You can find everything you need to lead a Connect Group here!
If you don't see what you're looking for, contact Amber Adams.
Recommended Studies on Worship
Joshua Code – Meditation and Reflection
Mark Batterson – Whisper
Chris Webb – God Soaked Life
Corrie Ten Boom – The Hiding Place
Connect Group Life Values
Shared expectations help us create excellent environments and deep relationships. Make sure you're familiar with ours!
Live life together. Eat together. Share together. Believe the best about each other. Ask. Listen deeply. Have hard conversations. Build community.
Grow in Jesus. Produce spirit fruit. Give generously. Don’t camp in your shadows. Grow over it. Have no regrets.
Have fun with each other. Celebrate often. Be silly. Keep Sabbath. Make time to just connect. Laugh together. Play hard.
Make It Better.
Leave it better than you found it. Create excellence for Jesus. Evaluate everything. Never settle for status quo.
Empower Your People.
Call out the Kingdom in others. Find their gifts. Make room. Develop leaders. Share responsibility. Encourage each other.
Create Safe Spaces.
Be vulnerable. Allow vulnerability. Share honestly. Encourage transparency and authenticity. Always show grace. Be empathetic. What is said in group stays in group. Help each other. Equip don’t enable.
Hang Up Your Cape.
No one is a superhero. Don’t work alone. Ask for help. Build the kingdom not a social club.
Connect Leaders FAQ's
Leading & Hosting
What are the expectations of me as a leader?
You must be a member of The Church at Severn Run, and fully buy into the missions and leadership of Severn Run. You are expected to fully support the staff and direction of Severn Run. You must show leadership abilities. And finally, you should embrace Connect Values as a way of life! Click Here for more info.
What is the difference between a Connect Group Host and a Connect Group Leader?
A Connect Group Host is simply a person who opens their home for one semester at a time. They are responsible for creating a safe and welcoming environment for people to connect. They are provided the resources and materials they need to succeed. A Connect Group Leader is a person who leads a group of people that are worshiping, connecting, serving, and sharing together. There are higher expectations for leaders to be actively involved in the direction of Connect Groups, and leaders are familiar with the vision, mission, and values of Connect Group Ministry. Click Here for more info.
What is a Connect Group Coach? How do I get one?
A Connect Group Coach is a person who has a deep understanding of the vision, mission, values, and direction of Connect Groups. They help develop Connect Group Hosts into Leaders as well as maintain a spirit of excellence within the Connect Group Leaders. All hosts and new leaders will be assigned a Connect Coach who will be there to answer questions, support you, and help you establish your Connect Group. Coaches are also available to anyone who asks for one. Click Here for more info.
What is a healthy Connect Group?
Connect Groups are mini-communities which create a safe space for people to grow and connect together. It is in Connect Groups that we build life-changing relationships that give us a space to share vulnerably and honestly while also being challenged to grow. A healthy group and group member will be worshiping (celebrating Jesus as the center of life), Connecting (doing life together), Serving (looking out for Jesus’ interests in the lives of others), Sharing (helping others find and follow Jesus). Click Here for more info.
What do I do when I am feeling overwhelmed or burnt out?
1) Talk. Let us know how you're feeling. 2) STOP. Take a break! One of our Connect Values is "Hang Up Your Cape." That means we don’t expect you to be a superhero. We know life is crazy sometimes, we know sometimes something has to be taken off of your plate. So, ask for help and take a break. Let someone else lead or host. The beauty of our semester schedule is that you can take off a semester if you want to and jump back into the new semester (if you’re ready). Everyone eventually needs a break, so consistently be empowering your group members to take ownership and responsibility for the life of the group. Click Here for more info.
How do I know what is happening at Severn Run?
Do the work to stay informed. Be sure you are signed up for our email lists and regularly check severnrunner.info for the latest! You can also follow Severn Run on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Click Here for more info.
How can I be connected with other leaders and groups?
We have a Connect Group Hosts page on Facebook. Click here to join the group and stay connected with other leaders! We encourage groups to do things together, and our Facebook Group is a great place to start.
How do I communicate with the people that signed up for my group?
You will receive a list of names, emails, and phone numbers. You can email or call your group members about your initial meeting. After that you can decide if what mode of communication your group will want to use – email, Facebook, and GroupMe are all methods that groups have used in the past. Find the method that works best for you!
How do I prevent my group from becoming a social club?
Create a mission with your group members. Know your mission. Live your mission! When you live out your mission and purpose your members have something more than just being friends to work towards. For example, "our mission is to see every person in a growing relationship with God and to love our community well." Click Here for more info.
How do I create depth in my Connect Group?
It starts with the leader. Vulnerability, transparency, and honesty are the key ingredients to creating depth in your group. You will not experience depth if you are not being those things.
Some practical steps to create depth in your group are to:
Set aside intentional group time to find out what is happening in the lives of your group members (start group with a high and low for the week, what is happening in your life, how are you feeling today, type of question)
Create Value Boundaries. Value boundaries act as group rules. They determine how you will value each other in the group. Some examples include: what is said in group stays in group, leave your mask at the door, be honest, etc.
Pick a relevant study.
Click Here for more info.
What does having a “safe space” mean?
Having a safe space means creating an environment for people to feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable, transparent, and authentic. In a world that is dominated by judgment and opinion, Connect Groups are a space for people to work through personal struggles with people who love them, love Jesus, and are working through their own struggles. A safe space allows people to express their challenges and know that the people around them will be honest, gracious, and hold them accountable. Most of all a safe space is simply creating a group of people who love Jesus and love one another and simply want Jesus' best for one another! Click Here for more info.
How do I make my Connect Group a safe space?
Set the expectation from the beginning. This is where your Value Boundaries come in. Value boundaries act as group rules. They determine how you will value each other in the group. Some examples include: what is said in group stays in group, leave your mask at the door, and be honest. Emphasize the purpose of your Connect Group. Your group is the place where members will grow closer to God and learn what it means to be a disciple. Encourage transparency and depth from the beginning as well as how to respond when someone shares something that is a sensitive topic. Click Here for more info.
Remind your group that you are a judgment free zone. The way that we support each other is through love, grace, and truth. Remember that Scripture is meant to build up and encourage, not tear down and shame. Simply put: LOVE WELL. LIVE JESUS. BELIEVE BIG. Back to the top.
How do I handle conflict in my Connect Group?
Start with a private conversation with the people that are involved. No one needs to be involved that is not involved. There is no space for gossip or unnecessary conversation around the conflict. “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen” Ephesians 4:29
If you are involved, consider asking your coach or a Severn Run Staff member to help mediate.
Believe the best in each other.
Be honest and direct.
If the conflict cannot be solved through conversation with the people involved you can than reach out to your coach (if you have one) or the Connect Group Leader at Severn Run.
The Connect Group Leader will then sit down to work on a conflict resolution strategy for the leader and the people involved.
Click Here for more info.
What do I do when I have one toxic person in my group?
Our responsibility as leaders is to give people a space to grow and support one another as we grow. It is our job to equip people to be better not enable them to stay as they are. If you have a person in your group that is constantly putting an emotional strain on the group and stunting the growth of other individuals it is important for you to have a personal conversation with that person. Yes, it may be uncomfortable, BUT you can do it! Be gentle but be honest. Give them one or two practical things to work on. For example, if it is a person who dominates conversation ask them to wait 15 seconds before they respond or ask them to limit their sharing to 1-2 minutes. You can also refer people to a counselor if they need more attention. Always reach out for help if you need it. Click Here for more info.
What happens if someone in my group has a crisis?
The answer for this question varies depending on the crisis. If it is a medical emergency or violence call 911. The best thing for you to do is to just be present. If you feel equipped to help them navigate their situation do it in a way that is healthy. Your group is created to help each other in hard times so make sure you group members step up to help as well. Click Here for more info.
What do I do if someone in my group says they want to hurt himself or herself or someone else?
Call 911 immediately. You are a mandated reporter.
How do I help struggling couples?
We have a great Marriage and Family Ministry led by our Family Life Pastor, Steve Houston, and supported by ministry leaders Michael and Valerie McAdams. You can reach out them for resources, advice, mentorship, etc. Click Here for more info.
Contact Pastor Steve here or at 410-551-6654
Contact Michael and Valerie McAdams firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Do I have to take attendance? How do I take attendance?
YES! The people that signed up for your group will be in your group on mysevernrun.com. Once you've logged in, go to your group from the side panel. Click record attendance in the top right hand corner of your group page, and follow the on-screen directions. You can also download the app LEAD from Church Community Builders in the App Store or Google Play to take attendance on your phone or tablet. Once you've opened the app, go to your group. Click record attendance, and follow the on-screen directions. You can also record prayer requests, events, and notes from your group time. If you have new guests in your group you can count them in the number of guests option and write their name in the notes. Click Here for more info.
How do I reserve a room on campus for our group to use?
When you sign up to host a Connect Group you can ask for rooms and resources if you would like to meet on campus. The Connect Group administrator will then set you up with the room and resources you need. If you want to request rooms and resources for a non-regular meeting or event go to mysevernrun.com, click the calendar in the top right corner, select the date you want, fill out the details for the event, click done, go to the rooms and resources tab of your event, select the rooms and resources that you need. If you have challenges you can reach out to Linda Meade or Amber Sanders, the Connect Group Leader. Click Here for more info.
What are the KidTime rules?
Minimum of 1 adult (18 years or older) *unless authorized by appropriate staff in advanced or in a home.
If they are 18 or older, they need to have a criminal background check completed (you can contact Amber Sanders who will get them the link).
Required Ratios are:
2 minimum / same sex
1 worker for every 4 kids ages 2 years and younger
1 worker for 8 kids ages 3 years and older
Click Here for more info.
How do I get KidTime for my group?
When you sign up to host a Connect Group you can ask for KidTime. The Connect Group administrator will set you up with a KidTime provider. If you need one for a non-regular group or event, it will be your responsibility to find a provider. You can ask the Connect Group KidTime Facilitator for help, if you need it. Click Here for more info.
Does Severn Run pay for KidTime?
By principle, no, Severn Run does not pay for KidTime. If you need assistance with KidTime you can fill out an application at the beginning of the semester. Click Here for more info.
What do we do if KidTime is a barrier for attendance?
In the past, KidTime has been a reason why groups are unable to meet or members cannot attend group. We have now established a Connect Groups KidTime Facilitator to remove this barrier. If it continues to be a challenge for your Connect Group or one of your members reach out to the Connect Group Leader, Amber Adams, and we will address the challenge directly. Click Here for more info.
What resources are available for us at/through Severn Run?
Whatever resources you need if we do not have them we will do our best to have for you. The Connect Groups ministry is built to support its leaders and their groups. You can access a number of Bible Studies, book studies, video studies, activities, etc. You have access to space for events on the Severn Run campus. You have access to leadership and spiritual development. The best resource we have for you is a community! If you have the question most likely so does another group. Ask it on our Facebook page or reach out to other leaders. Whatever you need, you can ask for and we will do our best to find the support or resources you need! Click Here for more info.
What studies does Severn Run have available to borrow? How do I sign them out?
Link to our all new Library is coming soon! Click Here for more info.
Does Severn Run pay for our studies?
It depends. Typically, Severn Run does not pay for studies. The only exception is if multiple groups (2 or more) want to do the same study. If that is the case Severn Run will buy the leadership kit. Each member will be responsible for buying their workbooks. Click Here for more info.
Serving & Missions
What are the serving expectations for my group?
Each member of your group is expected to serve at Severn Run for Severn Run at least 3 times per semester. Your group as a whole is expected to serve outside of Severn Run, on mission for the benefit of the outside community, at least once per semester. Click Here for more info.
How do I motivate my group members to serve?
Set the expectation from the beginning and do it together! Ask people where they plan to serve, if they don’t know where to serve get them signed up via our Serving page and a staff member will get them plugged in. Click Here for more info.
How does my group get involved in missions?
Start by contacting our Impact Leader, Vicki Delair. She will then get your group on the track to being the difference in your community. Click Here for more info.
Does our mission need to be through Severn Run?
No! We want you and your group to be empowered to be the difference wherever God is calling you. The only qualification is serving in the name of Jesus. We aren't just humanitarians, we are bearers of the Gospel message. WE WANT TO KNOW! Make sure that you record what you are doing or planning to do with Amber Adams. Click Here for more info. Back to the top.
What do I do if my question wasn’t answered under the FAQs?
Ask it. We would love to hear from you!
Contact Amber Sanders here or at 410-551-6654.