Ongoing “Small Group” Meetups
Build authentic friendships that last a lifetime.
What is a small group?
A “small group” or “discipleship group” is simply four to eight men who gather on a regular basis to discuss important topics, support each other through tough times, motivate each other to grow in holiness, and build bonds of brotherhood.
There is not one way to form a small group. There are many different formats and styles. Find what works best for you. But do it as soon as possible. The sooner you form a small group, the sooner you’ll see the rewards.
Why start a small group?
There is a crisis of loneliness among men today. Men are more isolated and alone than ever. We’ve lost our sense of community, of friendship, of brotherhood.
But we aren’t meant to live life alone. Even if you have a wife and children, you need other men in your life. You need to share your hopes and struggles with others. You need other men to hold you accountable and encourage you. And you need to be there for others.
How to start a small group
Starting a small group is as easy as 1-2-3!
- Personally invite a few friends to join your group. Text them, send out an email, make a phone call, create a post on social media, or print a good old-fashioned invitation.
- Decide when and where you want to meet. A home, a coffee shop, a park, any place where people can gather for conversation. We recommend meeting at least monthly. Twice per month or even weekly is even better!
- Keep it simple. Secure authentic conversation. Avoid shallow discussions about work, weather, and sports. Focus on topics associated with faith, marriage, fatherhood, and morals. Here are some examples of meaningful conversation starters:
- “How are you?” This is a simple check-in. If you get a generic answer, follow up with, “No how are you really doing?” You’ll be surprised how candid people can be with a little encouragement.
- “How are you growing in your faith life?” Or “What is God doing in your life?”
- “How can we pray for you today?” Pray for that intention during your meeting.
- If time permits, discuss Scripture. The upcoming Sunday readings are a great starting point.
When other men in your small group speak, work hard to really listen to what they are saying. Try to understand what each man is feeling and expressing. You don’t have to offer advice or solve their problems. Just try to understand each man’s point of view. And remember to keep personal information confidential. This will lead to trust and true fellowship.
Between meetings, pray for one another and check in with one another through phone calls, text messages, and emails.
Meet regularly for one year, then encourage each member to start another small group. That’s how this movement will spread across your parish and community at large!
Resources & Articles About Small Groups
Matthew Leonard, a recent keynote speaker at the Catholic Men’s Conference, spoke about the importance of small groups in the life of Catholic men. Below is a portion of his…
More than 400 men gathered on Sat., Feb. 25, for the 4th annual Catholic Men’s Conference in the gymnasium of Springfield Catholic High School. The grassroots effort is designed to…