How to Host Parish Small Faith Groups, Part 4

teaching adults

In our continuing series on how to host small faith groups in your parish, today’s post calls us to look at training leaders to facilitate the small groups. Our model is a parish in Chicago that gathered parishioners in homes to participate in Scripture groups during Lent.

1–2 Months Out

A critical step in ensuring the success of small groups is the training of leaders to facilitate the process. Invite the potential leaders to a two-hour training experience. Be sure to include the following aspects of facilitating:

  • Teaching as Jesus did—primarily to small groups
  • Leading as serving
  • Preparing oneself
  • Preparing the environment: creature comforts, sacred space/prayer focus, signs, refreshments
  • Considering hospitality
  • Leading informal prayer
  • Leading discussions
  • Listening and affirming
  • Asking questions
  • Handling difficult participants
  • Encouraging quiet participants
  • Staying on focus
  • Knowing adult learning techniques

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ll soon have a PowerPoint presentation available for you to use for leadership/facilitator training.

Read the first three 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)
How to Host Parish Small Faith Groups, Part 3 (2–3 Months Out)

About Joe Paprocki 2736 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

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