One of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) small group leaders ask is, “How often should we meet?” Most often this is asked after considering the busyness of our lives. We all face the balancing act of meeting our commitments to family, work, kids’ activities, community events, and church. Can we really ask people to make yet one more commitment---a small group? My typical answer to this questions is, “Once a month isn’t enough. Once a week is ideal. Twice a month seems realistic.”
Last week I had the privilege of meeting with some young urban professionals who believe God as called them to plant a new church in the heart of their city. Hearing their vision to touch the lives of those they network with daily was encouraging and exciting at the same time. The vision for this all began in their small group and it seems it really ramped up when they made the commitment to meet weekly. They tried meeting less than that but realized if they were going to be serious about creating community where discipleship happens, they needed to be together weekly; every Tuesday evening.
I didn’t ask them, but I’m imagining the benefits of meeting weekly. Community can develop deeper and faster just because you’re together more often. Ongoing weekly conversation about daily lives will encourage more accountability and truth speaking into one another’s lives. If you have to miss one meeting, it isn’t so long until you can be a part of the next. As commitment to one-another strengthens, there will be opportunity to enter into more areas of each other’s lives. It’s easier to invite others into the group when it’s only a short time until the group meets again. Others will be curious about a group of people so committed to each other that they get together every week. Sometimes, God works a vision for a new church to form out of the small group. How cool is that!
Given our busy, individualistic Western lifestyle, a once-a-week small group may be too much to ask of a lot of people, but obviously not all. Those who have a vision to experience community that transforms lives and cities are ready. When asked the question of how often a small group should meet, I will always remember these sharp young Christ-followers and cast a vision for the ideal.