Training your Facilitators

Best practices for small groups put two leaders in each small group, a facilitator and a host. Together the two leaders offer hospitality, open the group for discussion, and hold the group to the intention of this Lenten series, to meet Jesus in the Gospel of John. While they lead together, each has specific roles.


  • Are not experts but are curious and active members of the small group.
  • Good facilitation requires intention, however it is a skill that can be learned and honed. To prepare first-time small group facilitators, we’ve created some resources that will help them lead their small group.
  • Curricula have been written to support first-time facilitators by providing questions and guidelines for group leadership.

All of this being said, the very best facilitation training happens when you are part of a small group that has a good facilitator. Consider tapping former Education for Ministry (EfM) participants or others who have previous small group experience to get your initial small group programming started.


  • Are active members of the small group and take part with curiosity.
  • The role of host is primarily that of hospitality, therefore hosts don’t need to be trained the same way that facilitators do. Rather clear expectations should be laid out about host duties.
  • Here’s a short list to get you started; your own context may demand additional duties.
  • Welcoming group members to each session.
  • Making sure the meeting space is clean and tidy.
  • Ensuring that all group members know where to store their belongs and where the restrooms are.
  • Acting as timekeeper, so that the facilitator can move the group through their allotted exercises..
  • Provide closure at the end of each time together with prayer and reminders for the following week
  • If there is to be a meal, coordinating food. Hosts need not provide the meals, but they do need to coordinate with group members or the parish to ensure that meals are ready to be served in a timely manner.
  • If the small group is meeting in the host’s home, hosts should ensure that their home is safe, clean, and welcoming.


  1. Christine on 01/30/2018 at 9:24 am

    Where can I find the webinar for facilitators?

    • on 01/31/2018 at 1:09 am

      Hi Christine, There will be a live stream video to answer your questions on Meeting Jesus in John available at on Thursday, March 1 at 8pm. If you can’t catch the live stream, the video will be archived on the page for later viewing.

      • Christine on 01/31/2018 at 10:08 am

        Will it be archived on this website (instead of on Facebook)? Some of us don’t have a Facebook account.

        • on 01/31/2018 at 9:04 pm

          I will reach out to VTS who is hosting the live stream to see if we can get the video to post on this site. Great idea. If we are able to acquire the video, we will post ASAP.

  2. on 01/04/2018 at 8:36 pm

    “There will be a webinar for facilitators in December This 60-minute webinar is free and will be recorded and available for for viewing on this website.”

    Is it up yet? And where?

    • on 01/31/2018 at 1:08 am

      The webinar actually became a live stream video accessible on Facebook. The live stream will take place on February 1st at 8pm and you can ask your questions live in the comments section. You can view it at If you miss the live stream, the video will remain on the page for later viewing.