SG Member Field Guide FAll 2016
Small Group Field Guide
C H U R C H O F T H E N A T I V I T Y 2 0 E . R I D G E L Y R O A D T I M O N I U M , M D 2 1 0 9 3 Dear Small Group Members and Leaders,
Thank you for your continued dedication to the ministry of Small Groups. A
special thanks to all who are new and growing in leadership roles! Small
Groups are a vital part of the Church of the Nativity community because
Small Groups are a pathway to intentional relationships that help us to
grow our faith.
In our Small Groups we challenge each other to pray, be authentic and to
be committed to grow in our faith. It is through our passion, energy and
enthusiasm that generations upon generations will come to know, love and
serve Jesus Christ.
Our program was launched in spring of 2005 as a Pilot Program and in spring
2006 we launched a parish wide campaign "40 Days of Purpose." Over 1,000
people responded! We continue to grow and form new groups so that more
lives can be transformed in Christ.
With great excitement the Leadership Development Team is focused on
supporting and growing our Small Group Community. This Member Field
Guide is a product of this team and we know that it will be a great tool.
Thank you for being part of, and if you are leading, shepherding your Small
Group. May God continue to bless you and your efforts as you lead others
to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Blessings in Christ,
Director, Adult Small Groups
2 Getting Started Checklist
Small Group Leader Name: _______________________________
Co-Leader Name: ________________________________________
Coordinator(s) Name(s): ___________________________________
(Timer, social, snacks etc). ___________________________________
Completed Minister Application: Yes or No
Updated Group information for current Small Group (in Ministry Platform): Yes or No
Assigned a Leadership Coach: Yes or No
Leadership Coach: ________________________________________
Apprentice Leader: _________________________________________
Small Group Members Names:
3 Why we're here and what we're doing
Nativity's Vision, Mission and Strategy
This is how we grow
One more reason our church is amazing!
Nativity's Adult Small Groups
How do I do this?
Becoming a Great Leader
Who does what?
Roles and Responsibilities
Deep breaths, here we go…
Getting Started: Leaders and Members
Communications and Support System
Documents for me to use and share
Scripture and tips for you at the bottom of the page.
All scripture quotations outlined herein are taken from Live Youth Bible Catholic Edition
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, copyright © 2009 by Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division.
Copyright © 2014-2015 Jackie Guidera, Director of Adult Small Groups All Rights Reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without
permission in writing from the author.
Why we're here and what we're doing
Church of the Nativity
Making Church matter by: Growing disciples growing disciples among
disconnected Catholics in North Baltimore, and influencing churches
elsewhere to do the same.
Love God. Love Others. Make Disciples.
Strategy to accomplish the Vision and Mission
1. Gospel Message
2. Weekend Experience
3. Focus on newcomers
4. Encourage everyone to take his or her next step
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37,39
“Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
5 NEXT STEPS
The heart of our church is to become growing disciples, who are giving the whole of our
lives to God, not merely checking off boxes or going through the motions. So we are
always challenging and encouraging the members of our church to take the next step that is
the next step for them.
SERVE- We have been given unique gifts and talents by God.
Using our gifts to
serve in Ministry and Missions creates environments for others to experience
God's presence on campus brings God's love to other communities locally,
nationally and internationally.
TITHE- We seek to honor God in all areas of life, and this includes our finances.
As stewards, not owners, of the resources God has given us, we are called to
sacrificial giving, which means percentage, progressive giving to the local church
and the poor.
ENGAGE- We believe faith grows in a circle.
In Small Groups, we grow in
fellowship and relationship with one another, God, and in ways we cannot grow on
our own. Small Groups are where our big church gets small.
PRACTICE- We know God wants us to live lives of integrity and virtue that stem
from our personal relationship with Christ. We strive to practice daily prayer,
Scripture reading, and full participation in the Sacraments to receive grace for our
SHARE- We want others to experience the life-changing message of the Gospel.
Our strategy is to "Invest and Invite." That simply means we invest in the
relationships we have with people in our lives and, when the time comes, invite them
to church with us.
Take the next STEP that is the next step for you!
6 One more reason our church is amazing!
Adult Small Groups
Generations upon generations will come to know, love, and serve
Creating Small Group environments where disciples can grow.
Strategy to accomplish the Vision and Mission
"For where two or three have gathered in my name, I am there among them."
"For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all
generations." PSALM 100:5
7 How do I do this?
Becoming a Great Leader
The Ever Evolving Leader
Lead As You Follow!
Christ is the true leader of each Small Group. He is the one around whom our circles are
gathered. As we follow Christ and grow in our relationship with Him, as spiritual leaders we
will lead others into encounters with God.
Small Groups are one of the means we use to help each other draw closer into a personal
relationship with Christ, learning to rely upon Him, turn to Him and integrate Him into each
moment of our daily lives. As we grow in discipleship, we change – and our lives bear
witness to that change.
As we lead others, we will be helping them find their purpose and identity in Christ. We
serve as role models for our group members and call others to transformation and into
leadership. Leaders change the atmosphere and cast vision and that encourages the group
to go deeper in discipleship and to move outward in service.
Small Group leadership is a ministry, approached with a servant’s heart. Becoming an
effective leader is a journey – one that constantly challenges us to grow and evolve!
"Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged. For the
LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. " Joshua 1:9
1. Partnership- "No Leader will ever lead alone!"
a. Director of Small Groups
c. Leadership Coach (refer to p. 10 & 11)
2. Encouragement and Information- We have many resources
a. Church of the Nativity website
b. Weekly encouragement email
c. Social media (Facebook & Twitter)
d. Mobile Tools
3. Growth and Development- The 5 L's of Leadership
a. Listen- Leaders are great listeners.
b. Learn- Have the desire to learn more about your faith and
inspire the group.
c. Love- Leaders love because it's all about relationships.
d. Lead- Lead with intention.
e. Laugh- Laugh and enjoy the process.
At Nativity, leadership is an intentional process, guided by five simple actions: Listen,
Learn, Love, Lead and Laugh. Relying on these principles, we revolve with Christ as
our center, and we grow as we cycle through these principles. 9 Who does what?
Roles and Responsibilities
No Leader will ever lead alone!
As a Leader you will have a Co-Leader, a Leadership Coach, Members and Resources.
"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he
saved us, not because of any works of righteousness we had done, but
according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy
Spirit." Titus 3:4-7
10 Role Call: Who's who?
The Small Group Leader
• Models the habits of a healthy Small Group (see attachment)
• Is a member and a minister of Nativity
• Navigates the group meetings
• Monitors and promotes group health
• Participates in Small Group Leadership Development. Events and encourages CoLeader, Coordinators and Members to do the same
• Shares leadership responsibilities
• Models what the Leader does and assists in leading
• Show up consistently, continue to grow in Faith and look to take their next STEP.
• Coordinate group activities (timer, social, snacks, missions etc.)
• Mentor 2-8 Small Group Leaders
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and
my burden is light." Matthew 11: 28-30
11 RINA CAMPBELL has been at Nativity for about four years; in two small groups and
is co-leader in her current group. She is active with My Sister’s Place shelter in
Baltimore and is an academic coach. She loves supporting others especially small
PAT CASSIDY has been at Nativity for about 30 years; in small groups for 9 years,
and stepped up to be a group leader about 3 years ago. He enjoys the men in the
group and is wonderful at getting to know and support our small group leaders.
ELIZABETH COOK has been at Nativity for 3 years and has been in small group most
of that time. She is currently a co-leader and has a knack for encouraging and lifting
up our small group leaders.
STEVE GREEN has been at Nativity for about 1 year and is a small group coleader. He also led a Just For Lent group. He is an experienced counselor and a
great resource for coaching our small group leaders
MARK FITZPATRICK has been at Nativity for 35 years; is currently a small group
leader. He enjoys the camaraderie and support of the men in his group and
thoroughly loves helping people grow on their faith journey.
LOUISE HAHN has been at Nativity for about 9 years. She joined a Small Group
about 8 years ago and has been a leader of several groups over the past few
years. Louise enjoys meeting new people and deepening her faith through small
12 MARY HAYDEN has been at Nativity for the past 9 years. During those years
she joined a small group, then became a leader of several small groups, and served on
the small group leadership for 7 years. She enjoys sharing her faith and learning from
the women in her groups.
ROSEMARY HANLEY has been at Nativity for three years. She leads a Small Group
and serves as Confession Host; she is also a member of the Care Ministry. She is a
personal and professional life coach and loves using these skills to serve parishioners
at Nativity, supporting others in Small Group and in the First Friday grief talks.
MEGHAN HUMMEL has been at Nativity for over 3 years; in a small group most of
that time. She has been a co-leader and values the strong relationships developed
with her women's small group. Meghan is passionate about encouraging faith growth
through building relationships.
ED KING has been at Nativity for 14 years; in small groups for nine years, and a
member of our Small Group Leadership Team since 2009. He has led start up groups
in the past and is currently a group co-leader. Ed is dedicated to supporting and
strengthening the small group leader ministry at Nativity.
LYNDA McGINNIS has been at Nativity for about 6 years and actually joined a small
group before joining the church! She has been leading a small group for the past 5
years and has a real heart for lifting up the small group leaders.
13 Leaders: deep breaths, here we go…
Before Each Group Meeting:
• Preview materials and the discussion questions.
• Leader or Co-Leader communicates to confirm location and attendance.
During Each 90 minute Group Meeting:
Fellowship for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Open in prayer.
Introduce and watch the material.
Lead a discussion referring to weekly questions as a guide.
(Questions are guidelines only)
• Close in prayer.
Pray before group arrives.
Have materials ready: (Bible, DVD, questions, etc.)
Pray as a group.
Have everyone introduce himself or herself. Be creative.
Ask someone to collect everyone's contact information (including Birthdays)
Discuss a plan for upcoming meetings.
Distribute Small Group Covenant and discuss. (download from website)
Use the remaining time for DVD series and discussion questions.
Pray with group to conclude the meeting. (Be sure to add any intentions & prayers
Get to know your members!
"You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world." Matthew 5: 13-14
14 Members: You Matter!
Discover your purpose.
Sometimes you need the group and other times the group needs you. In order to feel the
difference, showing up is all you need to do. Transform your life and just show up weekly!
Bring your Bible and a Journal
Small Group is where the rubber hits the road. It's all about application of the Word of God.
So bring your Bible and take notes so you remember what inspired or motivated you!
Committed Growing Disciple with a Purpose and a Plan!
Living in the Truth In Jesus Christ, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. “Full
of grace and truth,” he came as the “light of the world,” he is the Truth. “Whoever believes
in me may not remain in darkness.” The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to
know “the truth [that] will make you free” and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live in
“the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth.”
To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply
‘Yes or No.’” (CCC 2466)
Attendance + God's Word = Commitment
Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. ~Washington Irving
Bring your Bible or use a Bible App on your phone or other devices.
(Free App by Ignatius Press Lighthouse Catholic Media)
15 Good Information!
Communications and Support Systems
Our Contact Management System and Email System
Instructions located under Current Small Group Leaders Page on our Website.
If you would like a printed copy, please contact Jackie Guidera.
(see P. 17 for Mobile Tools)
Weekly Leader Newsletter (emailed every Sunday at 9am)
Keep connected with Nativity Small Groups via Social Media
Director of Small GroupJackie Guidera 410-252-6080 ext. 102
16 How do I use this new nifty tool?
1-Mobile Tools can be accessed using any device with an internet connection
2-If you already have an existing Church of the Nativity User Account, your
Username and Password will allow you to access to Mobile Tools.
3-If you do not already have an existing Church of the Nativity User Account,
(create an account or change password)
Then go back to the link in #1 above.
4-Mobile Tools is not an App, it is a website that will format for all types of
devices. On a desktop or laptop computer, you can simple Bookmark the
website. On a cell phone or tablet, click your sharing icon to either save as
Bookmark or save it to your Home Screen. A Mobile Tools icon will be added to
your Home Screen. On older version of mobile phones you may need to
bookmark it before you can save to Home Screen.
You can't hold people accountable for things that aren't clear. If you're unwilling to make
decisions with limited information, you can't achieve clarity. ~ The Five Temptations of a CEO
Mobile Tools Features: Member Information, Attendance, Prayer Requests , Care
17 Nativity Small Group Leader Covenant
Nativity Small Group Leaders are committed to creating environments where
discipleship can grow both personally and for all group members. Leadership of
a Nativity Small Group is viewed as an important ministry promoting discipleship
and growing faith.
Small Group Leaders and Co-Leaders agree to the following minimum
standards that are intended to foster growing discipleship in Leaders, CoLeaders, Coordinators, Small Group Members and the entire Nativity Faith
Support a Growing Leader.
Pray 10 minutes a day.
Identify and develop a Co-Leader and Coordinators.
Invest and Invite others into Small Group life when the time is right.
Commit to and create a growing vision for your Small Group.
Update Small Group contact information in Ministry Platform database on
at least a quarterly basis.
Nativity Small Group Leader
18 Nativity Small Group Member Covenant
As a member of a Nativity Small Group it is important that we have a few
guidelines to assist us in growing in our faith and keeping us on a good path.
1. Our group will meet for 90 minutes each week on this day___________ from
_____ to ______.
2. Group members will make every effort to attend group meetings.
3. If unable to attend a meeting, it is expected that you will e-mail all the
members of the group.
4. All of the members will strive to be on time and stay until the group ends in
5. All information shared in the group is confidential. "What is said in Small
Group stays in Small Group."
6. Respect others and be authentic.
7. Members will pray with and for one another.
Nativity Small Group Member
19 3 Healthy Small Group Habits
• Pray together weekly.
• Pray for your members.
• Pray for each other.
Be willing to examine your relationship with God.
Support the Vision and Mission of Church of the Nativity.
Attend meetings regularly.
Share life's joys and challenges through our faith.
Conduct meetings with respect for our Catholic tradition while remaining open and
welcoming to those of all faiths.
• Accept the ongoing challenge to "invest and invite".
• Encourage each other to grow in our faith.
If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve.
~ Mother Teresa
20 Message Calendar
September 2016 - June 2017
September 10, 2016
5 Weeks- DVD
Topic: How to Move Beyond the
Title: 8th Grade Faith
October 22, 2016
5 Weeks- DVD
Topic: The Lies That Keep You up at
November 26, 2016
4 Weeks- DVD
Title: Grace & Truth
February 4, 2017
4 Weeks- DVD
Working Title: Loneliness
March 4, 2017
Title: When God Doesn't Make Sense
April 9, 2017
April 16, 2017
January 7, 2017
4 Weeks- DVD
April 23, 2017
4 Weeks-Online & Questions
Title: Vision III
January 28 & 29, 2017
May 14, 2017
Working Title: Power of Words