Small groups of people have consistently changed their worlds!
Acts 17:6 “These men have turned their world upside down”.
It’s still true, small groups of people change their world.Many churches and movements, political and other began with a small group of people.
For a new church plant, small groups are a vital key. As a church gets larger small groups are still a huge key. In fact the larger the church the smaller it must become! Before a new church goes public or has it’s launch date, small groups are vital to the strength, discipleship and leadership base of the church. I believe when we short cut this and simply launch a new church publically we hinder the churches potential and multiplication growth.
Everything the Bible talks about can be done in a small group.
In fact we were so convinced in our church regarding small groups we said something like this publically, “If you can’t get to a church service, make sure you find a small group to connect into”. I would rather have people connected in a small group, then people feeling that church is all about the Sunday service. As you see below, growth and development, happens best as people are connected in a small group. Of course the Sunday Celebration is powerful, but I’ve found people who are connected to a small group will eventually be connected in a larger celebration service.
Here are 10 things that happen best in a small group:
- A close family.
- Application of the Bible to daily life. (Please don’t preach in your small group, you will kill it, small groups are for discussion, sharing, praying etc).
- Sharing testimonies about life.
- Effective one to one pastoral care.
- Encouragement & edification.
- Unlimited opportunities for meaningful service. (Prayer, greeting as people enter the home, hosting, leading, assisting, leading a discussion, encouraging & pastoring others throughout the week etc).
- Non-threatening friendship evangelism.
- Formation & discipleship of new believers.
- Spiritual growth. Spiritual growth never happens in isolation, it is always best in community. The Bible is written for community and in fact is never meant to be interpreted outside of community. It’s a community book.
- Development of strong leadership.
3 Powerful questions for small groups.
I have put these in again as a reminder… have you tried this yet?
These have been used in India to plant hundreds of churches. New converts were leading groups. In using these questions the discussion leader must allow the scripture to speak and try not to come in with their own interpretation of the scripture. This can be used (with the right scriptures of course) with unbelievers as well. I believe God can speak out of His Word to them.
By the way, it’s always good when coming together the following week to ask, “how question 3 was actioned”?
Take a scripture eg… Luke 15:1 onwards.
1. OBSERVATION: What do you think Jesus is saying?
2. INTERPRETATION: What does it mean for me?
3. APPLICATION: What will I do in response?
The above is very powerful. Give it a go and see what God does.
(I have borrowed heavily for this article from the Win Arn Church Health Institute).