About the
Love Cares - Small Group Leaders' Guide

The “Love Cares – Leader’s Guide” is a companion book to the “Love Cares - Small Group Members’ Guide”. It consists of summaries of the chapters in the Member’s Guide.

How should it be used?
The Leader’s Guide on its own it is incomplete and it should be used in conjunction with the Members’ Guide. It has been designed to allow the small group leader to share the challenge for the week in a quick and concise manner. As the small group leader this guide will help you share each week’s concept without having to spend valuable preparation time summarising the Member’s Guide.

Can my group rely only of what I, as the leader, share with them from this guide?
Not really! It is recommended that each group member have their own copy of the Members’ Guide to work through during the week. Remember that the objective in your group meeting is simply to set the direction.

When should the notes be shared?
The “Love Cares” notes have been prepared with the “traditional” small group meeting structure in mind. That structure is known as the 4W’s:

  • Welcome,
  • Worship,
  • Word and
  • Works.
So, in Week 1 you will share the notes and set the task for the coming week during the Works section. Then in Week 2, you should receive feedback from group members during the Welcome section. As the leader try to set the tone so that feedback from group members is positive and uplifting. If you can achieve this then when you proceed to Worship your group members’ hearts are well prepared to focus on God. Then, once again, in the Works section you will share the notes and set the direction for the coming week.

How should I plan the Works section of the meeting now?
The traditional approach to the Works section has been to use it for planning outreach into our local communities. When using “Love Cares” you need to split the Works into 2 subsections – one of them inward focussed (using the Love Cares notes) and the second outward focussed into our communities. The 2 are closely related so it should be fairly easy to transition between them and there are certainly some sections that are easier to action outside of your small group.

Why do we need to get feedback during the Welcome?
The primary reason for requiring feedback from group members on the caring they have done for other group members in the past week is to create a level of accountability to the process. The sole objective behind the process that is suggested in the book is to train people to care. Caring must become a lifestyle or habit. Like any habit it can be created or broken, but creating it requires conscious effort – effort that is aided by accountability & report backs.

Do you have any other advice for me as a leader?
It is essential that you understand how important prayer and preparation are for you as a small group leader.

Pray for your people every day - pray that God would change their hearts making them more like Him and pray that they would have a heart of compassion and caring for each other and the world.

Pray also before starting your preparation for your meeting. Prayer is undoubtedly the easiest way to achieve a successful meeting – a meeting where God moves and where the people really want to come back.

Proper preparation is the second essential key to a successful small group meeting. There is nothing worse than going to a small group meeting where the leader is unprepared. Having been on both the receiving and giving end of poorly prepared meetings I am well aware of the need for focussed preparation and prayer time. The incorporation of these notes into your group meetings will require additional thought, particularly in terms of the flow and transitioning of the meeting and its various sections but, done properly, I believe it will change the whole dynamic of the interactions between your people.

Is this a set of rules we have to live by – what about grace?
This is most definitely not a new set of rules. You need to have fun with “Love Cares”. The book really is intended to help you grow yourself and your people into loving, caring individuals. These are not hard and fast “have to” rules – rather the book is a suggested process designed to train, encourage and motivate.

Is “Love Cares” all there is to know on the subject?
The “Love Cares” books do not pretend to be all encompassing – they are just some ideas to get you and your people onto a life long journey of caring for others. This is a journey that yields both heavenly & earthly rewards. There are times when it is a tough journey but keep at it because the rewards vastly outweigh the tough times.

How can a become a better Small Group Leader?
The obvious answer is through prayer! God can use anyone as a small group leader – after all he even used a donkey to communicate with Balaam! (Num 22:28) However there are lots of really good resources available to help you. Specifically I would recommend Home Cell Group Explosion by Joel Comiskey (ISBN 1-80828-42-1) and 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders by Dave Earley (ISBN 1-880828-34-0).

Contact Information
Andrew Fraser
Email: andrew@lovecares.co.za Jenny Fraser
Email: jenny@lovecares.co.za

Tel: 011 976 4360
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