In a pilot group, the Pastor & leadership team meet weekly together in a small group with potential small group leaders and/or the entire core, depending on size of your pre-launch core group.
As a rule the group should meet 1.5–2 hours per week.
This is where the pastor/leadership team communicates vision, passion, and values. From the very beginning small group and small group community are an intricate part of the church.
From the first meeting, communicate that “We will all eventually lead and be responsible for raising up new leaders. We are the point of the spear, how our leadership and ministry goes, determines how the ministry of the church goes.”
Communicate, incorporate, and delegate responsibility for core values within the group context. For LifePoint Church the core values are: Global Responsibility (missions & servant evangelism), Authentic Community (taking care of one another), Spiritual Intimacy (my personal relationship with God), Biblical Authority, Personal Ministry (everyone serves somewhere). At least one member of your group should champion one of the core values (whatever they look like for you) and it is his or her responsibility to make sure that those values are a very real part of that group. They are the facilitator of making sure that value happens in group life.
As the need arises, multiply leaders out to start their own groups that incorporate members/attenders who are not involved in small groups.
As a pastor, stay in touch with your leaders through lunches, emails, phone calls and/or weekly meetings.
Have them begin to raise up and train interns and apprentices in their groups from the very first week.
At times, you might want to take all of your leaders, interns, and apprentices away for concentrated times of prayer, training, and community building in a retreat setting. It is amazing what happens when your team spends a couple of days together.