I remember with fondness the first small group that Di and I attended many years ago.
We met in a friend’s home that was within walking distance which was real handy for us as a young married couple.
It was called a home fellowship group which pretty well explained the purpose of the group. It was all about hanging out in someone’s home and building friendships.
Sometimes I’d lead worship with an acoustic guitar because we sang a lot in the home fellowship group.
We’d pray for each other, discuss the Bible, eat food and drink terrible instant coffee. Yes this was well before the café scene hit our nation and people were very comfortable being in each other’s homes.
Since those pioneer days I’ve been involved in and led many different small groups in our church and have also led our church’s small group ministry.
They’ve been through a variety of transformations since those days but they still remain the life blood of the relationships in our church.
Let me help you out with some small groups ideas that would even get the Rick Warren tick of approval.
Three Church Small Group Ideas
1. Pastoral Care Worker
Add the position of pastoral care worker to each group. I’ve found that while some people are adept at leading a group that are not so good at following up and caring for people.
On the other hand some people with superb shepherding skills are not skilful at leading a group. The answer is to create a specific role for the care and shepherding of the people in the group.
Now you may want to use another title but the concept will work and will add a better level of care into your groups.
2. Coach the Leaders
Each small group leader must be connected to a coach who regularly contacts them, helps them problem solve, prays for them and generally keeps an eye out for them and their leadership development.
The relational connections between a coach and a leader will tell you far more about a group than any written report so make sure these connections are regular and healthy.
Also all the leaders should be gathered together regularly for training, encouragement and prayer.
Make these meetings short, to the point with excellent take home value and plenty of stories of what God is accomplishing in the lives of the people in your small groups.
3. Visit the Groups
Every group should be visited twice a year by a coach, pastor or small group facilitator.
Seeing the leader and group in full flight will enable you to assess the health of the group and also allow meaningful feedback to be given to the leader.
While small groups are labour intensive they do bear long lasting fruit in our churches.
Want some more church small group ideas? Subscribe to Mark Howell’s blog and you will get some very good food for thought and ideas that you can implement.