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I love animals! Most people do- in fact, in the United States we spend $72.13 billion dollars annually on our pets. That’s a lot of love for our pets! As much as I love all animals, I am partial to cats over dogs. I think it’s because cats can almost take care of themselves and I don’t have to do too much. For me, dogs are just too needy. You know, they can be like over active children at times. They get so excited their little paws can’t stop moving, they want to jump up on you as if to say, “look at me! Look at me!” And then there is the nose in the crotch thing! Oh my goodness! That gets me every time.
You may be asking where is she going with this? Well, I’m working it into small groups, of course. Specifically, our small group host home leaders-our beautiful hosts who open their homes each week for us to gather. Their gift of hospitality is beautiful and welcoming. We all love them, right? In fact, as a small group point person we rarely get negative comments about host home leaders. But, in order to keep that “win” going we would like you to be aware of the three areas that can kill a small group: pets, clutter and cleanliness. Since host home leaders are essential to small group growth, here are 10 tips you can go over with your leaders to help make it easier for them to meet the expectation and create the best possible setting for our small group members to feel totally welcome.
As always, you want your host home leaders to know you are grateful for their generosity in opening their home in this important, life-changing ministry. They do much more than just provide a home to meet in and are a vital part of the leadership team. Be sure that they know it’s a commitment and clearly state what commitments are expected. The tips below can easily be converted into a description to fit your campus needs and culture.
Host Home Ministry Tips:
Create a welcoming social atmosphere with as few distractions as possible. Some key questions for you to consider:
1. Is my house clean in the areas that people will occupy for the meeting? A clean living room, kitchen and bathroom help people feel more comfortable and relaxed in your home.
2. Do I have enough comfortable chairs?
3. Do I have enough lighting or do I need to bring a lamp into the room?
4. Is my house free of dog or cat odors?
If you have indoor pets, your house may have odors that you don’t notice. Ask a friend for an honest answer. Some people are allergic or fearful of animals. We suggest you keep your animals out of the house or in another room before and during the meetings.
5. Being a part of the leadership team by participating in the life group that is meeting at your house.
6. Help members feel loved and accepted by introducing new people in the group. Talk with and involve the shy or less popular people before and after the meeting and during social times.
7. Help organize an outreach or social event.
8. Help your leader keep in touch with other members between the meetings. Emails or personal notes of encouragement are perfect to lift someone’s spirit or day.
9. During your own devotional time, pray for the life group that meets in your home for the wisdom to care for them well.
10. Be sure to have a friend or family member praying over you as you step out to love and encourage others.