Friday, January 05, 2007

FAQ: What are zone meetings?

Every small group leader is supported and served by a Zone Leader or Team Leader. Zone/Team Leaders meet with their small group leaders monthly, and they meet with individual leaders as appropriate. Most of the hands-on training happens here as leaders learn from one another and Zone Leaders navigate their people through the hurdles of small group leadership.

Here is an excerpt directly from our Zone Leader Training Manual on how to conduct a zone meeting:

Team leaders and zone leaders should gather with their leaders as a group at least monthly. During months when summits occur, you can count the summit as your gathering or you can plan a “fun” gathering.

The Team/Zone gatherings should serve the following purposes:

Provide Ongoing Training

  • Develop leadership skills by reading a book together.
  • Take your leaders through part of the Discipleship Map (i.e., Journey curriculum).
  • Focus on one dimension of discipleship each semester.
  • Teach a “Top 10 List of what I wish someone had warned me about small group leadership”

Address Administrative Details

  • Give your leaders a heads up on upcoming important dates, such as retreats, summits, connection events, team/zone gatherings, etc.
  • Remind leaders about and the podcast.
  • Remind leaders about their win sheets.

Navigate Difficult Group Issues

  • Allow team/zone members to share difficult situations they are facing in their groups.
  • Provide space for other leaders to share from their own experiences.
  • Pray as a group for the situation.

Facilitate a Forum for the Sharing of Ideas and Best Practices

  • Ask each leader to come in with a “best practice” for each zone meeting. This could include an icebreaker idea, outreach idea, community-development idea, creative study idea, etc.
  • Encourage leaders to post their ideas and best practices on Friday Scorecard at

Build a Sense of Teamwork and Team/Zone Pride

  • Talk about principles of teamwork.
  • Find creative ways for your leaders to play together and serve together.

Remind Them of our Vision and Mission

Here are some helpful things to remember about your team/zone gatherings:

  • NCC will pay for food for gatherings. Request funding approval in advance from the pastor of discipleship.
  • NCC will pay for any approved books or curriculum for training in your gatherings. You can request approval and funding from the pastor of discipleship.
  • You will not necessarily hit on each one of these points at each team/zone gathering. This is not a checklist to be followed point by point. Rather, it is a guide to help you lead your gatherings.
  • If there are leaders who are regularly missing their gatherings, inform the pastor of discipleship.

See Coaching Life-Changing Small Group Leaders, Part 4: The Coach’s Toolbox, Section 3: Leadership Huddles, pages 82-101 for more ideas.


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