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Connect Leader Training

Top Tips for New Connect Leaders

Part 4: The Structure of a Connect Group Meeting

Before we look at the structure of a Connect Group, it’s important to understand that there doesn’t have to be a set structure for Connect Group meetings. But there have to be some vital components that make up the structure. The first one is fellowship. The second one is engaging with people. The third one is the discussion time, and the last one the fourth one is the response time. It’s important to understand that there isn’t one component that’s more spiritual than the other; every single one of them is a way of building into God’s kingdom and seeing God’s Kingdom advance in people’s lives. For example, some of us will think that the discussion time and looking at God’s word is much more important than the fellowship time at the front. But that’s not true. Every component adds to the meeting and seeing people advance in God’s kingdom.


  • Fellowship

Firstly, creating an atmosphere in your home that makes people feel welcome is essential—having background music that eliminates awkward silence while people engage in conversation, having coffee or tea served, and some eats or some food that is sustainable for your group. All of these add to the atmosphere of making people feel at home. Make people feel like they are at home instead of at a meeting. This is the moment we see people conversing and getting to know each other during this fellowship. Because of these moments, friendships form and are a critical part of people’s faith journeys. Now that we’ve had this moment of fellowship, we have created an atmosphere to make people feel welcome and willing to share and be open.


  • Engaging the people

As connected leaders, I encourage us to think about people instead of the message we want to share with them. So that means that when we engage with people during this time, we listen to them more than we talk to them. You can start this time of engaging with people by asking a simple, relevant question. Opening with a fun question that can make people laugh or an icebreaker helps get people taking.  Don’t go too deep too soon. If we go deep early, very soon in your meeting, you’ll lose people because they feel like they can’t relate. Now that we’ve had the engagement time with people where we’ve asked them questions about how the week was or had some fun with them by playing an icebreaker game, we have laid the platform for greater depth, where people feel more comfortable to talk. Now we can trust God to work in their lives.


I want to encourage every Connect Leader to use the Connect Resource and Insider Info. As I said in the previous point, we must think more about people than our message. And this is why we have generated this Connect Resource based on the series so that every Connect Leader can think about the people coming to their home instead of the message they want to give. So we have made questions and scriptures available for you to use and add to the discussion time.


As Connect Leaders, we need to know that it’s essential not to preach during this discussion time; that’s why it’s called a “discussion time”. Instead of preaching, we need to listen after asking questions, which makes us discussion facilitators. Ask questions, and then share your thoughts as a leader after everyone has shared. What we’ve done is we’ve now laid the platform for people to respond to God.


  • A Response Time

This leads us to the last component of our Connect Meetings, the response time. We need to give people a straightforward way of how to respond after the discussion time. We’ve now heard the word of God. We’ve discussed, in depth, what our thoughts are. But now we need to respond to him. And how do we do that? Here are some examples of things you can say


“We are going to respond and pray now.”

 “We’re going to wait on God now.”

“We are going to ask God for this now in asking him for forgiveness.”

“We’re going to ask him for open doors of opportunity”. 


We have now given people a straightforward way of responding to God. During this time, it’s also important to pray. As Connect Groups, we should be praying together, not only as leaders but also giving our people an opportunity to pray. Giving people a chance to pray in a safe environment makes them more confident as they learn and grow.


Finally, in response time, we can challenge people to go out and respond to what they felt God stirred inside of them. During this response time, I’d also encourage you to ask them to chat if they feel challenged about something God is doing in their lives. You can ask them to come and talk with you and stand with them and pray. I hope this has been helpful, and I trust that we will see healthy connect groups as we look at the structure.

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