Why This Course?

The How to Launch a Thriving Small Group Course provides a step-by-step solution to:

orienting your new leaders to the power and impact of small groups,

preparing them for leadership and to gather and start their group, and

launching their group grounded on purpose and immediately cultivating commitment from group members.


Taught by the authors of Leading Small Groups That Thrive (Zondervan, 2020), this course will help your church/ministry effectively, quickly, and efficiently engage and equip new leaders.


We've loaded all our best insights and training resources in this course!


Included in this online course are these ready-to-use resources:

10 sessions that are instantly accessible & available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week

10 practical video lessons that bring to life key insights and practices

Questions for individual reflection and group discussion for each session

21 printable PDF worksheets, tools, and templates that help leaders immediately put into practice key principles

Learn anywhere with downloadable MP3s, iOS App & phone-friendly versions

Plus, every participant will get a paperback copy of Leading Small Groups That Thrive.

How Does This Course Work?

Your leaders will walk through 10 sessions on their way to becoming a next-level leader. Each session contains 4 components:


At the beginning of each session, the new leader will be asked to read a chapter (or part of one!) from Leading Small Groups that Thrive: Five Shifts to Take Your Group to the Next Level. This will help them discover what next-level leaders can and should do to contribute to their members’ spiritual growth. This reading will set the stage for the video lesson.


Next, they'll watch an engaging teaching session where they'll learn to apply key principles as they launch their group. We’ll share key principles and key action steps specifically for those just starting out on this small group leadership journey. Those leaders who are a bit more seasoned in their leadership will be reminded of what is good and true and continue on their leadership development journey.


After each session, we'll ask your leaders to engage a few reflection questions. These are designed to help new leaders think critically about their previous group experiences and how they can leverage what they are learning to help their new groups thrive. Leaders can do these on their own, or engage in a conversation with others via Zoom, a phone call, etc. (That's up to you!)


Finally, your new leaders will apply what they're learning. In each session, we provide resources and tips and tricks for leaders to implement right away. These resources range from guides for an interview with a ministry leader to sample emails to a new group member who has just signed up and templates for group meetings and group covenants. Not only do we want to set a strong foundation for new leaders, but we want to help them actually launch their groups with excellence!

Who is Teaching?

Dr. Courtney Davis

Courtney Wong Davis (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) is associate professor of Communication Management at Azusa Pacific University. Courtney has spent her career honing and sharing her expertise in organizational, small group, and professional communication, coaching and equipping executives, leaders and young professionals to effectively and meaningfully contribute to their groups and organizations.

Jason Sniff

Jason A. Sniff, (M.A., Baylor University), is Pastor of Small Groups at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, IL. He has been in and around ministry for over 10 years and spent much of that time in developing leaders, ministry, and equipping groups to impact the world around them.

Dr. Ryan Hartwig

Ryan T. Hartwig, (PhD, University of Colorado Boulder), is dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Communication at Colorado Christian University. A frequent speaker and consultant to churches and ministries, he has taught courses in group, organizational and leadership communication for more than fifteen years, and he has led, trained and developed teams and small groups for more than twenty years in universities and churches.

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Course Curriculum

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  Session 1: The Power of Groups
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  Session 2: The Catalytic Leader
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  Session 3: The Roadmap to a Thriving Group (A Primer on Group Development)
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  Session 4: Why Purpose Matters
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  Session 5: Crafting a 5C Purpose
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  Session 6: Gathering Your Group
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  Session 7: Launching Your Group
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  Session 8: Cultivating Commitment
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  Session 9: Facilitating Better Discussions
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  Session 10: Multiplying Your Impact
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  BONUS Session: Resources for Thriving Groups During a Pandemic!
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enroll in this course with a group of leaders from my church?

Yes! We'd love for you to take this course with other leaders! But each leader will have their own individual log-in so that they're able to refer back to the course (and the helpful tools and templates provided in it) on their own time.

How does this course work for my church or ministry?

Once you sign up for the course based on the number of leaders you need to train, you'll receive an email with an easy registration link that you can send to anyone you want to have access to the course, and we'll mail to you the same number of books for you to distribute to your leaders.

Once you get the registration link for your leaders, you can share them with your leaders at your choosing. (Remember, each log-in is good for 18 months, so you don't have to use them all right away.) That's it! From there, your leaders can progress through the course individually, or as a group (with your facilitation).

How long do leaders have to complete the course once started?

We'd love to give you lifetime access, but due to our contractual obligations, you'll have 18 months to use your log-ins. But, you could use a few now and then a few more in a future group season.

When can we begin the How to Launch a Thriving Small Group Online Course?

You can begin the course as soon as you sign up and receive log-in credentials. We'll send you books immediately after your purchase that you can give to your leaders.

I'm not quite ready to commit yet, but I'd like to take a closer look. How can I sample the course?

Send us an email at [email protected]. We'll happily send you free limited-time access so you can check it out.

How is this different than the book Leading Small Groups That Thrive?

While the book's authors are teaching this course, this course is targeted instruction for NEW leaders. The book helps leaders of all kinds make five key shifts to help their group go to the next level, but this course specifically focuses on helping new leaders launch new groups built on a solid foundation for success. Certainly, this course builds on the lessons taught in the book, but the course provides a more "step by step" approach for new leaders launching new groups.

If you have already purchased the book, you'll find this a very helpful complement to the book. But if you haven't, remember each participant gets a book included in the cost of the course.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

If you are dissatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a refund of the entire course fee, minus the cost of the books that were shipped to you. No questions asked.

Who do I contact if I have any questions or problems?

You can reach out to our team and we'll get right back to you: [email protected].