Interested in leading a group?

We’re excited you’re interested in leading a group at Preston Trail.  Here’s how to get started.

  1. Complete Rooted
  2. Haven’t been through Rooted yet? Click here for details and registration information
  3. Review Preston Trail’s leadership qualifications
  4. Review Frequently Asked Questions for your area of interest
  5. Determine which type of group you feel called to lead & submit the Group Leader Interest form

Once we receive your Leader Interest Form, a member of our Groups team will reach out to talk about next steps.  

Preston Trail Group Leader Qualifications

Group Leaders at Preston Trail are viewed as shepherding leaders and will carry some of the greatest responsibility and accountability for volunteer leadership within the church.  
 
Whether you are leading in a Rooted group, a small group or a support group, we ask shepherding leaders to consider how your personal and public life reflects the core understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. Shepherding leaders are held accountable to a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ governed by the teaching of Scripture.  
 
While we are not looking for people who have “arrived” in their spiritual journey, a Group Leader is consistently and actively pursuing their relationship with Jesus, growing spiritually as his disciples themselves and helping others take the right next step in finding and following him.  
 
If you are ready to serve as a group leader, please consider the following questions. We believe these questions are foundational to serving as a group leader and shepherding others.
  • Have you personally made a decision to follow Jesus?
  • Have you been baptized as a believer in Jesus Christ? 
  • Do you desire to be a shepherd who helps others grow to become more like Jesus and encourage them to go wherever he leads them? 
  • Is Preston Trail your church home and do you regularly attend weekend services? 
  • Have you completed Rooted? 
  • Are you open to completing a criminal background check? 
  • Are you willing to be held accountable by church leadership for the performance of your role?  
  • Will you commit to accountability to church leadership based on the teaching of scripture in all areas of your personal and public life?  

If you answered YES to the questions above and you would like to take the next step toward serving as a group leader, please review the FAQ’s for your specific area of interest and complete our Group Leader Interest form.  

A member of our Groups team will reach out after we’ve received your form.
 
If you have questions, desire support or would like guidance in any of these areas one of our pastors would be honored to talk with you. We are a church made up of imperfect people and we would love to encourage or support you however we can.  

Small Group Leader FAQs

A group at Preston Trail includes four foundational elements:
Intentional Leader: Small groups have a leader who is committed to their own ongoing spiritual development to grow as a shepherding leader while encouraging group members to take their right next steps as disciples who help people find and follow Jesus.   
Relational Environment: Members connect with one another through intentional rhythms of fellowship, study, serving and fun while cultivating transparency, accountability and friendship.  
Biblical Foundation: The content and group discussions keep the central focus on knowing God’s word, understanding his character, discerning his will and turning what we are learning into action. 
Reproducible Process: We build our groups on an easily replicated structure where members are encouraged in their spiritual growth and gifts while raising up new leaders who will go out and do the same. 
What is a Small Group at Preston Trail?  
A group of 5-12 Rooted graduates who CONNECT in community and GROW as disciples as they encourage and support one another to take their next right steps to GO where Jesus leads them.  
What types of Small Groups are available? 
We offer Small Groups for Men, Women, Couples, Co-eds and Young Adults.

Preston Trail Small Groups are encouraged to build relationships with each other where they develop regular rhythms of studying God’s word, daily devotion, prayer, serving the church & the community while also making time to enjoy fun and fellowship together.
How are small groups formed? 
Groups typically come together in two ways: 
  1. A Rooted Group makes the decision to stay together and launches as a Small Group following their Rooted experience.  
  2. A Rooted Graduate feels called to open a new group for other Rooted Graduates who are looking for ongoing community in a new Small Group. 
  3. Since our groups meet, grow and serve together, groups are often formed with that in mind. So, stage of life, geography and even common interests can influence the group someone is referred to or recommended to join.  
How often do groups meet?
Small Groups meet once a week, in homes or virtually. Groups meet year-round with planned breaks. Along with a weekly rhythm of study, groups incorporate socials, celebrations, and serve opportunities. 
Are there semesters? 
We have three semesters to help our groups stay in a consistent rhythm.   
  1. Winter (January-March)  
  2. Spring (April-June)  
  3. Fall (September-November) 

Since our groups meet weekly with planned breaks, this rhythm allows Small Groups to naturally incorporate breaks throughout the year to reset, refocus, and recommit. It also provides ideal opportunities to launch new groups, begin new studies or add new members to existing groups.
What should small groups do in between semesters?
In between semesters is a great time to plan a few-week break for family vacations and holidays, but this can also be a great time to plan intentional socials or serve opportunities. We encourage leaders to recognize that schedules can be challenging between semesters. It helps to plan breaks in advance with a solid plan for your return in order to maintain consistency and commitment from your group members. 
What do small groups study?
Small group leaders can find a RoadMap and list of suggested studies that we believe provide strategic content to help our groups GROW in their relationship with Jesus while equipping them to GO and fulfill our mission. In addition to the suggested studies, we trust our small group leaders to choose other biblically based curriculum that they believe will help their group grow as disciples. We simply ask that you discuss your choice with your coach for final approval. You can check out our suggested studies on our Group Leader Resources page.
Can small groups meet onsite at the church building?
As our church family continues to grow and so does the number of small groups, we have found it necessary to utilize our onsite facilities for equipping leaders and forming new small groups. Once a new group is formed, we ask our groups to work together to determine a time and location that works best for most in the group. As our groups have a strong focus on Growing together and Going, we believe our groups are most strategically positioned in their neighborhoods and community where they live, work and play. 
What if our group can’t find a good place to meet?
The stability and health of our groups is a top priority. Groups in transition can request using a space onsite while the group is working to determine a location that will work for most in the group. This space is intended as a short-term solution, is limited to certain days and times upon availability and childcare is not available. Leaders can submit a request for space using this form.
What do groups do about childcare? 
We believe the entire family can benefit from meeting together with other believers on a regular basis.  However, we realize that it can be very challenging to find the right childcare solution for your small group. We encourage our groups to discuss what options they can come up with individually or together and then determine the best solution for most in the group. Often this leads to finding a kid friendly location and/or a dependable sitter. We never want this to be a deterrent that prevents people from joining a group. To help in these situations we offer partial childcare reimbursements for small group members. Simply complete the form on our KidCare Reimbursement page to request reimbursement.
What’s the difference between a Small Group Leader and a Rooted Facilitator? 
As a Small Group Leader at Preston Trail, your primary role is to create environments and encourage rhythms that promote authentic community, deepen biblical understanding, and help people find and follow Jesus Christ. This is done through weekly group meetings where members meet to fellowship and grow spiritually. A Rooted Facilitator is responsible for leading a group of people through the 10-week Rooted curriculum. Rooted serves as the front door to finding a Small Group at Preston Trail. Many Rooted groups launch as a Small Group when their Rooted experience is finished. Often the Rooted Facilitator will serve as the Small Group Leader, or a member of the Rooted group will step up to lead the Small Group upon completion of Rooted.
What kind of training or support is available as a group leader?
We offer several things to help motivate, inspire and equip you as a leader. As a group leader, you’ll be assigned a coach to partner with you as you lead. Your coach is there as a support and resource. From selecting a curriculum to navigating group dynamics, coaches are a tremendous resource for leaders and provide a wealth of experience. We also offer in-person and on demand training for leaders through our Empower group leader content. Each semester we offer Group Leader huddles to bring Group Leaders together for encouragement and training.
How long is the commitment for leading a group?
Leading a group is a minimum commitment of one year. Leaders spend a total of three to four hours per week attending, preparing and supporting their group.
What if my group wants to keep meeting, but I want to step out of leading the group?
Whether you continue leading your group or not, we encourage our leaders to have someone in your group that you are raising up as an apprentice to be a future leader. You can either hand your leadership role to the apprentice you have raised up, or if no one steps up to lead the group, your group members can sign up for different groups at the beginning of the next semester. 
What is an Apprentice Leader?
An Apprentice Leader is a member of the group who is taking intentional steps to prepare for a role as a Group Leader by modeling healthy group dynamics, taking an active role in exercising their shepherding leadership gifts alongside the Group Leader and beginning the Group Leader onboarding process. 
What should I do if someone asks a question I can’t answer? 
It’s okay to not have all the answers. Thankfully, we can find guidance through prayer, God’s word, and the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Also, let them know that you will do your best to get some information and get back with them at your next small group meeting. Do some personal research and call your Coach to get advice. 
What should I do if someone in my group shares something with me (or the group) that requires attention beyond what I (or we) can provide? 
If a member is going through a crisis, their group is often the first and best line of defense to provide prayer, care, encouragement and support. But sometimes you will encounter a situation that is beyond what the small group can or should provide. It’s important for leaders to use discernment and seek wisdom and counsel when sensitive or challenging situations arise. Our Coach and Staff team is always available for support and there are many additional resources a leader can direct their group members to. There are Preston Trail support groups for many specified areas of crisis and care. Also requests for prayer, benevolence and counseling resources are available at prestontrail.org/help. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to ask your Coach. If you need immediate attention where someone is a threat to themselves or others call 911. 
How can I share stories of life change from my group?
We love stories at Preston Trail and want to hear how lives are being changed through Groups. You can share your stories with your Coach, or complete the Share Your Story questionnaire.

Rooted Facilitator FAQs

What is Rooted?
Rooted is a 10-week group experience that is a catalyst for life transformation no matter where you are on your journey with Christ. It provokes questions, conversations and group experiences designed to give you a glimpse of your story in God’s story.
What is a Rooted Facilitator? 
A Rooted facilitator serves as a guide and shepherd for a group of 6-10 group members over a 10-week journey. They prepare each week to facilitate the weekly discussion and guide the experiences the group will have throughout the 10 weeks. 
What kind of training is provided for Facilitators?
Every facilitator is given a Facilitator Guide that will help walk them through each week. All groups will be assigned a Coach, who will be the Facilitator’s main point of contact throughout the semester. There is also a Facilitator Training before each semester launches, as well as during the semester on Weeks 2, 4, and 7 with your assigned Coach. We also have videos that are specific to each week that will help equip you for the upcoming meeting.
What is the time commitment?
We ask our Facilitators to commit to 12 weeks. This allows for the Facilitator Training the week before the Rooted Semester launches as well as wrapping up the semester with the Celebration event. Each week you can expect to dedicate 3-4 hours to Rooted. This includes your 2 hours of group time each week as well as your preparation and connection time. Your preparation time will consist of watching 5-10 min training videos each week along with reading that week’s notes in the Facilitator Training Guide. Then maintain consistent communication with your group members, by sending any necessary reminders and ensuring each member feels known and cared for. 
How are members added to Rooted groups?
Our Rooted team will prayerfully place participants into groups of no more than 12 people. We consider age, marital status, life stage, and area of town when forming groups, but ultimately, it depends upon the demographic of those who register. While we do our best to honor requests, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all friend or facilitator requests.
What if I can’t make all 10 weeks?
We ask that Facilitators commit to coming every week, however, we know there are different circumstances that may prohibit that from happening. Often times our groups are lead by 2 facilitators with the hope that if one has to miss the other is still able to facilitate the meeting. If you are leading alone or if you are leading a couple’s group and both you and your spouse will have to miss a week, then we will encourage you to identify someone in your group that can step in to lead that week’s meeting.  
Where will my group meet?
If you will be facilitating a new group, you will meet on-site at either our Frisco or McKinney campus. If you are facilitating a group for our Online campus, you will be meeting virtually via Zoom. If you will be facilitating an existing group, then you have the option to continue meeting at your current location or have a space at one of our campuses.
Is childcare available?
Yes, limited childcare is available on a first come, first served basis for $45 per child with a max of $135 per family. You can register for childcare at the same time you register for Rooted. (If you prefer to use your own sitter, we also offer kid care reimbursement to help offset the cost. You can find more information here.) 
Does a facilitator need to register or pay for the semester?
No, it is free to be a facilitator and you do not have to register unless you would like to request specific people to be in your group or if you need to sign up for childcare. 
What happens with my group after Rooted is over?
Rooted serves as the front door to finding a small group at Preston Trail. The majority of Rooted groups launch into a small group when their Rooted experience is finished. Often times, the Rooted Facilitator will continue to lead that small group. If the facilitator will be stepping out of the group, then they would need to identify a new leader to take over and lead. If the group will not be staying together after Rooted, then we would really encourage all members to complete the Next Steps form that is sent out. This will allow us to help everyone find their next right step, whether that is joining a different group, serving in the church, or even taking a break.  

Questions? Submit a Contact Form Below to Connect with the Groups Team