How to Host Parish Small Faith Groups, Part 3


We continue our series here on Catechist’s Journey on how to implement small faith groups in your parish. Today we look at the crucial step of identifying, inviting, and training small group leaders. This is by far the most critical step, since the small faith groups will conduct their sessions in parishioners’ homes, without parish staff present. This follows the successful model used by St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago last Lent.

2–3 Months Out

  • Select discussion materials that your groups will use.
  • Prepare a list of potential small group leaders and host homes. Staff should participate in this recommendation and recruitment process as they have relationships within the ministries/organizations they direct.
  • Mail an invitation to recommended leaders. See a sample letter.
  • Acquire facilitator training materials. (I’ll have a PowerPoint for this coming soon!)
  • Follow up on facilitator invitation letters, by phone or in person.
  • Plan a leadership training session.

Next Monday, we’ll focus on training leaders/facilitators of small faith groups.

Read the first two articles in the series:
How to Host Parish Small Faith Groups, Part 1 (Introduction)
How to Host Parish Small Faith Groups, Part 2 (4–6 Months Out)

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Joe,
    Will you be suggesting a program for the small group sessions? We definitely want to do this during Lent.
    Mary Kerekes, DRE

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