Three Questions Every Small Group Ministry Must Answer
James Emery White
Most churches have some kind of small group ministry, whether a traditional Sunday School format or small groups meeting on various days and times throughout the community.
Regardless of the type of small group ministry you may have, there are three foundational questions that must be settled for maximum effectiveness and clear focus – yet seldom are. And they are foundational questions because they speak to the heart of your philosophy of ministry.
Here they are:
1. Will we be a church of small groups or a church with small groups?
If you are a church of small groups, then you are intentionally trying to have every single person in a small group unit. If you are a church with small groups, then you have a small group ministry available to any and all interested parties.
There was a season a few years back when some who espoused the “of” philosophy did so with a bit of spiritual arrogance. Groups, and being in one, was seen as a test of orthodoxy. The truth is that however much you might believe in the efficacy of being part of a small group, it is not a biblical directive. There is no “Thou shalt be grouped” in the Bible. Instead, you have reference to the “one anothers” – a series of directives that are meant to be played out in the church’s community. Small groups are one way of doing it, but only one. Small groups are a methodology; a means to an end. The key is the “one anothers,” not whether you have, or are in, a small group.
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