Richard Sweatman

Richard Sweatman is the Pastor for Maturity at Hunter Bible Church, Newcastle. Part of his job is overseeing the Growth Group ministry. He is the author of Being a Small Group Leader and Writing a Small Group Study, both published by Matthias Media.

Ideas for prayer in small groups

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 19 August 2019

The fanciest theological prayer is no better than the simple cry for help. Having said that, our small group prayer could often be more open, more God-centred, more wise and so on.

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Stay fresh as you serve this year

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 7 January 2019

Sometimes, especially if we’re returning to ministries we’ve been doing for a while, we can feel less than enthusiastic.

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Leading a quiet growth group

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 7 November 2018

Our confidence is tested to the limit as questions are met with seemingly unending silence. “Will anyone ever speak? Are my questions that bad?” Or we answer our own questions like a solo performer in a surreal theological drama.

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Hope for ex-readers

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 5 September 2018

Did you read Christian books in the past but have long since given up? Don’t despair; here's how you can start reading again.

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How to use pre-written Bible studies

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 25 April 2018

Pre-written studies have a place in growth group leading, but they work best when we use them to teach the Bible well rather than just to save time.

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Planning growth group content for the year

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 17 January 2018

Our week-by-week plan will inevitably have to change on the fly as studies run long or nights get cancelled, but the planning we do at the start of the year is indispensable.

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Keep growth group amazing over the summer break

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 4 December 2017

Rest is a good thing and group leaders need it, but it is still worth thinking about how we can care for our members during any break.

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How to have a pastoral conversation

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 1 November 2017

At times, group leaders realize they need to speak with a study member about a particular concern or problem. Let’s call this a ‘pastoral conversation’.

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Leading a growth group with non-Christians in it

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 6 September 2017

Nothing shakes a growth group up like new members, but what if those new members are non-Christians? How should you lead in that situation? How do you manage the good things and the difficulties?

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How to pastor irregular growth group members

  • Richard Sweatman
  • 8 June 2017

We’ve all missed growth group now and then for various reasons, but sometimes people seem to be absent as often as present. Pastoring such irregular group members is one of the most common challenges of group leading.

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