The Purpose of Small Groups

Why do we have small groups? What are we trying to accomplish?

One of the big difficulties in small group ministry is getting so wrapped up in the "program" (even if we aren't a "program-based" church) of the small group ministry that we forget why we are doing small groups in the first place!

A couple years ago on the SmallTalk list, this topic was discussed. Rick Diefenderfer provided for the list — and now for you — these 12 reasons for doing small groups.]

  1. Everything in life revolves around relationships — everything. The most important relationship is a personal relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ — a vertical relationship. But let us not be so heavenly high that we are of no earthly good. Horizontal relationships bring balance in this life. And the best horizontal relationships are covenant commitments to live with others, to become connected with others in a basic Christian community.

  2. A church should be large enough to celebrate while remaining small enough to care.

  3. In Acts 20:20, Paul's vision was "to preach the message in public (large-group worship) and to teach the message from house to house (small-group community)" — a 20/20 vision for the church.

  4. Our church's mission: "to lead people into a growing relationship with God, each other and unbelievers, through Jesus Christ, into basic Christian community," is gleaned from both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Both emphasize a balance of vertical and horizontal relationship.

  5. In Acts 2:41-47, we read that the early Christians were involved in nine basic activities. They: (1) believed in Jesus Christ, (2) were baptized, (3) were added to the group, (4) spent their time in learning, (5) took part in the fellowship, (6) shared their possessions, (7) prayed together, (8) met regularly as a group to worship, and (9) regularly added new believers to the group.

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