General Leader’s Tips
Tips to help you lead your class well
While each Leader will tailor their particular strengths to the unique needs of their class, there are some fundamental leadership principles common to all small groups. Exercising hospitality is the first. Creating a warm, receptive, non-judgmental environment, where class members feel welcome, and sufficiently comfortable to be an active participant and not just a spectator, should be a priority for all class leaders.
ENCOURAGEMENT FROM OTHER LEADERS
One tip… It is a fine balance between being a great example of following a biblical parenting framework, and being a poor example. If we only show and tell the wonderful things about our marriages and children, we can be discouraging to the those families (which is actually everyone in your class) who may be trying but not seeing instant results (because we know it takes time - weeks, months, even years). However, if we are too quick to draw attention to our failings, we can risk our class members feeling that hard work is not really worth it in the end. Remember then to be real, upfront and honest about your failings as well your successes, so that your families can learn how to respond when things go well, and when things take longer to fall into place. Remind them that everything is a process, and that there is no 'perfect family' at the end! ~~ Simone, Australia
We would encourage new leaders to include their own children in the ministry from as early on as possible. From helping set up the living room to helping bake something for supper, or greeting couples at the door or helping set up for an online course. Think ahead, and consider age appropriate ways you can be inclusive in your preparations, so your children regard this as their family ministry too and something they are proud to serve in. ~~ Georgina, Australia
Online classes have been a game changer for some local families to participate in a class because they don’t need childcare. Pursuing a relationship with couples builds trust to hear about the needs in their family. For our online classes that have local parents, we host an in home potluck meal for one of the early classes (#2, 3, or 4) instead of a Zoom meeting that week, and ask couples to get babysitters for their children. This allows couples to meet one another face-to-face, build relationship for class discussion time, and into community outside of class time. We ask couples to bring a family picture that we keep on our coffee table as a reminder to pray for the families in our class. I was able to get some of the pictures from FaceBook posts. For our one international couple, we offered a separate 1:1 Zoom meeting to build that relationship. We host another get together near the end of class at a time other than class time. If the weather is supportive of an outdoor gathering, children are included. ~~ Ed & Beth, USA
GROWING FAMILIES CLASSES
This Chart shows the flow of classes and when a parent should take a class based on age of their child.
For a detailed description of each course, please go to the Growing Families.Life Course Overview webpage.
Leader’s Guides are available for each course to help you facilitate your class. They have been put together for new or seasoned leaders and are available on the Resources page. This Introductory Guide below explains how to use the individual guides and provides suggestions to help lead a successful class.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are there discussion prompts to help me lead a class discussion?
Yes, there are course specific leaders guides with discussion prompts relating to each lesson.
For example: Q: What are the best times in your weekly routine for couch-time? A: Use examples of different ways you do couch-time, such as ... on a park bench while your children play, at the dinner table after a meal, with baby watching from a seat, etc. When doing couch-time with very young children, try to put them in a position to see you both together. However, the most important thing is giving your undivided attention to each other. What other ways are there to demonstrate your love for each other in front of the children?
Where can I can find Resources, including Class Handouts for each class?
Posters, questionnaires, reminder cards etc are available on Growingfamilies.life for class participants to download. These class participant resources and other additional leader specific resources eg: email templates are available here on Leader’s Place.
What happens if I get asked a question in class I don’t know the answer to?
Don’t worry if this happens, we have all been there and had this occur to us, humble yourself, admit you don’t know the answer and will come back to them next lesson (or before). Then email us and someone will be in contact with you to help you through this issue. You can also email Christian Family Heritage to Ask a Contact Mom.
Are there online forums, communities etc for my class participants to connect with?
How do you communicate with class participants between sessions?
You can engage class participants via a chat group using tools like Facebook, Messager or WhatsApp. Occasionally you can post a teaser question or case scenario. Post something when current events occur. Most of the time participants will post questions about the lesson in the chat where everyone including the class leader can respond.
What do I need to do to start an online class?
Please go to the Leader’s Place Online Class page to find out more information.
What is the difference between Parenting From the Tree of Life and Growing Kids God's Way?
One of the most common questions received from constituents looking to purchase Parenting from the Tree of Life is how it compares to Growing Kids God’s Way. Is one more in-depth then the other? The answer to that question is "No." However, the Life Series is far more comprehensive when it comes subject matter. It not only includes all the principle components of Growing Kids God's Way, but adds another 60% to 70% new and updated parenting concepts to the presentation. It is also more comprehensive in its use of imagery and examples. While Growing Kids has seventeen visual examples, the Life Series utilizes nearly 200 hundred images, graphics and visual examples to illustrate the principles taught.
What happens if I have a question not listed here?
For any questions relating to curriculum, unique class situations, and/or general class management assistance please email us and someone will be in contact with you.