The biggest key to growing and sustaining a Small Group is rooted in the leadership skills of the Small Group Leader. Also, the challenge of "sustaining" a vibrant Small Group is extremely important.

The key to growing and sustaining a Small Group is rooted in the leadership skills of the Group Leader. (Other Leader names include Coach and Shepard) If Small Group Leaders or Coaches are not trained with proven coaching methods, the Small Group will not grow and certainly not grow in a sustainable manner.   

Sustaining a strong and vibrant Small Group is probably tougher than creating the group in the first place. In the sustainability stage the Leader or Coach must deal with Small Group "normal" issues such as group integrity, divisive differences of opinion and moving deeper beyond "polite" sharing.  

Mark Howell on the website provides an excellent "central repository site" from which to discover a vast array of Small Group Coaching resources and materials. Two Group Leader resources from the site are provided below.


1. Growing Small Group Leaders by Mac Lake (

- Actual "In the field development" of systematic coaching approaches

- Assessing you're coaching style

- Developing a coaching schedule

- Achieving effective "one-on-one" meetings and effective "huddles"   


2. Coaching Life Changing Small Group Leaders by Bill Donahue & Greg Bowman

Four Major Sections include:
- Vision for Coaching (Qualities of highly effective coaches)
- Couching's Core Practices (Discover, Develop & Dream)  
- Coach's Toolbox (Coaching Conversation, Leadership Gatherings, Group Visits)
- Coach's Life (Guidelines to help Coach's pursue Christ like & build sustainability)    

Another very good site for Coaching Resource is This site also provides extensive Small Group Coaching resources and materials. Two excellent resources are summarized below.


1. Small-Group Coach Orientation Guide by Sam O'Neal, Dan Lentz, Steve Grusendorf and Others

- Training for better empowering, modeling, equipping & shepherding 

- Extensive material supporting Men & Women in the "Trenches" to help them work with the Holy Spirit to produce mature disciples of Jesus  

- Small Coach Job Description & Common Obstacles to Overcome   


2. Small-Group Leader Orientation Guideby John Ortberg, Arnie Ward, Kevin Rupp and Others.

- The importance of "Preparing" for your role
- The criticality of creating a "Vision" for the Group Day One
- Aligning your Group with the Church
- Focusing on the priorities of "Start, Fill & Keep"