Group Leaders | LCBC Church
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Group Leaders

Tools & Resources to Help You Lead Well

At LCBC we believe that God designed us to grow spiritually by connecting relationally. Thanks for leading a Group! We know that it’s not always easy. Sometimes it can feel like you’re on your own. That’s why we’ve created this page. We want to help you lead well and remind you that we are in this together!

This page contains tools and resources to help you take your next step as a leader and links you to a community of leaders who are passionate about creating a culture of connection.

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Uncommon Ground Leader Resources

For additional reading and resources, check out our Uncommon Ground Leader Resources by clicking below. 

View Leader Resources

How to Use Group Leader Toolbox

The following short videos will show you how to manage your group on

How to Use Group Leader Toolbox Part 1

Download Guide

How to Use Group Leader Toolbox Part 2

How to Take Attendance in an Offsite Group

Campus Contacts

Group Studies

Engaging in Message-Based Questions, or Group Studies is the way to keep God’s teaching a priority in your group encouraging each other to apply what you learn.

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Weekly Message-Based Questions

Looking for your next step after being part of the weekend gathering? Sign up for the Weekly Discussion Guide and receive questions every Sunday based on the weekend teaching to use with friends, family, co-workers, or your LIFE Group.

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RightNow Media

If you need access to your RightNow Media account, contact your Next Steps Director.

Go to RightNow Media

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Strong Start Curriculum

Strong Start is a 6-week curriculum for new LIFE Groups to help them get off to a great start. Strong Start is not a typical study, but a guide to setting group expectations and telling your spiritual stories.

View Study

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What makes a LIFE Group?

Every LIFE Group is unique, but all groups focus on three vital relationships: connect with God, connect with each other, and connect with the community.

Ask an Expert

  • What’s the ideal rhythm/schedule for my LIFE Group?

    Andrew, Berks: "This is different based on everyone’s schedules. The ideal rhythm is one that is sustainable and life giving without becoming a chore or check box on the to-do list. You must get a good pulse of your member’s desires to make this work well."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "Our group meets every other week. This is pretty firm so everyone can make it priority. With that, our roster has 17 people on it with some that can only come seasonally due to kids' sports schedules etc. As a result, it averages out to about 12 members each week. Over the summer we are much more relaxed with our schedule."

    Michael, Manheim: "We meet 2-3 times a month and break during the summer (but we still have get together to stay in touch). My Group finds every week too frequent. Understand your group’s needs and meet them."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "It has worked well for our group to meet every other week. We take the summer months off."

  • What are the secrets to being a great leader?

    Andrew, Berks: "Groups are all about life change. This happens when you walk through real life together. Being open, authentic and communicating well are just a few essentials to doing this effectively."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "There are several secrets including empathy, care, compassion, a hospitable spirit etc. The two are delegation and being willing to ask for help. The word 'lead' can sometimes make people think that they’re supposed to know it all, have it all together and do it all but we don't see that with Jesus who is are best example. He handed things off to others knowing they were going to make mistakes or drop the ball. He was great at asking questions and not always giving answers or letting the answers be found. He gave others chances to explore and find their gifting’s in the context of community."

    Michael, Manheim: "Listen to the needs, suggestions, and shared life stories of everyone in the group to serve them well. Most import stay spiritually full because an empty glass can't overflow. Meaning I serve through my overflow if the glass is not full it won't overflow. This means keeping your relationship with God strong and stay sensitive to the Holy Spirits leading and prompting. During Group meetings follow all guidelines as a leader – for example, start on time, ensure everyone has opportunity to share and ask questions, stay flexible and listen to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance during the meeting for the best results. Help group members align to the standards we find in God’s word during discussion too.

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "We are very open to listening to the group. We try to ask the most questions, and give the fewest answers. This is about the group, not us!"

  • What do we do with children at group?

    Andrew, Berks: "This is dependent on each group. The age ranges of children and finances of members are a factor. A baby sitter that is paid for by the group can work well. If individuals all have easy access to personal sitters, then an advanced schedule for individual families will work."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "Children should have their own, safe space where they can play during group time. It can be very distracting and not allow for vulnerability & or authenticity when the children are part of the whole group session. Here are a couple of different ways I have come across:

    • One group has a rotation schedule where one or ideally two trusted adults (talk to your coach or Next Step Director if you’re wondering what exactly that means) are with the kids during the group time. This saves money and allows the adults to get to know each other on a one on one basis.
    • Parents all pool together (maybe $5 per child) and hire a sitter that will come during the group time.

    Michael, Manheim: "My Group doesn't currently have children. In previous experience with groups with children my daughters or other group members teens would take turns. Parents would pitch in some money for the teens. If no teens are available, another option would be for people in the group would watch children in rotation. The children could have playtime, interactive activities, age appropriate lesson/story/video and snack time."

    Karisten, Lancaster City:"We have tried EVERYTHING!! Kids, no kids, babysitter, you name it!! We settled in a few years ago with saying we will have our kids join us, and we knew that during those younger years of kids that we would just get interrupted a lot. And we were! But, the kids knew that mom and dad were talking about the Bible and they were getting to connect with the other kids in the group. Now that the kids are older, we barely see them! They've had years of getting to know each other, and they are all great friends!"

  • How do groups best provide care in their groups?

    Andrew, Berks: "Prayer is powerful, and being present is irreplaceable. Showing up when members are in need and providing support when major life events come along are key to life giving care."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "It depends on the needs of the group. If a leader is well connected to their coach or Next Steps Director then when a care issues comes up the coach or Next Steps Director can quickly connect them to the proper resources they need to care of individuals well. Generally speaking, meeting consistently, staying connected through a Facebook group, and encouraging relationships to form within the group are building blocks for creating a caring environment."

    Michael, Manheim: "Every year or if a new Group member is added we cover a standard that includes: What is shared in our meeting stays here (providing an environment of trust and confidence that discussion will be taken seriously) update personal info like phone/email etc. and clearly state if anyone needs help/care/prayer any need of any kind to let me and/or the group know so we can care for each other. Our group is very loving, open and caring for each other. Staying in touch through meetings, phone calls, email, texting and getting together outside of Group times with activities is important."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "I'm sure that some groups do this great and others not as well. I think it depends on the people in the group and how well the group has gelled. It isn't atypical for one of us to have a prayer request during the week, and shoot out a text to the group to be praying. Then, we can discuss or pray about it together with the group next time we are together. Obviously if there is something bigger, like a hospitalization, we all try to get in and visit and fill the needs they have."

  • What resources and support are available at LCBC for someone in my group?

    Andrew, Berks: "Each campus has a pastoral response team that can aid in responding to major needs of members. As well, each has a list of community partners that can provide care for specialized situations."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "There are a wide range of resources. A coach or Next Steps Director is best able to help a leader navigate the resources, whether it’s directing someone to a counseling service through a list the church supplies, classes like Starting Point, meals team, Men's Frat, Financial peace, Celebrate Recovery, etc. A coach or Next Steps Director can go over all of those resources in a one-on-one training."

    Michael, Manheim: "My favorite resource for personal and Group use is RightNow Media. There is also the LCBC website for sermon aligned studies, Strong Start, and Huddle trainings. Ask your Next Steps Director for your campus Counseling Referral List."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "Books, Curriculum, RightNow Media."

  • What do I do if I need to step down from leading?

    Andrew, Berks: "Do not feel guilty. Life happens. Best case scenario is that you regularly share the responsibility of leading discussion or whole evening plans and at least have another 'apprentice' leader that works more closely with you throughout that you can turn to in this circumstance."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "Ideally if you can have a few conversations with your coach about it they will be the best to help you navigate the unique dynamics of your group and how to go about best stepping out or stepping down from the group."

    Michael, Manheim: "Make sure to connect with you Next Steps Director, as well as your group to let them know about the change. Have someone in mind to lead the group and see the group throughout the transition."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "Ask someone in the group to step up!"

  • What do I do when someone doesn’t want to participate in the group anymore?

    Andrew, Berks: "Don't take it personally. Turnover is not uncommon and not likely anything to do with you, but rather circumstances in their lives. Ask for feedback, be supportive and keep in touch to let them know you care but understand."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "First, don't take it too personally. There may be something you could learn from it but not every group is going to be the best fit for everyone. It doesn't mean you’re not leading well or caring for others well. People are at various places in life and come to a group for different reasons. A conversation with your coach or Next Step Director is going to help you keep perspective and help you update your roster. Letting the individual know that you appreciated them coming, you’re sad to see them go, but would like to help them connect with another group shows care and humility."

    Michael, Manheim: "Know why the person wants to leave and be supportive. Notify your coach or Next Steps Director. Be honest open and respectful informing Group members appropriately."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "We send them out with a blessing, prayer, and an open invitation to return in the future if timing is better. Then, we try to spot them at LCBC whenever we can and see how their life has been!"

  • Having problems streaming curriculum videos - What do I do now?

    Andrew, Berks: "If this is a coming and going issue- you can preview the video ahead of time and take notes to summarize. If the issue arises for message based questions take notes during the gathering that you can use to summarize then message as a review. If it persists- you may get DVD recourses from our archives."

    Mirjam, Ephrata: "First see if there is someone in the group that is great with technology. Some groups have a person that just gets all of that set up for the group beforehand so the leader can just utilize it. Air playing the curriculum through your phone, using a laptop to plug into the HDMI cable or using an Apple TV can make it easier. You can always do the questions without the video clip and just give a quick recap to the group about the message. Using the insert from the message can be helpful for this as well."

    Michael, Manheim: "Follow online help if available from streaming provider like RightNow Media. This can be a challenging condition we lost power in a group meeting and used a cellphone. Our group takes turn hosting the meeting everyone has a different setup, and I call to ensure the host is setup ready to go. YouTube seem to be the easiest and most accessible to most members. Smart TVs are not computers and have difficulties streaming and sometimes are not reliable."

    Karisten, Lancaster City: "I can't think of a time that we've had a problem streaming videos. I guess a couple of times we watched a video series it slowed down to buffer a bit, so we just waited. Haha!"

Have a story to share?

Leader orientation

Every leader wants to know what it means to lead well. This online orientation will walk you through four key areas to help you win as a leader.



Refresh on the Basics

Refresh and refocus on these basic group expectations.

Basic Ground Rules of a Great Group

The five C’s of a Group: Commitment, Communication, Conversation, Confidentiality, and Care.

Three Connections Your Group Must Have

Learn about the three connections necessary for a successful Group—connecting with God, each other, and your community.

What Does a Leader Do in a Group?

Here’s what your role is as the leader—what you are and what you are not.

What Does a Typical Group Night Look Like?

What structure works best for your group? Hear ideas and examples of how to plan your LIFE Group’s night.

The Resources That Will Keep You Growing as a Leader

We have resources that will help any leader develop in the strengths they already have to lead as well as feel supported in the areas they aren’t as confident in.

Recommended Reading

Life Group Leader Book Small Group Field Guide

Field Guide for Small Group Leaders

by Sam O'Neal

The Field Guide for Small Group Leaders focuses in on the small group gathering as a spiritual event. Useful to newly minted leaders and as a ready resource for small group experts, this go-to guide helps leaders prepare themselves to prepare their groups for the adventure of a collective encounter with a great God.

Buy on Amazon

Life Group Leader Book Leading Groups With Purpose

Leading Small Groups with a Purpose

by Steve Gladen

Every chapter includes ideas that small group leaders can implement immediately as well as ways to shape their small groups over time. Gladen helps leaders define success clearly, develop a personal leadership plan, invite members into the group, and shepherd members through fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, and worship.

Buy on Amazon

Life Group Leader Book  Leading Life Changing Small Groups

Leading Life Changing Small Groups

by Bill Donahue

The unique, ready-reference format highlights the requirements and responsibilities of a small group leader, gives helpful insight into the process of group formation and answers practical questions about meeting preparation and how to encourage group participation.

Buy on Amazon

Life Group Leader Book Unclean


by Richard Beck

In an unprecedented fusion of psychological science and theological scholarship, Richard Beck describes the pernicious (and largely unnoticed) effects of the psychology of purity upon the life and mission of the church.

Buy on Amazon

Life Group Leader Book Celebration Of Discipline

Celebration of Discipline

by Richard Foster

In Celebration of Discipline, Foster explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith to show how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life.

Buy on Amazon

Life Group Leader Book Creating Community

Creating Community: Five Keys to Building a Small Group Culture

by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits

This is not just another book about community; this is a book about strategy—strategy that builds a small group culture. Creating Community shares clear and simple principles to help people connect into meaningful relationships. The kind God desires for each of us. The kind He uses to change our lives.

Buy on Amazon

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