Where Do We Start?

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It’s exciting to start something new. Our imaginations start imagining and we are so excited at the potential of this new endeavor. Wise people ask questions of those who are a step ahead of them, collect information from books, search the web and pray a lot. And then they pray some more.

Before launching a new small group ministry, it’s important to take enough time to set a firm foundation for the ministry. There are four initial questions to answer before starting a small group ministry.

  1. What’s the purpose of our church’s small group ministry?

    Answering this question is essential to a healthy, sustainable small group ministry. It sets direction and gives a point of evaluation down the line. Church leaders need to be clear on why the church is starting small groups. It involves asking additional questions such as. . .
    • What’s the role of small groups and spiritual formation?
    • How will small groups carry out the mission of the church?
    • How will small groups be catalysts for carrying out God’s mission?

       
  2. Who will lead and support the small group ministry? 

    Somebody, or better yet a team of people, needs to accept the responsibility of being the point leader for the small group ministry. Some churches hire a staff person to take the lead, others use volunteers. Use what fits best in your church, but it’s essential to know who is responsible to oversee the ministry as a whole.

     
  3. What are our connection pathways? 

    Small groups are all about connections. Some of the connection points are within the church itself.
    • How are leaders connected to groups?
    • How are small group members connected into groups?
    • Who are the small group leaders accountable to?
    • Who supports the point leaders of the small group ministry?
    • How will small groups connect with other ministries in the church?

       



    Think about the broader connections.

    • How will small groups connect with serving opportunities in the community or neighborhood?
    • How will they connect with community agencies already in place?

       
  4. How will we pilot small groups?

    There are a variety of ways to pilot your first small groups. Consider these possibilities:
    • Start a short term “turbo group” where people learn about small group life as they experience it. The goal of a turbo group is that each person starts a small group after this learning experience. 
    • Use a pre-packaged, all-church campaign to give people a taste of small group life. Be sure to plan what shape groups will take after the campaign is finished.
    • Design your own sermon-based small group campaign experience which casts a vision for group life specific to your church’s vision.
    • Several weeks before your small groups begin, host a “Small Group Ministry Fair” where group leaders creatively set up information stations about their groups. This gives people a chance to ask questions and decide which group they will join.
    • Host a “Taste of Small Groups” lunch (or several) after the week-end services where people experience a bit of small group life over a meal and are presented the vision for small groups. New small groups may form out of those present, or interested people may decide to join an existing group. 
Posted in: Small Groups; Resource > Article

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