Starting a new men's fellowship group
Prior to starting a new group, the following steps should be undertaken:
1. Speak with your pastor to gain his permission and guidance for the new group.
2. If you are in the Diocese of Youngstown fill out the new group form.
3. Listen to our roundtable discussion on beginning and successfully running a Men's Fellowship Group.
4. Utilize the resources available on the National Fellowship of catholic Men.
5. Develop a plan for promoting your group in your parish. Utilize your parish bulletin, pulpit announcements, and most importantly, personnel invitations. Do not be overly concerned with attracting large number of men to your group. A successful group can be run with as little as two men!
Operating Suggestions (not requirements)
1. Spread out the preparatory work among several men.
2. Use one or two facilitators to maintain a standard.
3. Plan with a 3-6 member leadership team that is co-responsible and non hierarchical.
4. Pre-plan each meeting, but be flexible, responsive, and able to adjust to an individual's needs.
5. Establish a predictable and comfortable fonnat that fosters spontaneity.
6. Start with a few "social" moments and stop on time.
7. If the group becomes too large, develop asmall group (5 to 7 men) infrastructure that ties in with the large group.
8. Position the large group as the "tool" of evangelization, the vehicle for attracting men to the fellowship.
9. Initiate a weekend retreat during the large group's start-up phase and on an annual basis thereafter.
10. Organize the large group meeting in a circle so that each man's space is respected.
11. Encourage personal witnessing and "testimonies" to build faith.
12. Do not establish "rules and regulations" or over commit the men.
13. Meet the men "where they are" and avoid making demands.
14. Keep brief reference notes on each meeting and maintain a resource "library".