Small Groups are essential in a new church For pastoral care For creating authentic community For discipleship For localized outreach For ministry training There are churches that want to do all these at Worship… We call these…
First Steps of Small Group Development
You started with a small group as the core
How can you keep this going when you move forward?
Multiply by geography, or affinity, or day of week…
Need new leaders & new ways to get people into the groups…
Start with a small group strategy that you can keep building on rather than changing it drastically
As you grow, how can you keep expanding the number of small groups.
One of the Best Way to get many of your adults in Small Groups is a “Church-Wide Initiative” - where the message theme and the - small group curriculum coincide - many of these churches have more adults in Small groups than attend Sunday One to check out is “Chazown” by LifeChurch.tv This is a series that helps your people understand their unique vision for life and ministry. Go to www.open.lifechurch.tv and type in Chazown. There is also a book by that title by Craig Groeschel that can be used by the groups. This is the Life Development Plan for LifeChurch.tv
Another way to do small groups – different strokes for different folks: (4 Kinds of Groups: A.C.T.S .) A = Affinity Groups – for fellowship & fun C = Covenant Groups – Bible Study & growth T = Task Groups – for Ministry & mission S = Support Groups – Prayer & accountability
EG. Can your Ministry Teams all be “small groups?” Primary Focus for meetings is T = Ministry Secondary Foci make it a small group A = Affinity for fun & fellowship C = Appropriate Bible Study & training S = Prayer for each other & training This means your other groups major in their primary area, but also have the other 3 areas as secondary foci. How do you train and coordinate leaders?
Another way to offer small group options… NewSong, Irvine, CA offers six options. Each of their six types of groups has one area of emphasis, but combine two other functions to make it a small group ministry. NewSong Leadership Handbook www.newsong.net
How can you start new groups?
Staffed Small Group booth in entry eg. Sanctuary list
-Give the 4 or 6 options
-Leader leaves to start new group
-Apprentice leaves with part of group
-Apprentice leaves to start new group
Eg. “Doing Life Together” pastors.com You launch 6-week groups – often continue.
Another size of group: The “Community Group”
Different Sizes for Different Purposes
The Connecting Church , Randy Frazee
EGs: Axxis, C3, Northpointe (Atlanta) or like youth ministries that pack a house… or may work well in an urban or ethnic environment…
-Usually meet monthly by geographic region
Help transition people from the “Crowd” to the “Cell” or vice versa…
Many small groups connect to a community group
Offer a “congregational size” experience – 25+
or offer “Social Space” (see Joe Myers; The Search to Belong on 4 kinds of space)
Usually led by a Lay Pastor
Purposes of Community Groups:
- to provide a more intimate worship encounter
- to provide for pastoral care
- to provide a geographic option for connection
- to provide a safer, less threatening place for guests to check out the church
- to have mission & outreach
- to have a place for all ages
- to start small groups like Alpha or Bible Studies
Connection Have a strategy for… 1 st time guest (before, during & after the service) 2 nd time guest – invite to community group 3 rd & 4 th time guest – Pastor’s Dessert Key… How to turn attenders into members and partners in ministry and mission
Connection time after the service is important to helping people “stick!”
Connection and Life Transformation EG: C3 Have great coffee and snacks and a celebrative atmosphere.