Notes for Redwood Group Hosts
As a Redwood Group host, it is important to understand that your role is to set the environment for community and discipleship to take place. Practicing the following will help you create this environment:
Good communication is vital to the success of a Redwood Group. Your group should know when, where, and what, if anything, they need to bring for each Redwood Group gathering. Be sure that they are also aware of how long the commitment will be for finishing the Redwood Group Series (i.e. 2 months, 6 weeks, etc.). Group texts, Facebook groups, and other communication apps are great ways to share information with your group. For additional resources on effective communication for small group leaders, visit Right Now Media to browse a variety of communication and leadership trainings designed for small group leaders.
Adjust As Needed
As a Redwood Group host, you are welcome to adjust the questions in the Redwood Group Series as needed to fit your group. The goal of the series is to help establish your group and to get to know each other’s story so it is important to make changes as needed to help your group achieve that goal. If your group enjoys sharing their responses, consider expanding on the questions. If your group is more reserved, consider rephrasing or simplifying the questions. Ideally, the questions can be answered at some point during or after your group does their shared interest or hobby together.
Think of your role in setting the environment for community and discipleship similar to that of a game show host, without the gimmicks of course! A game show host has two major responsibilities:
1) Making sure contestants feel comfortable enough to play the game, and
2) Keeping the game show moving so that everyone can stay engaged.
As the host of a Redwood Group, you want to make sure that everyone in your group feels comfortable enough to share their responses and you want to keep the group gatherings moving so that everyone stays engaged. To help the group feel comfortable sharing, be intentional about welcoming new people that come to the group gathering, avoid doing too much talking, promote fellowship, and allow people in the group to share when they are willing. It’s ok if discussions start out slow, as the group continues to meet, people will begin to feel more comfortable sharing. If you find your group struggling to connect with each other, consider incorporating icebreaker type games or “Would you rather” questions in your gatherings to fill in time and encourage group interaction. To help keep the group moving, be respectful of everyone’s time by starting as well as ending on time and be sensitive to when transitions need to happen so that everyone can stay engaged in the conversation.
It is important that the physical environment where your Redwood Group meets lends itself to the shared interest or hobby that your group will do together. Make sure that the location you choose has enough space for everyone to participate. Your Redwood Group location should also be a place where people feel comfortable enough to relax and to share their responses to the Redwood Group Series questions. Try to limit distractions when possible and consider bringing, or asking group members to bring, snacks for the group.
Finally, remember that building community and practicing discipleship take time and effort. It can be messy at times and look different than what you may expect but it is worth it!
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching”
Hebrews 10: 23-25 (NIV)