Category Archives: Small Groups

It’s Small Group Life, not Just Small Group Meetings

  • Small Group life is better than small group meetings.
  • Doing life together is better than eating together.
  • Growing Spiritually together is better than studying the lesson together.
  • All of life discipleship is better than a Sunday morning Bible Study.

Most of the small group questions I hear about what happens DURING THE MEETING. “What are you studying?” “When do you meet?” “Who’s the teacher?” Necessary but not primary elements.

The real gold for small groups is in life together. I’ve walked with a few small groups for 5+ years. These people are like family. We experience each others lives through the ordinary and difficult moments. We can see life change happening over time and think about how far people have come over years. More than just getting through a lesson or a study, it’s journeying through all of life. Gatherings are simply opportunities to catch up, be encouraged, grow deeper in relationship with God and each other, and apply the scripture to our lives specifically and directly. Life together also allows you to serve one another in special ways as life happens. Seeing and experiencing Jesus in the life of another happens as we walk this worlds ups and down with one another. Love, joy, peace, patience, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, carrying burdens. All of these happen best in family like relationships that small group life provide.

Grateful for my Small Group. Can’t wait to gather together again this week!

Mine the gold of life together by focusing on group life and not just a group meeting. 

FamilyGroup2

Celebrating Small Group Life

Round tabled with our Bridge Church Small Group Leaders this week for a seasonal troubleshooting and celebrating session. Proud moment for the church planter, when you realize that what started as one small group in 2011, has now grown to 10 groups! We celebrated new groups and first time group engagements. We trouble shot consistency, communication, pastoral care issues. A few of the highlights and developing strategies from our journey to effective group ministry:

  • Seasonal Rhythm.  We’ve adopted three seasons as opportunities to start new groups, for groups to take natural breaks, and to emphasize new connections. This includes a Small Group Leader round table, one month prior to each new seasons kickoff. A rhythm is a system that can give natural start and stops for groups.
  • Geaux Projects for Groups.  Each group is encouraged to organize around the strategy Gather-Grow-Geaux. How are we going to gather this season (where, how often, how long, etc.)? How are we going to grow this season (track with sermon series, marriage study, financial study, etc.)? How are we going to geaux this season (how will we serve and make a difference in our community together)? This seasons Geaux Projects have included projects for local widows, helping flood victims, serving local children’s home, shared date nights for couples, neighborhood block parties, etc.
  • Putting our Money Where our Mouth Is. A few years ago it hit me that we talk about how important groups are but our budget doesn’t back that up. So now, each group gets $1,000 per year to make magic happen with group life. This is turned into incredible impact through the opportunity for groups to be responsive to the needs around them and creatively serve one another and their communities. This year, we were able to do that twice. Love hearing the stories of how this money is spent.

Capacity for making disciples is best expanded at the group level. Churches that grow must find ways to multiply gatherings (rows), groups (circles), and teams (strengths).

If you go to a church, but are not involved in a group, get involved ASAP. We like to say,

“Life change happens best in circles, not rows.”

Getting involved in a group that forms in a circle is different than sitting in a church with rows.

– In a circle you look someone in the face.
– In a circle there is dialogue & conversation.
– In a circle, you let down your defenses & engage.

These are critical elements of the kinds of relationships that bring life change.

If you’re in West St. Tammany Parish, and want to connect with one of our Bridge groups, sign up here.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: