Leaders Guide:

We are delighted that you are leading this video study. You are going to have the opportunity to lead a study that will have a direct and profound effect on many generations to come. It will also have a life-changing effect on those who study along with you.

This Leader’s Guide is designed to help you easily succeed in your role. You will not only succeed, but you’ll find your own life affected as well. During this study, people are going to laugh, cry, and make commitments to a whole new standard for their families.

We want to orient you to the material you will be using and help you use this study in such a way that everyone participating will be able to raise their stock value as a parent, a spouse and as an individual. This study is not just about handling the everyday challenges of family. It’s about changing the way you think as a person. We want to equip families to be the best they can be. Thanks for your willingness to be a part of this transformational study.

Getting Started
The first step is to get the word out about this great study. Get others excited by talking about the class or group you are going to start. Announce the class publicly. Hand out flyers, add the class to your church bulletin and website, and show the promotional video. Print materials are available online.

Below is a suggested timeline to use as you promote and prepare for your class/group.
Six Weeks Out

  • Read this entire leader’s guide.

Four Weeks Out

  • Begin publicity and class sign-ups.
  • Recruit small-group discussion leaders if it appears that you will have more than 10-12 people participating in the study. Use these leaders to facilitate discussion groups of 8-10 people.

Two Weeks Out

  • If applicable, hold a discussion group leaders’ meeting. Watch the first session and review the discussion questions at the end of each session.
  • Final publicity and sign-ups.
  • Make reminder calls or emails about the first meeting.
  • Make plans to have a fun, inviting meeting environment. Consider having snacks, comfortable seats and greeters to make everyone feel welcome.

Keys to Success

1. Determine a Format
This video study is meant to be flexible and can be used in a variety of ways such as a:

  • Small Group Study
  • Individual or Couples Study
  • Church Sunday School Study
  • Retreat or Evening Church Study

Your format will determine how much time you can devote to discussion. You may have to choose some of the questions to discuss in your group and encourage them to do the rest at home.

2. Prior to each meeting

  • Review the session outline and watch the session (If you are using a DVD and experience any problems with it, please contact Family Matters immediately. If the DVD needs to be replaced, you can show another lesson until you receive your replacement.)
  •  Pray for wisdom and understanding as you lead. Also pray that your participants will be receptive, empowered and encouraged by the lesson and sharing.
  • Get your room ready by arranging seating for watching the session and by making sure all your audio/visual equipment works.
  • Make a commitment to start and stop your group on time.
  • Begin reinforcing the benefits of going through the entire video study at the first meeting. Some people will not be able to make all the classes, but most will try if there is accountability within the group.

3. How to use this Study

  • This video is meant to be used in conjunction with the participant workbook. Each individual should have their own personal workbook in order to fill in the blanks, take notes, and answer the discussion questions.
  • Each session has fill-in-the-blanks so that participants can easily follow along with the concepts that are being presented and discussion questions at the end of each session. If a person misses a fill-in-the-blank, the answers are in the back of each workbook.

4. Small Group Techniques

  • Promote interaction! Your role is to facilitate conversation; allow participants to hold each another accountable.
  • Give everyone a chance to speak; don’t allow the talkers to dominate the conversation. Encourage those who are quiet to participate by directly asking them a question.
  • Set the tone by being honest and transparent yourself.
  • Use humor and share personal stories.
  • Don’t be afraid of silence. Sometimes you have to wait for a response, especially when the subject matter is difficult.
  • Allow participants to cry if they are hurting. Show your group that you genuinely care.
  • Be excited about accomplishments! Applaud transformation.

5. Keys to An Effective Study

Group Commitments That Insure Success (you might want to read these at the first meeting):

  • Courtesy – Each participant should commit to arriving to each session on time.
  • Acceptance – Each participant should affirm the other participants’ verbal contributions.
  • Confidentiality – Each participant should be careful to not talk about personal issues shared by fellow participants outside the context of this study.
  • Honesty – Each participant should be forthright and truthful when they speak.
  • Respect – Each participant should be careful not to stand in judgment, give quick advice, or criticize his or her fellow participants. The goal is to
  • make the group a safe place for participants to talk openly about their roles and about their children.

Suggested Schedule

Below is a suggested time schedule for studies that include a workbook. It is designed to complete each session in a 60 minute time frame. If you have more time, then we suggest you use it in the Bringing it Home section.

The video itself is laid out in the following format:

  1. Introduction (1 – 2 minutes) – the topic being addressed during this session is introduced.
  2. Teaching (approx. 15-20 minutes) – Though not required, we highly recommend that the leader and participants read the corresponding chapters in the book for a richer and fuller understanding of the principles discussed.
  3. Discussion (remainder of time) – Making this Yours is the key transformational component of the video study. At the end of each session, there are questions in the workbook to get the discussion going on what was presented. These questions are broken up into the following 3 sections:
    • Getting it Started -(approx. 10 minutes)– Basic questions aimed at getting people comfortable and talking.
    • Taking it Deeper – (approx. 10 minutes) These questions and scriptural passages help solidify the concepts presented in the video.
    • Bringing it Home – (approx. 15 minutes) These questions help the participants think about how these principles can be applied in their own lives and families.

At the end of each session, there is a prayer for your group with which you or another participant can close. This is a time when you ask God for His help in taking what you’ve learned as a group and turning it into individual benefit. If time permits, this is a good spot to share special prayer needs focused on the children and grandchildren of the participants. It might be tempting to broaden the scope of these requests, but in consideration of the time, those requests should be addressed at another time.

Final Thoughts

You did it! You have raised the stock value of your family and the families of the participants by going through this study. You have formed some great relationships during this study and we encourage you to continue these relationships. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Do another study together.
  • Do a book study together.
  • Encourage the participants to lead another group through this study.
  • Look into bringing a Grace Based Families conference to your area. Go to gracebasedfamilies.com/conferences for more information.
  • Have a small group study reunion reunion in six months.
  • Keep up with the prayer needs of the group via email.

Thank you for being used by God in the lives of others. May God richly bless you.

Because Every Family Matters,

The team at Grace Based Families

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