Helpful thoughts to HELP a Micro-Group Facilitator?

  • A Micro-Group Facilitator does not have to have all of the answers. It's OK to say, "I don't know."
  • A Micro-Group Facilitator is not perfect, they simply strive to follow Jesus.
  • A Micro-Group Facilitator is prayerful in who they invite & courageous to ask them to invite another.
  • A Micro-Group Facilitator can begin to make disciples who make disciples.
  • A Micro-Group Facilitator is dependent on the Holy Spirit for spiritual growth, not a technique.

What is a Disciple?

In order to make disciples, it's important to know what a disciple is. We use a simple framework for discipleship based on Mark 1:17, when Jesus invited His first disciples saying, "Follow me and I will make you to become fishers of people." From this invitation, we see that a disciple of Jesus is a person who:
1. Is following Jesus;
2. Is being transformed by Jesus;
3. Committed to the mission of Jesus to make more disciples.
Watch the What is a Disciple? series to learn more about the discipleship framework.

Micro-Group Structure

Invite Your One 
Inviting your one is the secret sauce to micro-groups. Since micro-groups are designed to reproduce rapidly, they must be simple to start. All it takes is inviting your one. Who do you know that you could invite that would commit to reading through the Gospel of Mark with you? Once you identify your one, ask them to invite their one. When you become an inviter, you become an owner, and it provides a kind of glue that bonds the group together.

Limit Your Micro-Groups to Three 
The reason we limit our groups to three is that it forces us to reproduce rapidly (In certain circumstances, a married couple can count as one). Once you start reading through the Gospels, you will want to invite other people into your group, but it is essential to resist the temptation to get bigger. Instead of getting bigger than three, emphasize getting bigger by multiplying. Go ahead and start a new micro-group whenever it makes sense.

Eliminate Addition 
The key to rapid multiplication is eliminating addition. By inviting your one and limiting your micro-group to three, you eliminate addition and embed multiplication from day one. If you invited your one, congratulations, you have just multiplied. Resist the temptation to enlarge your group beyond three. By limiting your group to three, to include additional people in a disciple-making process, you will need to start a new group. This simple way of eliminating addition will ensure multiplication and allow you to reproduce rapidly, making more and more disciples.

Include Different Types of Disciples 
There is great value in including disciples who are at different places along the disciple making pathway. Whenever possible, include pre-disciples and new disciples with growing, multiplying, or catalytic disciples (see Discipleship Pathway). As a growing, multiplying, or catalytic disciple, you can learn as much from a pre or new disciple as they can from you.

Read Through the Gospels
Once you have a micro-group of three, you will read through the Gospels, one chapter each day, five days a week. As you read, you will use the Gospel Disciple Journaling approach to make your way through the gospels. A Gospel Reading Plan is included and begins with the Gospel of Mark. You can download a journal template that you can print or fill electronically.

Facilitate Weekly Micro Group Sessions
Once your first week of reading through the Gospels is complete, you will meet together to debrief your gospel reading with an emphasis on what Jesus is saying to you and what you are doing about it. Again, keep in mind that our only objective is to learn to follow Jesus as gospel disciples. These weekly micro-group sessions are designed to be easy to facilitate and reproduce around what is called the 6Cs (See below).

Emphasize Following Jesus 
Remember, we are asking two key questions every week as we seek to learn how to follow Jesus: What is Jesus saying to me? And, what am I doing about it? The life of a Disciple identifies with three primary relationships. They are family, servant, and missionary. Following Jesus will always have implications for how we are relating to each other, serving others, and living a life on mission. This is covered in detail in the advanced training. However, keep in mind that in facilitating your micro-group, you will want to encourage all three as part of the application.

The Six C's of a Micro-Group Meeting

Consistency is essential in facilitating Micro-Group meetings if they are going to be reproducible. This is why we use the Six C's approach.

CONNECT is simply about doing a little life together before jumping into an agenda. Take a few minutes for hang-time.

CELEBRATE is about taking a moment to celebrate completing your assignment that week. Many have never had
a consistent rhythm of reading Scripture or journaling.

CHECK-IN is about holding each other accountable. You may be discussing something from last week's Micro-Group, or you may use an accountability question like: How did your time go with God last week?

COACH is not the sole responsibility of the facilitator, but the responsibility of the Micro-Group. The focus is on peer-to-peer learning. The role of the facilitator is to keep things on track. Our primary tool for coaching is around three strategic questions:
     • What did Jesus say to you last week in your readings?
     • What did you do about it?
     • How can we pray for you?

CARE by spending time in specific prayer for one another. Make sure everyone has time to share anything they may need prayer for and encourage everyone to pray out loud (Some may need to grow into this over time). A simple way to facilitate this is to let the sharing be the prayer. Once a person has shared their prayer concern, have them say, "Lord in Your mercy," and the rest of the group then says, "Hear our prayer." Another way to facilitate everyone praying out loud is for the person who is sharing next to pray for the concerns that were just shared.

COMMUNICATE relevant information about your Micro-Group. Schedule your next Micro-Group time. Use this time to review the principles of Micro-Groups (Simple enough to reproduce, Scripture is our only curriculum, Holy Spirit is our teacher, Following Jesus is our ultimate objective, & Relationship is our vehicle.)

Discipleship Pathway: Help your group through spiritual assessment

A healthy micro-group can consist of disciples at any stage in their spiritual journey. Assessing the spiritual stage that a person is in will help you to help them grow as disciples of Jesus.

There are five stages of spiritual growth:
Pre-Disciple (Open to Jesus but not yet connected through faith)   —>
New Disciple (Recently connected to Jesus through faith)   —>
Growing Disciple (Actively seeking to follow Jesus & being transformed by Jesus)   —>
Multiplying Disciple (Committed to the mission of Jesus to make disciples who make disciples)  —>
Catalytic Disciple (Engaged in multiplying movements of disciples who make disciples)