Rather than evaluate the success of a small group by the percentage of a church’s people involved, I’m much more likely to ask questions about how people are demonstrating discipleship and mission in their lives. How are people growing in spiritual disciplines? How many are inviting friends to try out the group? How deep are the relationships within the group? How does the group care for one another and their neighbors?
The call of community isn’t about finding people just like us, at the exclusion of others. Community, in the biblical sense, is clearly about unlike people finding Christ at the center of their inclusive life together. Thus, issues of community reflect powerful dynamics of how God brings very diverse people together for his glory and his witness in the world.
If we want to develop ways of relating in groups that results in mission, then we as pastors must look at what we are emphasizing. Let me simply list five points.
Recruiting small group leaders in a way that casts vision and presents leadership as a God-given opportunity will contribute to the health of a church's small group ministry. This tool gives suggestions on where to find potential leaders and how to go about recruiting them.
Sometimes small groups or individuals might feel like they are "lonely little petunias in an onion patch". This longing may be the Holy Spirit’s nudging to shape small groups that exist not merely for the sake of experiencing community, but for the sake of participating in God’s redemptive plan.
The resources on this website help small group leaders in their vision to build life-tranforming community in their settings. You'll find study materials, coaching helps, information about conferences and small group campaigns; all designed to help tranform your community through community.
This site takes a broader look at church leadership. Those involved in church leadership on a variety of fronts will find valuable samples, downloads, training tools, and opportunities to connect with other leaders. Small Group leaders will especially like the tab, "Mentor and Disciple."
I’m concerned with developing small groups of people who covenant to a shared life together as they grow in Christlikeness and join God’s mission together. That leaves me with this question. How do we establish counter-cultural groups in a culturally relevant way?
We would love to form a neighborhood small group where everyone on our block knows each other well, joins in spiritual conversations, prays for one another, and finds ways to serve in our community together. It’s a wonderful dream that we talk about often. The problem is, we don’t know our neighbors!