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
- What’s the purpose of our church’s small group
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?
- Who will lead and support the small group
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.
- 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
- 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?
- 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.