Notes & Presentations from the 2015 ReGroup Conference. Shared today at the ReGroup Conference at First Baptist Lafayette. Enjoyed sharing some learnings on where Small Group Strategies & Church Planting intersect. Here’s my two presentations & my notes:
- Discovery Groups: Strategies for Starting Groups from the Unchurched Communities
- “Where Does Your Group Meet?” Small Group Strategies for Portable or Space Limited Churches
One of the least common denominators of New Testament Christianity is the small group of people gathered around the word of God. So we need to figure it out.
Sought to answer two questions in my breakouts:
- How do we start more groups from the unchurched population?
- How do we start more groups when I have no or limited space?
Notes from Session One: Starting Discovering Groups –
- Empower your Apostolic leaders to start new groups. Say yes to those with an itch to start new things in different places. More on Sending the Apostolic leaders in your church HERE.
- Make it simple for EVERYONE to see themselves reaching their friends. (Example: The HOST Strategy)
- 3 out of 21 Meals – Encourage people to see meal times as opportunities to invest in unchurched people. And you’re going to eat anyway. More on this in the book Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life by Jeff Vanderstelt.
- Groups with a Purpose – People may get involved with a mission or project before they get involved in your church. What need can you meet in the community that will gather people in relationship & move step by step to sharing the gospel.
- “Discussion Group” – Go Hall of Tyrranus on your community. Some people will come only if they can ask questions & discuss.
- Start a Book Club – Yours &/or Theirs. At your home, church, or consider getting involved in book clubs in the community book stores or libraries to invite people to your group. Try a nondescript invite to a Bible Study or discussion & see what happens.
- Meetup.com & other social media sites – Utilize Social Media to gather people. People are looking online for spiritual connections & helps.
- Don’t neglect Community Bulletin Boards, Newspapers, Coupon Mags, Radio.
- Look for Affinity Groups: Stay at home moms, Sr. Adults, Service Industry (Monday nights), First Responders, Dads (Allprodad.com), etc.
- Look for Needs in the Community that Group studies can meet: Grief, Addiction, Money, Marriage, Parenting, Parenting Your Parents, Step family issues, etc..
Notes from Session Two: Out of the Box Ideas for Starting More Groups when you have no or limited space:
- Double the opportunity by launching a new service &/or new Sunday School hour.
- Clean out the Closets. Utilize EVERY possible space. Most churches under utilize their space.
- Groups that kill two birds with one stone. Service oriented groups. Make ministry & group life synonymous.
- Think beyond Sunday morning. It’s Biblical to start groups every day of the week.
- Go public with your groups! There’s more 3rd spaces today than ever before.
- No need to be afraid of Home groups. HOST Strategy.
Captured these powerful images on the importance of Small Groups earlier this year at FBC Orlando. So many in our generation isolate ourselves & find ourselves on our own when life happens. And it will happen, i.e marital problems, financial problems, transitions, parenting issues, seasons of doubt & discouragement, etc. Who do you share life with when you have questions? when you need a hand? When you’re expecting change? Find a church, get connected with others. Share your life. You need them AND they need you!
Love what one Northshore church is doing to get their small groups On Mission For Others. FBC Mandeville is having each of their Life Groups choose a “NEAR Mission Project” to engage in together. They’ve started a blog to communicate local opportunities for mission. Check it out: http://fbcmandeville.blogspot.com/.
Imagine the possibilities for your Small Groups or Sunday School classes…