Some things to get you thinking from Mary Milne, a ministry wife in Sydney:
Who to have in the support group –
It doesn’t matter. The leader can choose 3 people she knows, then try to get others you don’t know. As you add more people in, the only condition is that others in the group feel safe with the new addition. It is better not to ask the person yet until the rest of the group “OK” it. The new person in mind might have a negative history with someone in the group or they might work in the same parish which may make it tricky.
Because (God willing) there will be lots of other support groups, we should be able to cater for everyone eventually. Try to have different age groups and experience (Don’t forget, nice retired MW ).
Who will lead/coordinate the group?
Maybe you or a few of you, it is good to have a few back up people. Try to give everyone a go with leading the discussion/bible reading – however not everyone will be comfortable in doing this, and that’s OK.
How many should you have in the group?
The optimum number is around 7.
How often should you meet?
Once a month: good for building relationships, good for group dynamics.
It’s not too often that it’s unrealistic, it’s much better than once a term, better than sporadic meetings – for what we want to achieve.
How to get people involved?
After praying about it, I simply rang people. Once I got a core group of three I then asked the three if they know of people they want to ask into the group.
Suggestions on how to get the support group gel
Have a girls’ night out
Have a BBQ with the all the families
Remember birthdays, celebrate special events