulpit, but by leaders living out what is said from the pulpit. Exhortation answers the what and why questions. Modeling and coaching answer the how, who, when and where questions.