A Church-Based Training Program in
Spiritual Community Development through Small Groups
The Rev. Daniel Prechtel, DMin.
Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries
Purpose: The Small Group Leadership Program (SGL) draws from the richness of the Christian spiritual tradition, current knowledge of group dynamics, and small group development designs to equip clergy and lay leaders for effective ministries of small group leadership and Christian community-building to strengthen the church and extend God’s kingdom.
Objective: This program provides 10 sessions of 3 hours each combining teaching and practicum experience plus 6 additional hours of follow-up leadership coaching (36 contact hours total) to instruct small group leaders in the theology, theory, and practice of spiritual small group facilitation, community-building dynamics, and the growth and management of a church-wide small groups ministry.
Training Method: The total training program consists of three major components—Core Instruction Sessions, Leadership Group Work, and Follow-up Leadership Coaching. The timing of these components will be worked out between the trainers and the church(s) based on mutual availability and the particular needs and goals of the small group leaders of the church(s).
Ten sessions of three hours each provide the core instruction for participants. Readings and discussion, written reflections, presentations, supervised practice both as group participants and leaders of several group models, and group process reviews provide the core of the training. A typical three-hour session will follow this pattern:
Examples of presentation/discussion topics:
Required texts—there are many pertinent books related to small group development and spiritual formation and guidance in small groups. We will provide a larger bibliography for drawing on these resources. This program will require that participants read several books that provide practical information on small group leadership and structure, as well as have the church’s leadership group share several other books that are spirituality resources.
Some tasks that relate to planning and development of the church’s small group ministry requires the small group leaders to meet together by themselves outside formal program sessions. The small group leaders will report on their progress to the instructor(s) during sessions or in written reports.
The program is completed with a final six hours of leadership coaching by one of the instructors. These six hours of coaching can be arranged in any way that seems best by agreement between the instructor and the small group leaders. Additional coaching or group leaders’ retreats may also be arranged beyond the SGL program’s contract if desired by the church’s small group leaders.
Program Charges and Expenses: Cost for a church-based training program varies by the number of churches and total number of participants:
About the Program Leader and Instruction Team:
Dan Prechtel is the lead instructor for this program. Dan is the founder and senior associate of Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries and has over twenty years of spiritual small group leadership experience. He is a priest in the Episcopal Church and an oblate with St. Gregory’s Abbey (Benedictine) in Michigan. Dan served as a parish priest for eleven years prior to focusing his work as a spiritual director, group leader, trainer, teacher, and church consultant. Dan served for nine years as adjunct faculty for Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (teaching spiritual formation groups and spiritual direction) and is a consultant and former core faculty member of the Institute for Spiritual Companionship. He completed the Upper Room’s Academy for Spiritual Formation in 1990 and has been a member of Spiritual Directors International since 1990. His Doctor of Ministry studies integrated church consulting, historical theology, and communal spiritual discernment.
When the situation calls for a training team because of the size of the participant group or several churches joining together to host the training, Dan will bring other instructors to assist him.
Information and for Program Arrangements:
Contact Dan Prechtel at 224.636.2874 (cell) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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