- Talk with your pastor about starting this small group ministry for marriage and family enrichment. Assure him that it won’t be extra work for him. The starter kit includes a flyer meant for you to share with your pastor.
- Invite a few couples or single parents you know -- or whom you keep running into after Mass -- to join you.
- Run a bulletin announcement to invite more couples. The starter kit includes a sample invitation letter and sample bulletin announcements. Here is a brief description of CFM to share. You might also share the FAQ page from our website if they have more questions.
- Choose your program book.
- Join CFM and order books or a Starter Kit of 4 copies of the same book.
- You may view testimonies describing CFM at this link. We have some videos especially addressed to your pastor.
- Start meeting regularly. We recommend meeting weekly or twice a month for the first four sessions to help new groups to bond. Our program guides make it easy for anyone to facilitate a meeting, including prayer, scripture reflection, faith sharing, discussion questions, and action ideas on topics relevant to Christian families.
This short booklet gives you all the details - Leader Guide for Starting a CFM Chapter
At Your Kick-off Meeting
- Before the kick-off meeting, create calendar for your meetings so that people can plan ahead to attend regularly.
- If you plan to meet in homes, have a Sign Up Sheet for people to host the meetings in their homes.
- Make a list of a few social and service ideas for people to consider. Maybe something for Advent and Lent? What would your folks enjoy doing?
Here are some more ideas: Social events https://www.cfm.org/social_activities and Service projects https://www.cfm.org/action_ideas
- - Delegate! Have a sign up sheet for people to coordinate an event or project. You will find a checklist for planners and more leader aids here https://www.cfm.org/leader_materials
Sample Meeting / Try CFM
- Invite a few friends over to your house and experience a CFM meeting for yourselves.
- Next, download these easy-to-follow 4-page Meeting Directions.
- Now, download and make copies of this free sample meeting by clicking here: Make Conversation a Priority.
The CFM Starter Kit includes a variety of resources to help you start CFM at your parish. Each Starter Kit includes a 10-page booklet with all the details on Starting a CFM Group. With the purchase of a CFM Starter Kit ($40), you receive a one-year membership for four people/couples and four program books of your choice. For Happier Families, CFM's foundational book with 8 meetings, comes with the Starter Kit, or you can choose a different title. This book is inclusive of all kinds of families.
The books you choose will depend on the makeup of the group you anticipate forming. You may contact us to help you with choosing a book or click here for a full list of available programs. You order your Starter Kit with your Membership Donation.
Alternative starter books: Begin the 3-Part Discipleship Formation Series with Book 1 - Meeting Jesus Changes Everything. For a group of married couples who are parents, we may suggest using Wisdom & Grace for Marriage & Parenting, a 5-meeting digital meeting guide. For a group with several empty-nest couples or singles, we may suggest using Called to Wisdom, a 7-meeting digital guide, or The Grand Adventure, a 6-meeting digital guide for a group of grandparents. For a group with a mix of single parents, different ages and stages of families, Works of Mercy, Acts of Love will work great. See all book descriptions here.
Flyers, posters and more: Download and print at Promotional Materials.
Special Topics to Attract Various Audiences
Any family who wants to grow in faith and find support in a community of Christian families will love CFM. Married couples of all ages, interfaith couples, single parents, step-families, empty-nesters, and clergy are all welcome. Listed below are some ways that CFM can fit into the ministries that may already exist in your parish. Use any or all of the meetings in CFM program guides to gather people to experience CFM for themselves. They will love it!
Meeting Directions - Leader Guide
1. Ministry to Married Couples
Our Marriage: A Work in Progress is a 4-meeting program designed for couples who want to strengthen and enrich their marriage. Topics include: making conversation a priority, taking time for your marriage, evaluating your money management and energizing your relationship.
Our Marriage: A Spiritual Journey is also a 4-meeting program for couples. Topics include the sacrament of marriage, spirituality of the couple, children and parents growing in faith together, and how your marriage is a service to the whole community.
2. Follow-up to existing program (Alpha, Christlife, RCIA, Renew, Baptism Preparation)
CFM is an excellent follow-up to small group faith experiences such as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) or Renew. Couples who have already formed a bond are looking for ways to continue to meet and share in each others’ journeys.
Couples approaching the church for baptism of their children may be looking for ways to get more involved in the parish. CFM offers a way for them to build a network of support as they raise their children in the faith.
Sample CFM Meeting for Parents in Baptism Preparation Classes
Contact email@example.com or visit the Program Books Description page for more detailed information on the CFM books. You order books when you Join/Renew. CFM programs are provided as a benefit of membership in the movement.