Group Gathering Guidelines
Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. ~ Romans 12:10
The ideas presented in this brief guide are intended as guidelines to help lead you on your journey as a group and not as hard and fast rules. Every group is unique and has its own special character. Think of these ideas as the guardrails on a bridge. They are here to keep you from falling over the side so that you stay on the road moving forward, but you get to choose which lane to drive in.
- Live4More generally recommends that a typical Men’s Discipleship Group consists of about 4 to 10 men who meet every week or at least twice monthly.
- We have found that it works best when the gatherings are about 90 minutes long. However, 60 minutes can also work well. See our Discipleship Group Meeting Format resource for more details regarding our suggested meeting format.
- Whatever your group chooses, commit to a standard format and follow it religiously.
- Each man should make a commitment to make his attendance at each gathering a priority in his life. Of course, on occasion a man might not be able to attend, but it should not be because he would rather watch the game!
- It is important that each gathering be a safe environment where each man can share his thoughts freely and confidentially. What is shared in group gatherings stays in the group!
- Select a quiet place to gather so that you will not be disturbed.
- Turn off or silence your phones…. and better yet, just leave them in the car!
- Each man should keep an open mind and heart to grow in faith in the Lord.
- Select a meeting room at church or a private home where distractions can be removed.
- One or two men should take the responsibility to make sure the room is properly reserved and set-up for your group before the gathering begins.
- Work together after the gathering to clean up and put things back where they belong.
- Select a leader (or facilitator) for each group gathering.
- Rotate the role among multiple men in the group.
- Select the facilitator for each gathering in advance of the gathering, preferably before concluding the current gathering.
- The leader’s role is to keep the discussion on topic and to watch the clock so as to keep the gathering on schedule.
- The leader should make clear what is going to be covered at the next gathering (readings, videos, action plans, etc.).
- Be respectful of each other’s time and schedule by starting and ending on time.
- Always begin and end with prayer.
- Ask different members of the group to lead the prayers.
- The prayer may be one we all know or spontaneous – the Lord loves them both!
- Including intercessory prayer at the beginning of the gathering is highly suggested.
- Consider including a worship song or two as part of the prayer. Worship helps to open our hearts for listening and sharing.
- Keep it simple.
- It’s okay to sing off-key. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (see Psalm 98:4-6)
- If the song is not well known, provide copies of the lyrics.
- If your group typically does sing, consider developing a song sheet with the lyrics for the songs you use most frequently.
- Remember, there is no rush! You can continue the discussion at the next gathering.
- Live4More is about spending time together as a band of brothers learning and sharing our faith and having a little fellowship too!
- Always begin and end with prayer.
- Each man should have a Bible (print or electronic) and bring it with him to each gathering of the group.
- Take turns doing the scripture readings.
- Share your thoughts on the questions and ideas presented.
- There may be different views and some may be strongly felt.
- Listen to your brothers and embrace different viewpoints. God loves the discussion and we all grow when we share our faith with each other.
- The New American Bible is a good version for Catholics and includes footnotes with explanations and other references.
- Ideally, a Catechism of the Catholic Church would be available at the gathering.
- Relax and enjoy each other. Lean on the Holy Spirit for guidance!
- Always complete this activity near the end of every gathering, even if you don’t finish all the other sections.
- Take a few minutes for each man to make an action plan to work on between now and the next group gathering. Write it down.
- Use the actions suggested or make your own plan.
- You can make individual plans or the entire group could decide to take on one common challenge.
- At the beginning of the next gathering, each man should have an opportunity to share on how he is doing with his action plan and how things are going in his life.
- Celebrate together when things go well.
- Support one another when challenges are encountered.
- Close the gathering with prayer and perhaps a short worship song.