A good friend said something recently that triggered some deep thoughts in my mind. He said: “We are not a small-groups church, we are a church that does small groups.” He was saying that although small groups are a part of their church’s rhythm of operations, it’s not what it is built around.
That means that some time and energy will be given to develop and maintain them, but not as a priority. Programming and staffing will reflect that although it’s important, it’s not the most important thing.
I appreciated his candor, because so many churches are trying to be a small-groups church, but instead are churches doing small groups.
To really engage in small groups well, it takes a cultural shift to prioritize staffing, funding, leadership, and vision to that end. It won’t just happen because you break students up and put a leader in the room. It takes vision, training, and regular maintenance to build a thriving ministry based on small groups.
There is a huge difference between doing and being. You can be a small-groups church. You can also be a church that does small groups.
It’s a foundation question that is worth asking. What kind of church are we? What kind of church do we want to be?
It’s wise to act like you are, not like someone you are not.
In student ministry, this is a massive question because students in this generation are wired so relationally. You are only going to reach so many through teaching. I’m all for teaching. As a speaker I love it! At the same time, I understand the value of relationships too. Honestly, as much as I love speaking to students, I understand that some of the greatest impact I can make is in the life of the small group I lead. In fact as a speaker, my passion has changed over the years to speaking more as a setup for small group as much as anything.
If you are a church that just “does” small groups, what can you do to make that more than just “doing” and “be” a church that does small groups. Your honest answer to that question will help you determine planning and organizing for your ministry.
If you are a church that just “does” small groups, how can you change your methods from “do” to “be” and become a small-groups church?
This is an area I love helping churches with. Let me know if I can serve yours!